SRINAGAR: A top Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander along with his two accomplices, one of them the nephew of a former PDP MLC, were killed in a gunfight on Tuesday at Turkwangam in South Kashmir’s
A joint team of Army’s 44RR regiment, the CRPF and J&K police launched a cordon-and-search operation in Turkwangam early in the morning. As the team approached the suspected hideout, the terrorists started firing upon the security personnel. Retaliatory gunfire by the team triggered an encounter in which the three militants were killed, reports said.
While police said the identities of the slain terrorists were yet to be ascertained, official sources identified them as Hizbul ‘district commander’ Zubair Wani of Turkawangam, Kamran Manhas, nephew of former PDP MLC Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, a resident of Shadab Karewa, and Muneeb-ul-Haq of Sugan Zainapora in Shopian.
IGP-Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said, “It was a clean operation. No collateral damage has taken place.”
With this, 19 Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants have been killed in Shopian and
districts this month alone. Kumar claimed militancy in South Kashmir has “almost come to an end” and the focus will now be shifted to North Kashmir from next month. “We have recovered almost 25 AK-47 weapons this year so far. The active militants in Kashmir are now running very low of ammunition,” he said.
Internet services have been suspended in Shopian district to prevent protests, reports said.
In January 2019, Kamran Manhas had announced joining the Hizb ranks and a picture showing him holding an AK-47 went viral on social media. He, sources said, was the first youth from Shadab Karewa village to join militancy in more than 20 years.
About the Sarpanch who was recently killed in South Kashmir, the IGP said Hizb terrorists — one of them identified as Umar — were involved in the act.
Kumar also said that a woman sarpanch in Bomai was kidnapped by a terrorist identified as Waleed with the help of a local. “We have safely evacuated the woman and her husband, who is panch, to a safer place. They will be given protection,” he said.
On the narco-module that was recently busted in
, the IGP said “it is big” and more arrests are expected. “The module has already distributed Rs 3.5 crores among militants. Investigation is ongoing and many arrests are expected soon,” he said.
material worth Rs 5 crore was sold in Amritsar, out of which Rs.3.5 crore was distributed among militants, Kumar said, adding the kingpin is among the four arrested so far.