SRINAGAR Four militants, three of them affiliates of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, were killed in an encounter with government forces at Panzgam area of south Kashmirs Pulwama district on Saturday, police said. Also, a militant was killed in a gunfight in Sopore in North Kashmir.
A police spokesman said one among the slain militants in the gunfight at Panzgam was involved in the killing of an army soldier Aurangzeb last year.
Police spokesman said a joint team of armys 55 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation (CASO) at Panzgam village at pre-dawn hours.
During the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated, leading to an encounter, the official said.
He said in the ensuing gunfight, three militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved along with arms and ammunition and other incriminating materials.
He identified the slain as Showkat Dar of Panzgam Awantipora, Irfan War of Wadoora Payeen Sopore and Muzaffar Sheikh of Tahab Pulwama.
The slain trio, according to police records, was affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. They were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of attacks including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Several cases were registered against them, the spokesman said.
As per police records, the spokesman said Irfan War was part of militant groups responsible for conspiring and executing attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities in the area. Showkat Dar had a long history of crime records. He was involved in planning and executing a series of attacks in the area and many other civilian atrocities. He was part of a group involved in the killing of Army jawan Aurangzeb. He was also involved in the killing of a policeman Aqib Ahmad Wagay last year. Several crime cases were registered against him, the spokesman said.
On June 14, 2018, Aurangzeb, a rifleman with 44 Rashtriya Rifles was kidnapped and shot dead by militants in south Kashmir’s Pulwama when he was travelling in a private vehicle, on his way home in Poonch.
Aurangzeb was part of an officer’s team which killed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sameer Tiger on May 1, 2018.
After conducting all legal formalities, the bodies of the slain trio was handed over to their respective families for last rites.
While Irfan and Muzaffar were not buried yet, Showkat Ahmad Dar was buried amid pro-freedom slogans and spontaneous shutdown in his native village. Thousands of people attended his funeral.
Militant Killed In Sopore
A militant was killed in an encounter with a joint team of armys 22 RR, SOG and CRPF at Hatlangoo area of Sopore.
The joint team of forces tried to persuade the militant to surrender, however, there was no response from him, a police officer said. As such the joint team fired some warning shots, the hiding militant opened fire leading to a gunfight which lasted for a brief time, the officer said.
During the course of gunfight, the militant was killed and his body was recovered along with a weapon and other warlike stores from under the debris of the house, he said.
Sources said that in the incident, a residential house also got completely damaged.
The officer identified the slain militant as Waseem Ahmad Naik son of Abdul Gani Naik of Udipora Barsoo Awantipora.
According to sources, Waseem was missing since March this year. The family had accordingly filed a missing report in police station concerned.
Meanwhile, authorities suspended internet services in Sopore town as a precautionary measure in wake of this search operation.