Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were today killed when they tried to ambush a police party that included three officers of the rank of superintendent of police in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
One of the slain militants has been identified as Shahbaz Safi Wani alias Rayees Kachru, who was active in the area since June, 2016. Wani was involved in an attack on a security picket outside a minority camp at Tumlahall in Pulwama district, besides snatching two self-loading rifles along with magazines, officials said.
The other one is a “recycled” militant, Farooq Ahmed Hurrah from Shopian, who had surrendered in 2010 and was out on parole. The police have seized two weapons, including a looted SLR, Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Kashmir) S Pani told PTI here.
The incident happened at Padgampora, on the Awantipora-Pulwama border, around 35 kms from here, when a cavalcade of senior superintendents of police of Pulwama and Awantipora Raees Ahmed and Zahid Malik was going along with the district’s Additional Superintendent of Police Chandan Kohli.
The top police officers of the district were returning after a meeting with the chief election officer in connection with the forthcoming by-polls to two Lok Sabha seats of Anantnag and Srinagar.
The militants came in a car from behind and started firing at the last vehicle of the convoy carrying Kohli (32), officials said. The police personnel quickly took cover and retaliated the fire in which two militants were killed, they said.
The driver of the car, in which the two militants were travelling, managed to flee, the officials said, adding that a hunt has been launched to nab him to ascertain whether he was kidnapped or a part of the overground network of the militant group.
The police have also seized a hand grenade and some ammunition, Pani said. Pani, a seasoned police officer who has done credible work in controlling militancy in Shopian and Kulgam districts, lauded the role of the police personnel who swiftly neutralised the two terrorists.
On March 9, two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter at Padgampora. A civilian was also killed in the incident. The Padgampora area has witnessed several encounters in the past and is believed to be infested with militants associated with banned outfits such as the Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, S J M Gillani said, “According to our officers at the spot, perhaps one militant managed to escape.”
By: Deccan Herald
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