Budgam gunfight: Killed Hizb militant’s associate manages to escape

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File photo. Photograph by Vikar Syed for The Kashmir Walla
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Srinagar: A militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit was killed in an encounter with government forces at Bugam area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Sunday.

Reports said that a joint team of army, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation at Bugam village during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.

A police spokesman said that the operation was launched following specific inputs about the presence of some militants in the area. “During the search operation, the hiding militants opened fire on the joint team of forces. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight”.

During the course of gunfight, one militant was killed and his body was recovered along with arms and ammunition, the spokesman said.

The spokesman identified the slain as Hilal Ahmad Bhat of Armulla, Pulwama.

“The slain as per police records was affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit and was wanted by law for his complicity in militant crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities,” the spokesman said.

According to the Police records, Hilal Bhat had a history of crime records since 2017 and was involved in planning and executing several militant attacks in the area, the spokesman said.

“Several cases were registered against him including Case FIR No. 12/2018 pertaining to damage caused to a vehicle and residential house of a civilian at Niloora, Case FIR No. 33/2018 pertaining to a landmine blast at Gudbug Pulwama,” the spokesman said.

After conducting all medico legal formalities, the body of the slain was handed over to his family for last rites. Later, thousands of people attended his funeral at his native village.

Following the gunfight, people mostly youth took to streets and pelted stones on forces. The police and paramilitary CRPF used tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse the protesters.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses and reports said that soon after the forces call off the operation, one militant who hid himself in crop field managed to escape. In fact, they said as people reached near the encounter site they helped the militant to escape.

A police officer also confirmed that about the fleeing of the militant and identified him as Adil Gulzar Ganie, a resident of Dalwan Charsharief area.

However, he said that searches are going on to trace out the militant. (GNS)

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