Hanjan Encounter: The complete story

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by Shams Irfan

Srinagar

At around 4:30 am, a joint team of army’s 44RR, 182, 183 CRPF and SOG, launched a cordon and search operation in Hanjin Payeen area of Pulwama, after having credible input about the presence of militants in the area. After door-to-door searches in the area, forces tightened the cordon around the suspected house. This triggered a gun-battle between hiding militants and government forces. In the initial exchange of fire two militants were killed. But the gun-fight was still on as two more militants were believed to be trapped inside the house. As the news of gunfight spread in the area, the small village of Hanjan, located between Pulwama and Rajpora, saw hundreds of protesters walking towards the gunfight site. This resulted in clashes with the CRPF and police, who make the outer ring of the cordon during an encounter. Within no time the clashes between protestors and government forces spread to other parts of Pulwama town and villages adjoining to Hanjan. The clashes left around ten boys injured who were treated at District Hospital, Pulwama. One among the injured, who had a head injury, was referred to Srinagar for advanced treatment.

People watch the funeral procession of a local militant Muzamil Ahmed Dar in Rahmoo village south Kashmir, Saturday, December 29, 2018. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

At around 11 am, two more militants were killed in the gun-fight taking the overall death toll to four. The identities of the slain militants were not immediately known as clashes intensified near the site of a gunfight.

In the afternoon, police identified all four militants. Three among four were locals of Pulwama belt, and the remaining one was said to a Pakistani national. They were all affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad militant outfit.

Militant Profiles

The three local militants who were killed in the Hanjan gunfight were: Muzamil Ahmad Dar, 24, son of Ghulam Nabi Dar resident of Rahmoo Pulwama. He joined Jaish on May 5, 2018. He was pursuing bachelors in computer applications before joining the militancy.

The second militant killed today was Waseem Akram Wani, 24, son of Mohammad Akram Wani resident of Tiken-Batapora Pulwama. He joined militant ranks last year. He is survived by parents and one elder and one younger brother.

Mourners carry the body of a local militant Muzamil Ahmed Dar during his funeral procession in Rahmoo village south Kashmir, Saturday, December 29, 2018. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

The third militant was Muzamil Nazir Bhat, son of Nazir Ahmad Bhat resident of Prichoo Pulwama. He is survived by his aged parents and two brothers, who are studying. He joined Jaish in June 2018. According to local sources, he comes from a very humble background.

Police Version

Based on a credible input about the presence of terrorists in Hanjan Payeen area of District Pulwama, a cordon and search operation was launched today morning jointly by Police and security forces in the area.

As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the terrorists. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight.

In the ensuing encounter, four terrorists were neutralized and the bodies were recovered from the site of encounter.

It is further informed that the killed terrorists have been identified as Muzamil Ahmad Dar son of Ghulam Nabi Dar resident of Rahmoo Pulwama, Waseem Akram Wani son of Mohammad Akram Wani resident of Tiken Batapora Pulwama, Muzamil Nazir Bhat son of Nazir Ahmad Bhat resident of Prichoo Pulwama. From the incriminating materials recovered at the site of encounter, one terrorist is learnt to be a foreigner from Pakistan.

All the terrorists were affiliated with proscribed terror outfit JeM and were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes including the attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities.

Arms and ammunition including rifles were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other terror cases.

Bodies of the three local terrorists were handed over to the legal heirs after completion of medico-legal formalities.

Police has registered a case and initiated the investigation in the matter. Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter.

Thousands of people attend the funeral procession of a local militant Muzamil Ahmed Dar in Rahmoo village south Kashmir, Saturday, December 29, 2018. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Citizens are requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any.

Reactions

Paying tribute to militants killed in Pulwama gunfight, All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman, Syed Ali Geelani blamed Indian leaders that their unrealistic and arrogance of power is the sole reason for this unabated bloodshed in Jammu and Kashmir. Geelani said that Indian leaders are the responsible for this grim situation in the valley and their unrealistic approach is the basic cause of the human tragedy and it is the reason that our youth are losing their precious lives.

Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai said, the exemplary sacrifices given by our nation for its sacred mission of right to self-determination makes it mandatory for all of us to take this movement to its logical conclusion without making any compromise. Sehrai expressed his deep pain and grief over the Pulwama killings and extended his condolences with the bereaved families.

Al Umar Mujahideen chief Mushtaq Zargar paid rich tributes to the slain Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) killed in Hanjan encounter. Zargar rejected the dialogue as a means to resolve the Kashmir issue saying the armed resistance is the only solution to the long-pending dispute.

Al Umar Mujahideen chief added, “We salute the families of all the martyrs, and reiterate our pledge to fight against Indian rule till our last breath.”

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