SRINAGAR: The security forces combating a three-decade old insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday claimed that they killed a top commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and his two associates in a gun battle in southern Shopian district.
The officials said that among the slain is a former Special Police Officer (SPO) who had decamped with seven AK assault rifles and a pistol besides cash from the residence of the then PDP lawmaker Aijaz Ahmed is Srinagar’s Jawahar Nagar locality before joining the militants’ ranks in 2018.
J&K’s director general of police, Dilbag Singh, told a hurriedly called press conference here that the gun fight took place after a joint team of the Army, J&K police’s counterinsurgency Special Operations Group and the Central Reserve Police Force launched a cordon-and-search operation in Wachi village of Shopian’s Zainapora area on Monday morning.
He said that during the search operation, the militants holed up in the village opened fire on the security which was retaliated, leading to an encounter.
Terming the killing of the militant trio “a major success”, the police chief said that the Hizb is on the “verge of elimination” in south Kashmir.
“Monday’s was one of the most successful operations we have carried out, so far, this year. Three terrorists were killed. Their criminal and terror record is very huge. Among the slain is their commander Waseem Wani who was active since 2017 and currently holding an important position within the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in that area,” Singh said. He said that there are as many as 19 FIRs registered against Wani for his involvement in various terror strikes including killing four civilians and an equal number of policemen.
He said, “With the elimination of this group the fear it had instilled among the people of Shopian for some time will come down.”...