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Two militants killed in Srinagar encounter

Hindustan Times, Srinagar | ByMir Ehsan
Oct 24, 2018 11:06 PM IST

One of the killed militants was said by his family to have been pursuing his PhD at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi before joining militancy but the university denied it had any student by the name.

Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including a top commander, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Srinagar’s Nowgam area on Wednesday, police said.

People examine a house that was damaged during a gunfight between militants and security forces in the Nowgam area on the outskirts of Srinagar on October 24.(Waseem Andrabi/HT Photo)
People examine a house that was damaged during a gunfight between militants and security forces in the Nowgam area on the outskirts of Srinagar on October 24.(Waseem Andrabi/HT Photo)

Acting on a tip-off about the presence of militants in Suthu Kothair locality of Nowgam, security forces launched a cordon and search operation on Tuesday night.

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Officials said Special Operation Group of J&K Police, 55 Rashtriya Rifles and the Central Reserve Police Force laid a cordon around the house.

The militants gunned down were identified by officials as Sabzar Ahmad Sofi and Ashiq Gojri, both residents of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, said Deputy Inspector General of Police, V K Birdi.

“We recovered incriminating materials including arms and ammunition from the site of encounter,’’ the police spokesman said.

One of the militants killed in the encounter, Sabzar Ahmad Sofi, was pursuing PhD at Jamia Millia Islamia. He had joined militancy after Burhan Wani’s killing in 2016. Sofi, has an MPhil and MSc and also had qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET).

However, Jamia Millia Islamia in a press statement in Delhi refuted that Sofi was registered as a student with the university and that there was no botany subject in the university.

Sofi is the second scholar-turned-militant who has been killed in the Valley in recent times. On October 11, PhD scholar Manan Wani was gunned down at Handwara along with one of his associate.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Nowgam, Sangam and Sirhama areas of south Kashmir. Police used tear gas shells and pellets to disperse protestors. Four persons were injured in the clashes.

Authorities snapped mobile Internet services in the city and shut educational institutions as a precautionary measure. Train service between Banihal and Baramulla was also suspended.

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