Two militants, including a Hizb-ul-Mujahideen operative involved in many attacks on police and security forces, were killed in an encounter in Shopian district, around 50 km south of Srinagar, police said on Friday.
The encounter took place at Pinjora village of the district on Thursday afternoon when police reached there following a tip-off about the presence of militants in the area.
“Acting on the tip-off,, a joint operation was launched by police, 44-RR and CRPF at Gagloora, Pinjora, in Shopian District. The joint party was fired upon by the hiding militants. In the exchange of fire, two militants have got killed,’’ said a police spokesman.
He said the militants were hiding in an orchard and fired on the police party when it cordoned off the area.
The deceased militants have been identified as Arshid Ahmad Sheikh alias Ash, son of Bashir Ahmad, resident of Haripora-Zanipora, and Abid Ahmad Rather, son of Gul Mohammad, resident of Vehil, Shopian.
According to police, one SLR, three SLR magazines, 80 SLR rounds, one Insas, one Insas magazine and one HE-36 hand grenade were recovered from the encounter site.
The police spokesman said Arshid was earlier associated with Jasih-e- Mohammad outfit but had shifted loyalty to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen some time back. In fact, along with Abid, formed a group of HM.
“Arshid was district commander of HM and was involved in a number of militant activities, including the attack on security guards at Purgochi in May 2012 wherein he snatched their weapons, the attack on brother of Phalpora Sarpanch on July 28, 2012 and the attack on Pinjora shrine guards in September 2012.
He was also involved in a number of firing incidents on police in Zanipora, Imam-Sahib and Meldora last year. Both the killed militants were instrumental in threatening Sarpanchs and Panchs in Shopian area,’’ a police release said. According to police, the weapons snatched from the police guard at Purgochi have been recovered from the encounter site.