Zahid ‘Tiger’ Among 4 Militants Killed In South Kashmir Encounters

KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Doda Militant Caught During Gunfight: IGP

Srinagar: Four militants, including a top commander, were on Saturday killed in two separate encounters with state forces in Kulgam and Pulwama districts of South Kashmir, police said.

Government forces launched a cordon and search operation in Chingam area of Kulgam district late Friday night following specific inputs about the presence of militants there, a police official said.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants fired upon a forces party, who retaliated.

In the exchange of fire, two militants were killed, the official said.

They have been identified as Tariq Ahmad Mir, resident of Zangalpora Divsar Kulgam; and a Pakistani national identified as Sameer Bhai alias Usman, resident of Punjab Pakistan, and an “A” category militant, the official said.

He said both militants were affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad.

“As per the police records, both the killed militants were part of groups responsible for carrying out militant attacks. They were involved in many crimes and civilian atrocities, including killing of police official Khursid Ahmad at Furah Mirbazzar and attack on sarpanch Aarif Ahmad at Akhran Mirbazzar in which he was critically injured,” the official said.

An Army official said an M4 rifle and a pistol have been recovered from the site of the encounter.

In another operation in Dadoora area of Pulwama district of south Kashmir, two militants were killed, police said.

The police said the encounter started after state forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation following information about the presence of militants there.

They said the killed militants belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and included the groups commander Zahid Nazir Bhat alias Zahid Tiger.

It is a big success for the security forces, a police official said.

Two AK rifles have been recovered from the encounter site, he added.

The Kashmir Zone police, on its official Twitter handle, said the security forces arrested a recently-joined militant during the encounter.

“Police & SFs have done a #commendable work by #arresting a newly joined #terrorist along with #arms & ammunition during live #encounter today at #Pulwama,” it said.

Police said that in view of the prevailing pandemic, the bodies of the militants shall be sent to Handwara for burial after completion of all medico-legal formalities.

“The nearest family members of the killed local militant shall be allowed to participate in the last rites,” a police spokesperson said, adding “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,”

Doda Militant Caught During Gunfight: IGP

Police meanwhile claimed to have arrested a newly recruited militant, hailing from Doda district, during the encounter in Pulwama district in which two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, including the outfit’s top commander were killed.

“One militant Firdous Ahmad Tak son of Abdul Gani Tak of Doda was arrested alive during the gunfight,” Inspector general of Police Kashmir Vijay Kumar told news agency GNS.

He also identified the two slain militants as Shabir Ahmad and Zahid Rashid Bhat alias Zahid Tiger son of Abdul Rashid Bhat of Drabgam. Zahid was a top LeT Commander, the top police officer said and termed it as a “big success for Police and security forces.”

The encounter at Dadoora village of Pulwama had ensued after a joint team of Police and Army launched a joint cordon-and-search-operation following inputs about the presence of the militants.

“As the joint team encircled the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them. The fire was retaliated by the joint team, triggering off an encounter,” a police officer said.

Police also claimed recovery of 2 Ak-47 rifles from the slain militants and a pistol from possession of Tak.

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