Three Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants, including the one involved in the killing last year of Army jawan Aurangzeb, were Saturday killed in a pre-dawn operation by security forces in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. Based on a credible input, a cordon and search operation was launched by police and security forces in the early hours in the Panzgam area of Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, a police spokesman said.
During the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party, which retaliated, he said. In the ensuing encounter, three militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter, the spokesman said.
He said the slain militants have been identified as Showkat Dar of Panzgam in Awantipora, Irfan War of Wadoora Payeen in Sopore and Muzaffar Sheikh of Tahab in Pulwama.
The spokesman said that according to police records the three were affiliated to proscribed Hizbul Mujahideen and were wanted for their complicity in a series of terror crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities, he said. As per police records, Dar was involved in planning and executing series of terror attacks in the area and many other civilian atrocities, he said.
“Dar was part of a group involved in killing of Army jawan Aurangzeb in 2018 and in the killing of a policeman Aqib Ahmad Wagay the same year. Several terror crime cases were registered against him,” the police spokesperson said.
Aurangzeb was abducted and killed by militants in Pulwama in June last year while he was on his way to home in Poonch for celebrating Eid. The spokesman said War was part of terror groups responsible for conspiring and executing attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities in the area.
“Accordingly, terror crime cases were registered against him. Similarly, Sheikh, as per police records, was also involved in several terror attacks on security establishments in the area. Several criminal cases were registered against him for terrorist activities,” he said.
Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter, the spokesman said, adding police have registered a case and all these materials have been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes. He said no collateral damage took place during the exchange of fire.