South Kashmir: 2 Hizb Affiliates Killed in Kulgam Gunfight


SRINAGAR — Two militants affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were killed in a gunfight with government forces at in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Wednesday.

Reports said that a joint team of army’s 34 RR and SOG launched a cordon-and-search operation at Gopalpora village in D.H. Pora at pre-dawn hours.

A police spokesman said that the cordon was laid following credible inputs about the presence of some militants.

 “During the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the spokesman said.

In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved along with incriminating materials including arms and ammunition from the site of encounter.  They were identified as Irfan Manzoor Bhat of Poniwah Kulgam and Zahid Ahmad Mantoo of Ferripora Shopian, the spokesman said.

According to the police records, the slain were affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. They were wanted by law for their complicity in militant crimes including attacks on security establishments and “civilian atrocities”, the spokesman said.

 “As per police records Zahid was involved in planning and executing series of attacks in the area and many other civilian atrocities. Several crime cases were registered against him. He was involved in case FIR No 307/2018 pertaining to the killing of three policemen at Batgund Shopian last year. He was also involved in case FIR No 304/2018, 343/2018, 352/2018, 361/2018 pertaining to militant attacks and civilian atrocities in the area,” the spokesman said.

Irfan had joined the HM recently and was part of militant group involved in the killing of Abdul Majeed Dar of Shalipora Kulgam for which case FIR No. 40/2019 was registered in Police Station Kulgam. Some other criminal cases were also registered against him, the spokesman said.

After conducting all legal formalities, the bodies of the slain were handed over to respective families for last rites. Thousands of people attended their funeral prayers. The duo was later laid to rest in their respective villages amid pro-freedom slogans.

Meanwhile, stone pelting clashes were reported at Chowgam, Nihama, Mirhama and its adjacent areas. Five persons are said to have received injuries due to tear gas and pellets.

Following the gunfight, the authorities have snapped internet services in the southern district.  

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