Jammu and Kashmir’s DGP Dilbag Singh on Monday said that three militants killed in an encounter including Hizbul Mujahideen’s top commander in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
While addressing a press conference in Srinagar, DGP said that on a credible input, a cordon and search operation was launched jointly by Police and Army at Wachi area of district Shopian.
“During the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter,” he said.
“In the ensuing encounter, three militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The slain militants have been identified as Waseem Ahmad Wani resident of Wurpora Nagbal Shopian, Adil Bashir Sheikh resident of Zainapora Shopian and Hidayatullah Malik resident of Sharadpora Shopian,” he added.
Terming the killing of the militants a major success, director general of police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said Hizbul Mujahideen is on the “verge of elimination” in south Kashmir.
The police force has made a successful start to 2020, he said.
The operations have been successful due to increased movement of forces following leads provided by militants arrested along with deputy superintendent of police Davinder Singh, he added.
The DGP said Wani was one of the top-ranking commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen. He was involved in 19 cases, including killings of four civilians and as many policemen.
“Adil was also involved in some of these killings after he deserted the police force in September 2018,” he said.
Singh said the elimination of this group of militants will remove fear from the minds of people in Shopian and bring closure to the kin of their victims
Waseem Ahmad Wani as per police records had a history of crime records since 2017. He was involved in carrying out several attacks, besides several civilian atrocities in the area, he said.
“Several terror crime cases were registered against him including case FIR numbers 51/2017 pertaining to killing of civilian Gowhar Ahmad Dar of Urpora Shopian, 62/2018 pertaining to killing of civilian Nadeem Manzoor of Safnagri Shopian, 65/2018 killing of four policemen at a guard post in Zainapora Shopian, 61/2019 pertaining to killing of 02 civilians Ilyas Khan & Zahid Khan at Chittragam Shopian besides several other terror crime cases were registered against him case FIR numbers 50/2017, 62/2017, 04/2018, 05/2018, 19/2018, 24/2018, 46/2018, 27/2019, 49/2019, 50/2019, 56/2019, 62/2019, 01/2020 of PS Zainapora and 73/2018 of PS Shopian, said DGP.
Similarly Adil Bashir as per police records had a history of crime records since 2018. He was involved in many attacks and civilian atrocities. He was involved in case FIR No 57/2018 pertaining to the decamping of weapons from Jawahar Nagar area. He was part of groups involved in killing of civilian Nadeem Manzoor at Safnagri, killing of four policemen at guard post in Zainapora, killing of 02 civilians Ilyas Khan & Zahid Khan at Chittragam Shopian and killing of civilian Irfan Hamid Lone of Zainapora for which case FIR No 25/2019 stands registered. Several other crime cases were also registered against him including case FIR numbers 12/2019, 23/2019, 25/2019, 27/2019, 39/2019, 49/2019, 56/2019, 61/2019, 62/2019, 01/2020 of PS Zainapora, he said.
Hidayatullah Malik as per police records was also involved in attacks and other crimes in the area, he added.
While supporting the idea of setting up deradicalisation centres for youth, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbagh Singh said, “In recent times, there have been a lot of efforts from Pakistan and it’s agencies to spur radicalisation in this area, some of our young minds have been affected by it and have gone astray. If such a facility (deradicalisation centre) comes up, it should be welcomed.”
He said some of the youth, who have been caught by the police, did not seem to talk sense sometimes.
“At our end, when we have got hold of such youth, they don’t seem to talk much sense at times,” he said.
Singh said if an attempt is made to set up a facility where experts in the subject and religious experts are part of it, it will help these youth.
“It will be a good development and it should be welcome,” the DGP said.
Police spokesman in a statement said that incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes.