SRINAGAR: A top militant of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in an encounter with security forces in Natnusa area of border district of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday while militants decamped with service rifle of Personal Security Officer (PSO) of BJP leader in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
“Based on specific intelligence about presence of a militant in Nagri Village near Natnusa in Kupwara district, a joint operation was launched by Army and police this morning to flush out the militant hiding there,” defence spokesman Colonel N N Joshi said.
He said after zeroing-in on the house, where the militant was hiding, security forces asked the militant to surrender. “Announcements were made through public address system to convince him to surrender. He, however, turned down the offer and fired from automatic weapons towards the search party”.
Joshi said fire was returned by the troops and in the ensuing gunfight, the Hizb divisional commander of North Kashmir was killed.
He identified the deceased militant as Sameer Ahmad Wani of Sopore. “A Chinese Pistol and ammunition was recovered from the slain militant”.
Joshi said Sameer had joined Hizb in 2014 and was involved in many militants incidents in Sopore area.
“The operation was called off after a thorough search. Later, body of the militant was handed over to the police alongwith the weapons,” Joshi said.
After the Hizb militant’s killing, people at his native place in Sopore took to roads and staged anti-Indian demonstration. Chanting pro-freedom, pro-Islamic and anti-India slogans, the agitating youth stopped a police vehicle, which was on its way from Bandipora to Kupwara, at Shiva, Sopore and set it ablaze.
Police sources said eight policemen and a detenue travelling in the vehicle managed to escape and took refuge in a nearby police station.
Later, a police contingent was rushed to the area to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, a police officer said BJP leader Abdul Rehman Chopan, who had unsuccessfully contested Assembly elections in 2014 and lives in Panzan, Chadoora in Budgam district, informed the police today that some militants barged in his house this morning and decamped with the service rifle (AK 56) of his PSO, Bashir Ahmed.
According to Chopan, the PSO was not present in the house when the incident took place.
The police officer said they have registered an FIR and started investigation.
“An alert has been sounded across the district and a manhunt has been launched to track down the militants responsible for snatching the rifle,” he said.