Kashmir Twin Encounters: Slain Militants Identified

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday identified the slain militants killed in twin encounters at south Kashmir’s Pulwama and central Kashmir’s Budgam.

A police spokesman in a statement said that during during the past 12 hours two successful anti-militant operations were conducted by Police, CRPF and Army in Pulwama and Budgam districts resulting in killing of five militants linked with proscribed outfits JeM/LeT.

“The slain militants include a top JeM commander Zahid Wani and a foreign Pakistani militant Kafeel Bhai @Chotu,” said the spokesman.

“In Pulwama, acting on specific information regarding presence of militants in village Naira, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 55RR and 182/183Bn CRPF in the said area,” he said.

“While laying down the cordon of the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately on the joint search parties. However, due to darkness and to ensure safety of the civilians trapped inside the cordon area, the joint parties exercised maximum restraint,” he added.

“After evacuation of the civilians to the safer places, the fire was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, 04 militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They have been identified as Zahid Ahmad Wani @Uzair (a top commander) resident of Karimabad Pulwama, foreign militant Kafeel Bhari @Chotu resident of Pakistan, Waheed Ahmad Reshi resident of Khadermoh Kakapora and Inayat Ahmad Mir resident of Naira Pulwama,” said the spokesman.

“As per police records, the killed militants were linked with proscribed outfit JeM and were part of group involved in several crime cases including attacks on Police/SFs and civilian atrocities,” he said, adding that “the killed militant Zahid Wani was a categorized militant active since May-2017 and involved in several crime cases including attacks on forces and civilian atrocities.”

“He was involved in an attack on patrolling party of 44RR at Below Rajpora, attack on patrolling party of 55RR at Tiken Pulwama, attack on patrolling party of 50RR at Parigam, grenade attack on PS Pulwama and firing upon CRPF camp at Rajpora. Besides, he was also involved in killing of one civilian Azad Ahmad Dar of Kangan Pulwama. Moreover, militant Zahid Wani was also instrumental in motivating the gullible youth to join militant folds and other criminal activities,” said police spokesman in a statement.

“It is pertinent to mention that the slain militant Zahid Wani was one of the masterminds behind various IED attacks. The slain foreign militant Kafeel Bhai was operating in the Pulwama and Shopian belts and involved in a series of crime cases. The slain militant Waheed Ahmad was active since 2021 while as Inayat Ahmad had joined militant folds recently,” he said.

“Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including 01 M4 rifle, 02 AK series rifles and 02 Pistols have been recovered from the site of encounter,” he added.

Meanwhile, another anti- militant operation was launched in village Chahr-e-Sharif area of Budgam by Police, 53RR and 181Bn CRPF. As the joint search parties were approaching towards suspected spot, the hiding militant started firing indiscriminately on the search parties which was retaliated leading to an encounter, said police spokesman.

“In the ensuing encounter, the hiding militant identified as Bilal Ahmad Khan resident of Chill Brass Khansahab was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of encounter. As per police records, he was a categorized militant and linked with proscribed outfit LeT (TRF) and part of groups involved in several crime cases,” he said.

He said that incriminating materials, arms ammunition including 01 AK-56 rifle, 02 AK Magazines and 05 AK rounds have been recovered from the site of encounter.

“IGP Kashmir while addressing a joint press conference at Army Headquarters Balpora, termed the killing of most wanted militants as a big success and congratulated the joint forces for conducting successful anti-militant operations without any collateral damage,” said the spokesman.

“He also said that, during the current year, so far 21 militants including 8 foreign militants have been neutralized in 11 anti-militant operations and 13 militants among them were linked with proscribed outfit JeM,” he said.

Police have registered cases under relevant sections of law regarding both the encounters and further investigation is in progress, said the spokesman.

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