Engineering Student Among 3 Militants Slain In Tral Encounter

SRINAGAR: Three Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants were killed in an overnight gunfight in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

With their killing, the Inspector General of Kashmir Vijay Kumar on Friday claimed that there is now no active of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, considered to be the indigenous militant outfit, in Tral for the first time since the inception of the militancy in 1989.

A police spokesperson said that based on a specific input regarding the presence of militants, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, army’s 42RR and 180 batallion CRPF in Chewa Ullar area.

“During the search operation as the presence of (militants) got ascertained they were given an opportunity to surrender. However they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” he said. The operation was suspended last night and resumed at the first light today.

“In the ensuing encounter, three (militants) were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” he said, adding, “Arms and ammunition including two AK rifle, six AK Magazine, five AK rounds, one Pistol, a Pistol Magazine, four Pistol rounds and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter.”

While police as part of its strategy after covid-19 pandemic don’t reveal the identity, news agency GNS quoted sources identified one of them as Mohammad Qaasim Shah alias Jugnu of Madoora Tral who was active from 3 March 2017 and was pursuing a B.Tech Degree in Civil Engineering prior to joining militancy. The others were identified as Basit Ahmad Parray of Laribal Tral who had 27 May this year and was a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology while another slain as Haris Manzoor Bhat of Koil Shikragah Tral, who had disappeared on 25 April this year.

The bodies were sent to Handwara for their last rites after conducting medico-legal formalities including a collection of their DNA, the police spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar told news agency GNS that “today’s encounter marked the end to Hizb-ul Mujahideen in Tral area of Pulwama. “ It is for the first time since 1989 that there is no active militant of Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen in Tral.”

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