Hizbul militant among two killed in J-K encounter

Srinagar, Mar 28 (PTI) A Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militant, who had infiltrated from Pakistan last week, was among the two ultras killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on March 27, police said on Sunday.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the encounter in Shopian’s Wangam area began on Saturday evening and got over with the killing of two militants belonging to HM and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

“Two deadly terrorists have been killed in the operation. One of them, Inatullah Sheikh, a resident of Shopian, was active since 2018 and had gone to Pakistan that year for arms training. He returned last week only. He was with HM,” the IGP said here.

The other militant, Adil Malik, a resident of Anantnag, belonged to LeT, he said.

“One AK-47 rifle, one M4 rifle and a pistol have been recovered from the encounter site,” he said, adding that so far this year, security forces have recovered two M4 rifles from militants.

The IGP said it was more likely that Sheikh had brought the M4 rifle with him from Pakistan.

A police spokesperson said Malik, according to police records, was active since September 2020.

He said Sheikh and Malik were involved in several terror cases, including attacks on security forces and civilian atrocities.

After the presence of the militants was ascertained during the search operation, they were given an opportunity to surrender, the spokesperson said.

However, they opened indiscriminate fire on the search party that retaliated, leading to the encounter, he said.

The spokesperson said three Army jawans sustained bullet injuries during the initial exchange of fire and were evacuated to the hospital. One of the jawans, Havildar Pinku Kumar, succumbed to his injuries.

The IGP Kashmir and all ranks of Kashmir Zone Police paid rich tributes to Kumar, he said.

“We stand by his family at this critical juncture,” he said.