SRINAGAR: Three militants killed in a gunfight with the counter-insurgent forces in Pahoo area of Pulwama were affiliated with the Lashkar-i-Toiba outfit, an official said.
A police spokesman in a statement said that based on specific input generated by Pulwama Police regarding presence of militants in Pahoo area of Pulwama, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police and Army (50RR ) in the said area.
“During the search operation, as the search party proceeded towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon the search party which was retaliated effectively leading to an encounter. Later on CRPF also joined the operation,” said the spokesman.
“In the ensuing encounter, three militants linked with proscribed outfit LeT were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They have been identified as Arif Ahmad Hazar @Rehan (Deputy of LeT’s top commander Basit), Abu Huzaifa @ Haqqani (Pakistani militant) and Natish Wani @Haider resident of Khanyar, Srinagar,” he said.
Natish Wani had left for afternoon (Zuhr) prayers on April 16 and had been missing since. While family had issued appeal to him to return.
“As per police records all the slain militants were part of groups involved in several crime cases including attacks on Police/SFs and civilian atrocities,” he added.
“Pertinently, the slain militant Arif Hazar was a categorized militant, active since March 2021 and involved in several crime cases including attacks on Police/SFs and civilian atrocities besides, several cases were registered against him in Srinagar city,” said the spokesman, adding that “he was involved in killing of Inspector Parvez in front of mosque at Menganwari Nowgam on 22-06-2021, killing of PSI Arshid Ahmad Mir near PS Khanyar on 12-09-2021, killing of police personnel Javaid Ahmad at Saidapora Eidgah on 17-06-2021, killing of mobile shop owner Umar Nazir Bhat at Main Chowk Habba Kadal on 23-06-2021, killing of civilian Mohammad Shafi Dar at SD Colony Batamaloo, killing of civilian Rouf Ahmad Khan outside his house at Mejinpora Safakadal on 22-12-2021.”
“Besides, he was also involved in grenade attacks on Police Patrolling Party at Safakadal and joint Naka party at Rainawari. Moreover, he alongwith his associates was also involved in an attack on BJP leader’s residence at Aribagh, Nowgam Srinagar. In this attack one police personnel Rameez Raja attained martyrdom and his service rifle was also snatched. He was also involved in attack on two outside labourers at Suthsoo Kalan area of Nowgam on 22-04-2022,” he added.
The spokesman said that incriminating materials, arms & ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation.
IGP Kashmir termed this ops a big success and congratulated the joint forces for carrying out the anti-militant operation in a professional manner without any collateral damage.
“In this regard, a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated. People are requested to cooperate with Police till the area at encounter site is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” said the spokesman.