Anantnag: The last surviving militants from main town Anantnag and Doda district in Jammu region were among three militants killed Monday morning in a gunfight with government forces here in Anantnag district.
Though the police have officially confirmed the identity of only the militant from Doda, sources in police have said that the other slain are from Anantnag town and Kulgam district.
The militants have been identified by sources as Tariq Ahmad Khan, a resident of Lal Chowk area in Anantnag town; Nadeem Dar, a resident of Sunigam village in Kulgam district; and Masood Ahmad, a resident of Doda district.
Tariq Khan had gone missing on July 25, 2018, amidst a gunfight that raged at his house in Lal Chowk. Two militants, Abid Hussain from Doda and Bilal Ahmad from Khodweni, were killed in that 2018 gunfight.
A few days later, Khan’s picture, brandishing an AK-47, had gone viral on social media. “He joined Lashkar-e-Toiba and remained active ever since,” a police source said, adding that he was the last known militant from main town Anantnag.
Khan helped his family in a flourishing business before he joined militant ranks. His paternal uncle, Nisar Ahmad Khan, is a Hurriyat activist.
Nadeem Dar from Kulgam had joined the LeT on June 11 earlier this month. Not much is known about him, as of now.
Masood Ahmad from Doda was associated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
“He, however, worked closely with the LeT after a militant from Doda, Haroon Wani, forged unity among the two groups in Jammu region,” a top police source said. Wani, a business graduate, was killed in January this year.
With Masood’s killing, police have officially declared Doda district to he free of militants now. “There are no more militants in that area,” a police spokesperson said.
The gunfight today took place in Khull Chohar village in Shangus area of Anantnag district.
A senior police official said that there were regular inputs regarding presence of militants in the area. “Today, following specific inputs, a cordon and search operation was launched and soon contact was established with the holed-up militants,” the police official said.
He said that the militants were holed up in a shed and were asked to surrender. “They however opened fire and the fire was retaliated. All three militants were gunned down in the exchange of fire,” he said.
Police have retrieved all three bodies of the militants. An AK-47 and two pistols have also been recovered from their possession.
“Identities of the slain are being ascertained,” the official said, adding that the bodies after medico-legal formalities will be sent to an undisclosed location for burial.
The authorities meanwhile snapped mobile internet services across Anantnag district, soon after the first shots were fired in the area.
Also, as the news spread about Khan getting killed in the gunfight, restrictions were imposed in main town Anantnag, the Lal Chowk area in particular. So far there have been no reports of any protests from anywhere in the district.