Srinagar: A district commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen was among three militants killed in two separate gunfights between militants and government forces in Srinagar and Kulgam districts of Kashmir, Friday.
Inspector General of Kashmir (IGP), Vijay Kumar, has congratulated the police and forces for working in “great synergy” on the two operations.
“133 militants, including some top commanders have been eliminated this year,” Kumar has said.
The first gunfight took place in Chancer village in Chawalgam area of Kulgam district in south Kashmir.
“The gunfight, wherein one militant was killed Thursday evening resumed this morning after remaining suspended for the night,” a senior police official from the area said.
He said that repeated announcements were made and the holed up militant was given a chance to surrender but he did not budge.
“He continued firing from the residential house, he was holed up in, and was killed late Friday morning as the fire was duly retaliated,” the official said.
Slain militants in the Kulgam gunfight were later identified as Shiraz Ahmad, alias Shiraz Moulvi, a resident of Souch village in Kulgam district, and Yawar Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Pounipora Kulgam.
Molvi, also known as Abu Haris, was one of the longest surviving militants in south Kashmir. As per police reports he joined the militant outfit in 2016 and has been active ever since.
“He was a self-styled district commander of the outfit and has his name in as many as 15 FIR’s, including killing of political workers in Brazloo and Devsar areas of the district,” the police official said.
Police have maintained that Molvi also recruited a number of militants in Kulgam district, while they termed his killing as a “huge success”.
“His name was in the most wanted list of militants as well,” the police official said. Meanwhile the bodies of the two slain militants have been sent to Srinagar for medico-legal formalities following which they will be sent to an undisclosed location for burial.
Police have refused to handover bodies of militants to their families since April last year citing Covid protocol as a reason. A few close family members are at times allowed to attend the burial.
Local sources in Kulgam said that the house, where militants were holed up, was completely damaged as forces used heavy explosives to blow it apart and kill the two militants.
The second gunfight took place in Bemina area of Srinagar where the police said militants had attacked a naka party of the forces.
“There were inputs regarding an attack in the area subsequent to which a few nakas were established in Bemina area,” a police official from Srinagar told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the militants, late Thursday evening, opened fire at one of these Nakas near Bund in Bemina.
The fire, he said, was retaliated, triggering a gunfight. “One militant was killed in the gunfight and his body has been retrieved,” the police official said.
The slain militant has been identified as Amir Riyaz, a resident of Khrew on the outskirts of Srinagar city.
Amir, police said, was a part of a previously unheard of militant outfit Mujahideen Ghazwatul Hind.
“He is a relative of one of the militants involved in Pulwama attack and had been assigned to carry out a similar attack,” the police official said, adding that the “digital evidence” in his phone made it clear that he was tasked with carrying out a Fidayeen attack.
Amir’s body has also been taken to an undisclosed location for burial. Police have also maintained that an AK-47 rifle and a pistol has been recovered from the Kulgam gunfight site and an AK-47 from the Bemina encounter site.
“We have retrieved some incriminating material from the possession of the militants as well. Investigation has been taken up,” the official said.