Second gunfight in less than 24 hours in Dachnipora area; Ansar still not ‘wiped out’ in Kashmir
Bijbehara: Two militants of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGuH), the purported offshoot of Al-Qaeda, were killed in a “chance encounter” with government forces here in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district on Wednesday, police said. The killings came a little less than three years after the group was declared as “wiped out” by the police in Kashmir.
The gunfight today was the second in less than twenty-four hours here in Dachnipora area of Bijbehara. Two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants were killed in a gunfight Tuesday afternoon in Poshkreeri area of the Dachnipora belt.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Vijay Kumar said that it was a chance encounter wherein the two militants were killed. He said that the militants have been identified as Fayaz Ahmad Kumar and Owais Khan, linked to the AGuH.
“They were involved in many crimes, including an attack on a policeman in Cheeniwudder area of Srigufwara on July 3, earlier this year. The policeman Firdaus Ahmad Dar was seriously injured,” Kumar said.
He added that the recent attack on a policeman, near Dara Shikoh garden in Bijbehara town, was also carried out by these two. “An SPO of the police was injured in the attack,” he said.
He, however, did not delve into any other operational details of the gunfight apart from calling it a chance encounter. A senior police official from the area said that the details about the gunfight will be given out in a police press release later.
“For now, the bodies have been retrieved along with arms, ammunition, and some incriminating material,” he said, adding that the bodies will be sent to North Kashmir for burial after completion of medico-legal formalities.
The authorities have refused to hand over bodies of slain militants to their families, citing Covid protocol, since April 2020. The practice of burying militants at undisclosed locations in presence of a few family members has continued ever since. This has prevented people from holding massive funeral prayers for slain militants, wherein tens of thousands of people would normally participate.
This was the third gunfight in September. The first one in Shopian concluded after militants managed to escape and the second one on Tuesday, in the same area as today’s, led to the killing of two militants.
Today’s gunfight is significant, given the fact that AGuH was declared “wiped out” in October 2021, by Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh. He had done so after three militants of the outfit were killed in a gunfight in the Tral area of Pulwama district here in south Kashmir.