SRINAGAR: Four Al-Badar Mujahideen militants, including a top commander, were killed and another captured alive after an encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Friday.
According to the police, the militants were involved in abduction and killing of a panch, whose body was recovered from an orchard in Shopian, as well as abduction of an Army man who is still missing.
IG, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said a joint contingent of police, CRPF and Army launched combing and search operation at an orchard in Kiloora area in the afternoon after receiving inputs about a group of militants hiding there. He said while security men were conducting searches, they came under heavy fire from militants hiding in the area.
“The fire was returned by troops and four militants were killed.” The militant captured alive was identified as Shoiab Ahmad Bhat of Awantipora, Pulwama.
The Army, however, claimed that Bhat had surrendered before the security forces. Albadar Mujahideen commander Shakoor Parray, who was a police deserter, was among those gunned down by the security personnel. Shakoor, according to the IG, was a Special Police Officer and promoted as constable. He had deserted the police rank in January 2016 and joined militant ranks.
On January 16, 2016, Shakoor, who was then posted as a security guard to a police officer in South Kashmir, had deserted the police force and decamped with four AK-47 rifles. After joining militancy, the IG said, Shakoor had revived Al-Badar and was a top commander of the outfit.
“He had recruited 10 cadres and five of them have been killed while the hunt is for the remaining militants.” The other three slain militants were identified as Suhail Bhat, Zubair Nengroo and Shakir-ul-Jabbar.
Shakir and Suhail had abducted and killed Nisar Ahmad Bhat, the panch whose body was recovered from an orchard. Nisar had gone missing on August 19 in Shopian and later militants had released an audio clip claiming they had abducted, killed him and buried his body at an undisclosed place.