Pahalgam Encounter: All Slain Militants Identified

SRINAGAR: Three militants killed in a gunfight with the counter-insurgent forces at Sirchan Top forest area in Pahalgam area in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district were affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit, an official said.

A police spokesman in a statement said that yesterday on 05/05/2022, Anantnag Police along with Army (19RR) arrested a militant of proscribed outfit HM identified as Mohd Ishfaq Shergojri resident of Nowgam Verinag during a CASO at Kokernag area of Anantnag.

He said that during the sustained interrogation of the arrested militant, leads were developed and several CASOs were conducted in various areas of Anantnag.

He added that one of such joint cordon and search operations launched by the Police and Army (3rd RR) in the forest area of Sirchan Top (East of Batkot Pahalgam) area of Anantnag turned into the encounter.

“During the operation, as the joint party proceeded towards the suspected spot the hiding militants fired on the joint party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” said the spokesman, adding that “in the ensuing encounter, 03 militants of proscribed outfit HM were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter.”

“They have been identified as Mohd Ashraf Khan @Ashraf Molvi/Mansoor ul Haq, Mohd Rafiq Drangay and Roshan Zameer Tantray @Aqib,” said the spokesman.

“As per police records, all the three categorized killed militants were part of groups involved in several crime cases including attacks on Police/SF and civilian atrocities,” he said.

“As per police records, the killed militant Mohd Ashraf Khan was the oldest surviving militant of Hizb and figured among the list of most-wanted militants after recycling in year 2013,” he added.

“He had a long history of crime cases which include attacks on Police/SF and civilian atrocities. He was involved in killings of Ct Imtiyaz Ahmad at Bus Stand Anantnag on 09/09/2017, Mohd Saleem Dar resident of Larkipora, Fatehpora Anantnag on 02/04/2020, ASI Mohammad Ashraf near Police Station Bijbehara on 22/12/2021, HC Ali Mohd Ganie at Hasanpora Tabeela on 29/01/2022,” said the spokesman.

“Besides, he was also well trained in fabricating and planting of IEDs as he had crossed over to PaK in the year 1999 to get illegal arms training and join folds. He was also instrumental in reviving the folds of Hizb in Anantnag by recruiting the gullible youth into folds. Moreover, on his direction militants killed Sarpanch Ghulam Rasool Dar and his wife Jawahara Begum at Lal Chowk Anantnag on 09/08/2021,” he said.

“Similarly, the slain militant Roshan Zameer Tantray was active since year 2018 and involved in several crime cases including killings of Mohd Saleem Dar resident of Larkipora, Fatehpora Anantnag on 02/04/2020, ASI Mohammad Ashraf near Police Station Bijbehara on 22/12/2021, HC Ali Mohd Ganie at Hasanpora Tabeela on 29/01/2022. He was also involved in the killing of a truck driver namely Narayan Dutt resident of Sara Kotla Katra Reasi who was loading apple in his truck bearing registration No. JK02AQ-6571 at Fruit Mandi Kanalwan,” he added.

“Moreover, the slain Mohd Rafiq Drangay was active since the year 2019 and involved in several crime cases including killings of ASI Mohammad Ashraf near Police Station Bijbehara on 22/12/2021 and HC Ali Mohd Ganie at Hasanpora Tabeela on 29/01/2022,” said the spokesman.

The spokesman said that incriminating materials, a huge cache of arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site of the encounter. In this connection, Police has registered a case under relevant sections of law and an investigation has been initiated.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar congratulated the joint team for neutralizing the most wanted militants and conducting operations in a professional manner without any collateral damage. He also termed this operation as a major success as the site of operation is close to Yatra route which indicates that the killed militants were eyeing to target Amarnath Yatra-2022.

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