Two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants including a newly recruited militant were killed in a brief encounter with forces in Drabgam village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
A police spokesperson said based on a credible input about presence of militants in Drabgam village, a cordon and search operation was launched jointly by forces in the area at around 7 pm on Thursday.
He said as searches were going on, the forces came under fire from militants hiding in the area.
“The fire was returned by troops and in the ensuing encounter which continued for 25 minutes, two militants were killed,” the official said.
The deceased militants were identified as Shahid Mushtaq Baba son of Mushtaq Ahmed Baba of Drabgam, Pulwama and Inayat Abdullah Zigar son of Mohammad Abdullah Zigar of Arihal, Pulwama.
Both the militants were affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Shahid had joined militant rank in February 2018 and according to police, he was active in Shopian and Pulwama areas and involved in several attacks on forces.
“He was involved in conspiring and executing several attacks on forces’ establishments in the area including grenade attacks,” a police spokesman said.
Shahid was pursuing graduation from GDC Pulwama before joining militant ranks.
He belonged to a well off family and is survived by three siblings. His father, Mushtaq Ahmad Baba, was killed in 2004 by unknown gunmen when Shahid was only 5 years old.
Inayat, 19, went missing on January 29, 2019. He was a driving a load carrier before joining militant ranks.
The police spokesman said Inayat was an active supporter of activities of JeM for a long time though he joined the outfit as active cadre very recently.
The news of Inayat’s killing came as shock to many residents in Arihal village.
“He had gone missing three days back and we were not suspecting him to have joined militant ranks. I was shocked to know that he was killed in an encounter at Drabgam, ” a villager from Arihal village said.
Despite inclement weather, thousands of people turned attended the funeral prayers of two deceased militants in their respective villages amidst chanting pro-freedom and anti-Indian slogans.
After multiple funerals, the bodies of militants were laid to rest in their village graveyards.