Tral brothers: two gunfights, a decade apart

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The brothers of two among the seven Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) militants, who were killed in two separate south Kashmir gunfights, were also part of the insurgency and were killed in the last decade. 

The government forces killed seven militants of the Al-Qaeda’s Kashmir off-shoot on Friday, including the commander Imtiyaz Shah and Kashif Mir, a recent recruit and the cousin of popular Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani.

Mir’s elder brothers — Nayeem Mir and Adil Mir — and Shah’s elder brother, Adil Shah, residents of Tral’s Dadsara and Rathsuna villages, respectively, were initially associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen during the early years of last decade. Adil Mir was then the divisional commander of the militant outfit. 

On 19 June 2014, Mir and Shah were killed together in a gunfight with the government forces in Buchoo village of Tral district. A joint party of the police, the paramilitary, and the army’s 3 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) had cordoned the village and the gunfight had broken out in an orchard. 

Other than Mir and Shah, Tariq Ahmed Parrey of Laribal, was also killed in the 2014 gunfight. Two army personnel had suffered injuries.

Elder brother of Imitiaz Shah, Adil Shah was pursuing a diploma in paramedics from Pulwama before he left his home on 17 April 2012 to join militancy. He survived for twenty-six months before he was trapped in the deadly gunfight in June 2014. 

Before 19-year-old Kashif Mir, a student of the eleventh standard joined militant ranks in March 2021, his two elder brothers were part of the insurgency in Kashmir. His eldest brother, Nayeem Mir, a student of Bachelor of Technology, was killed in a gunfight in September 2010. A month later, Aadil Mir joined the insurgency. 

Aadil Mir swiftly took the responsibility of the divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen and appeared in the most wanted list of the government forces. He, however, simultaneously bred differences with the Hizb leadership.

The younger brothers of Hizbul Mujahideen militants, Imtiyaz and Kashif, picked up the arms under the banner of the AGH, which was founded by Zakir Musa after he defected from the Hizb in May 2017.

Imtiyaz and Kashif were trapped in cordons at separate places in Shopian and Tral yesterday and today. The government forces zeroed-in in Shopian town’s Jan Mohalla, where five militants including Kashif were trapped. In a separate cordon and search operation, Imtiyaz and another militant of the AGH were trapped in Tral. 

By Friday morning, the government forces killed seven militants. The chief of Jammu and Kashmir police said that with these killings, the AGH has been wiped out once again.

Dilbag Singh, Jammu and Kashmir police chief, said that after these killings, Al-Qaeda’s offshoot has been wiped out, again. “Five terrorists in first and two in the second operation neutralised,” said Singh. “Both the terrorist groups are from the same outfit. Seven AK and two pistols recovered.”

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