Hizbul militant wanted in BJP, RSS leaders’ murders killed in Jammu and Kashmir encounter
A top ‘commander’ of the Hizbul Mujahideen, wanted in connection with the murders of a senior BJP leader and an RSS functionary, was killed along with two other terrorists in a nine-hour operation in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.
A soldier of the Indian Army was also killed in the first major gun battle since the Centre’s August 5 move to divest the state of its special status and bifurcate it into two Union territories.
The soldier who died was identified as Naik Rajinder Singh of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.
The three terrorists armed with AK assault rifles, under-barrel grenade launchers and grenades were identified as Osama, Haroon and Zahid of Doda region.
Osama was accused in the killings of senior BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar on November 1, 2018, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his personal security officer on April 9, officials told news agency PTI.
They were gunned down after they tried to escape from a house where they had barged in while being chased by security forces following a brief exchange of fire in Batote area along Jammu-Kishtwar national highway early on Saturday morning, officials said.
The house-owner, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker, who had been taken hostage by the terrorists in Batote and his family, was rescued by security forces during the course of the protracted gun battle, which also left two policemen injured.
Osama was also wanted in three weapon snatching incidents in Kishtwar town and was carrying a reward of several lakhs of rupees.
The success for the security forces came days after the inspector general of police (Jammu) Mukesh Singh said four cases of murders and weapon snatching in Kishtwar district had been solved with the arrest of three Hizbul Mujahideen activists.
Singh had on September 23 named Osama and five other terrorists and said that security forces were looking for them.