Pulwama gunfight: Slain was lone surviving militant of ‘terror’ hot-bed Zainapora, say police

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A top commander of militant outfit Hizb ul Mujahideen was killed in an overnight gunfight at Usgam Pathri area of Rajpora hamlet in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, officials said on Wednesday.

A senior police officer told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that a militant has been killed who has been identified as Feroz Ahmad Dar of Heff Shopian.

Feroz was district commander of Hizb who had joined militant ranks in 2017 and was the lone surviving militant in Zainapora hamlet of Shopian which was known as the hot bed of militancy.

Earlier on Tuesday late night, an official said that a joint team of Police, Army and CRPF launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on specific information about the presence of militants in the area. He said that as the joint team of forces approached the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them, which retaliated, triggering an encounter.

A police spokesman in a statement to KNO said that Police and Security forces neutralized ‘A+’ categorized militant outfit HM involved in several crimes including attack on Minority Guard in year 2018 at Zainapora, Shopian, in which four Police personnel were killed.

“During the intervening night of 14/15 December, acting on a specific input regarding the presence of a militant in village Uzrampathri area of Pulwama, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 44RR and 182Bn CRPF in the area,” he said. “During the search operation, as the presence of militant got ascertained, he was given repeated opportunities to surrender; however he fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter.”

The spokesman said that in the ensuing gunfight, one militant of HM was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter. “He has been identified as Feroz Ahmad Dar son of Abdul Khaliq resident of Heff-Shrimal Shopian,” he said. “As per police records, the killed militant was A+ categorized militant and was part of groups involved in several cases including attacks on government forces and civilian atrocities.”

The spokesman said that the killed militant was active since 2017 and involved in several cases.

“Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including one AK rifle along with three magazines were also recovered from his possession. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation,” the police spokesman said. “Police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated. People are requested to cooperate with Police till the area at gunfight site is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any.”—(KNO)

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