Three Hizbul Mujahideen militants including brother of an IPS officer were killed in an encounter with forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday.
A police official said army’s 44 Rashtria Rifles, Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K Police and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in Shirmaal village of Shopian in the early morning today after receiving credible inputs about presence of some militants in village orchids.
He said as forces approached towards a militant hideout in karewas of Shirmaal village, militants opened fire on the search party.
“The fire was returned by troops, leading to an encounter in which three militants were killed,” the official said.
The bodies of militants were retrieved from encounter and handed over to heirs after performing legal -medical formalities
The deceased militants were identified as Amir Ahmad Bhat alias Abu Huzaif, a resident of Chidipora Shopian; Shamsul Haq Mengnoo alias Burhan Saani of Draggad Shopian and Shoib Shah son of Ghulam Rasool Shah of Shirmal Shopian.
Haq is brother of Dr Inam ul Haq Mengnoo, an IPS officer posted in North –East.
Haq haq joined militant ranks on May 22 last year. He was pursuing his BUMS degree from University of Kashmir when he joined the militant ranks.
Local residents said he was upset after 12 militants and 4 civilians were killed in twin gunfights at Draggad and Kacchidora villages of Shopian on April 1, 2018.
They said on that day seven militants were trapped in their house and killed outside the house.
Police said Haq was category C militant.
Haq, according to his family members, had left his last that if gets killed in north Kashmir, then he should be buried in Srinagar, where they are presently putting up, and in case he gets killed in south Kashmir, he be buried in Draggad.
Amir, who was a graduate, joined militant ranks on September 1, 2018 while Shoib joined militancy on December 11, 2017.
Large number of youth from various neighboring villages came out of their houses after the gunfight started and attempted to reach the encounter site.
They pelted stones on the force personnel, who retaliated by firing teargas shells and pellets to disperse them.
The locals said some youth received minor pellet injuries in forces firing.
Four photo-journalists were also injured when forces personnel fired pellets at them near Shirmaal village when they were performing their professional duties.
The mobile internet service was suspended in Shopian district after the start of gunfight.
Meanwhile, complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama against the killing of three militants in Chrar-e-Sharif area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district yesterday.