Four militants, including the one who was part of a group of ultras involved in the killing of Army jawan Aurangzeb last year, were on Saturday (May 18) gunned down in two separate encounters in Pulwama and Baramulla districts of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
While three Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants were killed in a pre-dawn operation by security forces in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, another militant was killed in Sopore town of Baramulla, a police spokesman said. He said based on a credible input, a cordon and search operation was launched by police and security forces in the early hours of Saturday in the Panzgam area of Awantipora in Pulwama. During the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party of the forces, who retaliated, leading to an encounter, he said. In the ensuing encounter, the spokesman said, three militants were killed. He said they have been identified as Showkat Dar of Panzgam, Irfan War of Wadoora Payeen, Sopore, and Muzaffar Sheikh of Tahab, Pulwama. “All three killed terrorists, according to the police records, were affiliated with proscribed terror outfit HM. They were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes, including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Several terror crime cases were registered against them,” he said.
As per police records, the spokesman said, Dar had a long history of terror crime records. “He was involved in planning and executing series of terror attacks in the area and many other civilian atrocities. He was part of a group involved in the killing of Army jawan Aurangzeb in 2018. He was also involved in the killing of a policeman Aqib Ahmad Wagay last year. Several terror crime cases were registered against him,” he said. Aurangzeb was abducted and later killed by militants in Pulwama in June last year while he was on his way to home in Poonch for celebrating Eid. The spokesman said War was part of terror groups responsible for conspiring and executing attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities in the area. “Accordingly, terror crime cases were registered against him (War),” he said. “Similarly, Sheikh, as per police records, was also involved in several terror attacks on security establishments in the area. Several criminal cases were registered against him for terrorist activities,” he added.
Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of the encounter, the spokesman said. Police have registered a case and the material has been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation, he added. The spokesman said with the efforts of police and security forces, it was a clean operation and no collateral damage took place during the encounter. In another anti-militancy operation, the spokesman said, a cordon and search operation was launched by security forces in the Hathlangoo area of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. During the search operation, militants fired upon the forces, triggering an encounter, he said. One militant was killed in the gun battle, he added. The body of the slain militant was retrieved from the site of the encounter and his identity and affiliation was yet to be ascertained, the spokesman said.