Security forces today gunned down one more Hizbul Mujahideen militant in Shopian district of south Kashmir after a two-day long gunned battle. The militant, identified as Mohammad Ashraf Rather alias Molvi, a resident of Nowpora, Pulwama was killed in the encounter, which started yesterday, in Vandena village in Zainapora area of Shopian, a police spokesman said here. Rather is the second militant to be killed in the encounter.
The militant killed in the encounter yesterday has been identified as Sajad Yousuf Mir of Litter Pulwama, the spokesman said. He said Mir was Divisional Commander and Financial chief of Hizbul Mujahideen for South Kashmir, while Rather was the District Commander.
The spokesman said the militant duo was involved in the killing of Sarpanch, Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Kulpora, Pulwama and Mudasir Ahmad of Aharmulla, Pulwama this year. Both of these militants were involved in the killing of Showkat Ahmad Rather of Grawgund Bandina, Pulwama in 2010 and an army man, Mehraj-ud-Din of Chandgam, Pulwama in 2010, he said. Ashraf was also involved in the abduction and killing two persons from of Litter, Pulwama - Maft Ahmad Rather in 2005 and Ghulam Mohammad Rather in 2010, the spokesman said.
Two AK-47 rifles, two pistols, four grenades, one UBGL and two magazines were recovered from the encounter site. The encounter broke out yesterday after police and 55 Rashriya Rifles of the army launched a joint search operation in the village, while acting on a specific information about the presence of militants in the area, the spokesman said. He said the militants fired upon the search party, which was retaliated by the security forces, triggering a gun battle between the two sides.