SRINAGAR: Two militants including a police deserter belonging to pro-Pakistan militant group Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
Defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel N N Josh said early this morning, army, police and paramilitary CRPF men launched a well coordinated, swift and surgical operation in Vihil village of Shopian district in south Kashmir, about 55 kms from summer capital Srinagar, after receiving information about presence of some militants in the village.
He said as the security men were zeroing-in on the militant hide-out, they came under jheavy volume of fire from the hiding militants.
“The fire was returned by the security men and in the ensuing gunfight, two local Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed,” Joshi said adding two AK 47 rifles and other ammunition were recovered from the slain militants.
He identified the deceased militants as Naseer Ahmad Pandit and Wasim Ahmad Malla alias Rizwan, both local militants.
A police official said both militants were part of the group of Kashmir militancy’s new poster boy and HM commander Burhan Wani. Both had figured in the pictures and videos released by Burhan in the past.
Termed their killing as major achievement for security forces and jolt for Hizbul Mujahideen, he said Malla was District commander of the militant outfit.
“One of the slain militants Naseer Pandit was a former policeman. He had deserted police force in March 2015,” he said.
“Pandit was posted at the residence of senior PDP leader and former minister Altaf Bukhari in Srinagar when he deserted the police force. He had decamped with two weapons and later joined the Hizb,” the police officer said adding he was involved in many militancy incidents.
He further said Malla was active since May 2012. “He was also involved in many militant activities including killing of three unarmed police men in Shopian last year and snatching of weapons from the security men”.