Two post-Burhan terrorists killed in chance encounter with Police
Mob clash with Police, CRPF at several places in Pulwama district
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR: Two of the 40-odd youths, who joined militancy in South Kashmir after the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani’s death in July 2016, got killed on Sunday in a chance encounter with Jammu and Kashmir Police at Padgampora, in Pulwama district.
Superintendent of Police Pulwama, Rayees Mohammad Bhat, told STATE TIMES that he was driving from Pulwama to Awantipora in a cavalcade of five bullet-proof vehicles, alongwith SP Awantipora, Mohammad Zahid, when a Maruti-800 car bearing registration number JK 13-A 0764 appeared suddenly from a link road near Padgampora.
It slowed down and its driver attempted to turn it back. A long-haired and bearded militant opened fire on the last vehicle of Additional SP Pulwama Mr Chandan.
“Our PSOs and escort personnel quickly retaliated the firing, killing both the militants on the front seat. One militant wielding a pistol jumped out and succeeded to escape. It was a face-to-face encounter as we clearly spotted the three militants without any confusion”, SP Pulwama said.
The militants killed in the encounter were later identified as Shehbaz Shafi Wani alias Rayees Kachru alias of Below Dargund village of Rajpora Pulwama and Farooq Ahmad Hurra alias Suad Bhai alias Abu Bakr of Nazneenpora Shopian. One AK-47 rifle and one SLR, that had been snatched away by militants from a minority guard at Tumlahal village on October 8, 2016, were recovered along with two bodies from the car.
Director General of Police, Dr Shesh Pal Vaid, earlier told STATE TIMES that the two terrorists of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba were gunned down by the Police party without any collateral damage. He said that the Police cavalcade was ambushed when it was on way to Awantipora after attending a meeting with Chief Electoral Office at Pulwama. IGP Kashmir, Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani, asserted at a news conference at Awantipora that both the terrorists were eliminated in a neat and clean operation. He said it was a major setback to LeT.
According to Police records, Rayees Kachru had joined militancy in June 2016 but he had become active after the Hizb terrorist Burhan Wani’s death on July 8 that triggered a four-month-long street turbulence and shutdown across Kashmir valley. In addition to snatching away weapons from Police guards, he was allegedly involved in an attack on the former Minister and PDP MLA Syed Bashir’s residence as also a grenade attack on the CRPF camp Hall on January 25 this year. Active as a militant previously, Farooq Ahmad Hurra had been recycled as a terrorist after his release. He was wanted in some matters including grenade attacks in Pulwama-Shopian belt.
On March 9, two prominent militants of Hizbul Mujahideen, namely Jehangir Ganai of Koil and Shafi Shergujri of Bandarpora had been killed in a fierce encounter at Padgampora. Amid intense stone pelting from the mobs, attempting to disrupt the security forces’ operation, a 20-year-old civilian Aamir Nazir Wani of Begambagh had also got killed. Police maintained that he was hit by a stray bullet.
Even as Police did not face much of resistance on Sunday at Padgampora, a shutdown was enforces in a vast area. After the bodies were handed over to the two families, mobs gathered at Below Dargund, Rajpora, Pulwama, Nikus, Hall and Nazneenpora and enaged Police and CRPF in intense clashes.
At Below Dargund, where the slain militant Shehbaz Wani’s residence is situated within 500 meters of the ancestral residences of Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu and Justice Mansoor Mir, over 500 people attacked a CRPF camp. Police and paramilitary forces dispersed the crowds with baton charge and tear smoke.
Official sources in Pulwama said that PDP’s candidate from Anantnag for the Lok Sabha by-election and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s brother Tassaduq Mufti was addressing a workers meeting alongwith the PDP youth leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra in Pulwama town when the two militants got killed in the chance encounter with Police at Padgampora.
Terrorists strike at Minister’s house;
2 guards injured, 5 rifles looted
SRINAGAR: Unidentified gunmen, believed to be Hizbul Mujahideen cadres, have attacked parental house of the PDP leader, MLA Dooru and Minister of Hajj and Auqaf Syed Farooq Andrabi at Shishtergam, in Dooru area of Anantnag district late on Sunday night.
Reports awaiting official confirmation said that a group of armed terrorists appeared at the house of Andrabi’s father at 10.30 pm and attempted to snatch away weapons from the Police guards. As two guards reportedly put up resistance, the terrorists opened fire and left both of them injured.
Reports said that the terrorists decamped with five SLRs.
SP Anantnag Zubair Ahmed and ASP Operations Mubashir Bhukari, who were driving towards Shishtergam, did not respond to phone calls.