Mir Zeeshan

Two militants, ‘active associate’ killed in Shopian encounter

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Two more militants killed in Tral

Photo/ Muneeb ul islam

Shopian/Srinagar, May 31: Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants and their “active associate” were Friday killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, while two more militants were killed in a separate encounter in Tral area of Pulwama district.

“On credible input, a cordon and search operation was launched by police and security forces in Sugan area of south Kashmir. Pertinently, the encounter site was located in orchards with no habitation nearby,” a police spokesperson said.

He said during the search operation, the hiding militants fired at the search party of the forces.

The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter, he said.

In the ensuing encounter, two listed militants along with the other one who was part of the group were killed, he said.

The bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter and handed over to their legal heirs, he added.

The two militants were identified as Abid Manzoor Magray alias Sajju Tiger, son of Manzoor Ahmad Magray, a resident Nowpora Payeeen Pulwama, and Bilal Ahmad Bhat, son of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat from Urmulla Lassipora Pulwama.

A police official said Magray had joined Hizbul Mujahedeen militant outfit in August 2016 .He was “A” category militant and was a close aide of Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo. He said Bilal Ahmad Bhat had joined with militant ranks in October 2017 and was a “B” category militant.

The other person who was part of the group was identified as Jasim Rashid Shah, a resident of Malnar, Shopian.

Police spokesperson said Jasim Rashid Shah was missing since Thursday afternoon and “was part of the militant group”. Earlier, a police official said he was an “active associate” of the group.

“The group was affiliated with proscribed militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen. Magray and Bhat were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of crimes, including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Several cases were registered against them,” the spokesperson said.

According to police records, he said, Magray had a history of involvement in militancy since 2016 and was part of groups involved in planning and executing a series of attacks in the area and many other “civilian atrocities”.

“Several cases, including an attack at Litter, weapon snatching at Gudbug Guard, firing on police post Lassipora, firing on patrolling party at Alaipora Lassipora, vehicle theft, kidnapping of a girl and several other criminal cases were registered against him,” he said.

Bhat was also involved in several attacks on security establishments in the area and many cases were also registered against him, the spokesperson said.

“Shah, as per the records and inputs available with police coupled with the family version, was missing since yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and was part of this group,” he added.

Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of the encounter, the spokesperson said, adding that all the material have been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation and to probe their complicity in other militancy cases.

Meanwhile, two more militants were killed in a separate gunbattle with the security forces in Naner village of Tral in Pulwama district on Friday.

As per sources, militants initially managed to escape from the gunfight spot but were trapped in another house.

The identity of the slain militants, they said, is yet to be ascertained. “The operation is still on to search for more bodies,” an official said.

Authorities also snapped the Internet service in the area as a “precautionary measure”.

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