A top Hizbul Mujahideen commander and his associate were shot dead by the police at Noorpora village in southern Pulwama district on Sunday.
The police, in a joint operation with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), also arrested another commander of the terrorist outfit at Kellar area.
Identified as Haneif Khan, the slain Hizb commander was managing the finances of the outfit all over the state, said Deputy Inspector General of Police (Anantnag) H.K. Lohia. Sardar Khan (SP Awantipora) said the Hizb commander was involved in about 20 killings since 1990, besides a car blast near a school in Sonawar area here in 2006.
Police also arrested Hizb militant Jahangir Ahmad Lone at Kellar. A case has been registered against the militant.
Hanief and his associate Javaid Malik were trapped inside a house at Noorpora on Saturday evening. After a nightlong encounter, their bodies were recovered from the house on Sunday.
Hanief’s killing sparked protests in the area. Around 10,000 people participated in the funeral procession of the Hizb commander. Ashraf Sahrai, acting chairman of Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference, also participated in the burial procession of Hanief. Javaid Mir, chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Forum and Shaikh Aziz, head of Peoples’ League, also visited Noorpora and participated in the protests.
In a separate gun-battle, police shot dead two Hizb cadres at Sopore quarter of northern Baramullah district. The slain militants were identified as Qari Usman and Molvi Omer, both Pakistani nationals.