3 Hizbul terrorists killed in Pulwama encounter
Three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, including a commander, were killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Wednesday.
A joint party of security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation after receiving information about the presence of militants in the Sherabad area of Tral in Awantipora when the terrorists opened fire, triggering the shootout that left the three men dead, officials said.
“In another successful anti-terror operation in Sherabad, Tral, three terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed,” said Jammu and Kashmir’s director general of police (DGP) Dilbag Singh.
The slain terrorists were all locals and identified as Jehangir Wani, Raja Maqbool and Sadat. Wani and Maqbool were residents of Tral and Sadat from nearby Bijbehara, Anantnag. “Arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain men,” Singh said.
The DGP said that Wani was a ‘dangerous terrorist’ who had taken command of the Hizb after the killing of Hamad Khan last month.
“Jehangir was a dangerous terrorist ,a commander of HM, who along with Raja Maqbool has been involved in eight terror incidents which had created fear in the area,” he said.
He said that the two were involved in the killings of two civilians, Mehrajjuddin Zargar and Ghulam Nabi ,in south Kashmir. Nabi was killed in February and Zargar in November in Tral.
“Besides the killings they have been involved in burning a chemist shop, a truck, pasting threatening posters, setting a mosque in Amirabad Tral on fire. They also were involved in attacks on police and army jawans,” Singh said.
On February 5, two terrorists of the Hizb and Lashkar-e-Taiba were killed at Lawaypora on the city’s outskirts in a shootout with security forces in which a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper also died.
The DGP said 10 successful anti-terror operations had taken place in Jammu and Kashmir in 2020. “In both these places 23 terrorists were neutralized – 19 in Kashmir and four in Jammu,” he said.
Apart from the encounters, he said, many terror modules had also been busted, citing the arrest of three persons involved in a grenade attack in Srinagar’s Pratap Park , a group of grenade throwers in Sherigadi and the arrest of five members of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in the city from whom the police recovered ammunition and a suicide vest.
DGP Singh the security forces have been also hitting out at the “support structure of militants” by arresting many “over-the-ground workers,” or OGWs.
“Around 40 OGWs have been arrested. What is heartening is that many youths who leave home to join terrorists; we have been successful in bringing eight such youths back to their families,” he said.
The official said the rate of local young men joining militancy had declined. “Those joining militant ranks is also very negligible as compared to the past ,which is a good trend. Another good thing is that there has been no collateral damage during encounters and we want similar neat and clean operations,” he said.