Srinagar: Two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants, one of them son of a former slain commander of the outfit ‘colonel Jameel’, were killed in an encounter with government forces in Tikken area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district where internet services were snapped and clashed ensued soon after the gunfight on Saturday.
A police officer said that police and government forces in the wee hours launched a cordon and search operation in Tikken area based on “credible inputs” about the presence of militants in the area.
As the search operation was going on, the spokesman said, hiding militants fired on the search party. “The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the officer said, adding, “In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. “
The slain were identified as Liyaqat Munir Wani of Below Pulwama and Wajid-ul-Islam of Bhabhar Pulwama.
“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police have registered a case and initiated investigation in the instant matter,” the official said and issued an appeal to people not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any.”
Meanwhile, multiple number of funerals were held for the slain duo at their respective native villages of Below and Bhabhar.
Son of a former militant, Munir Ahmed Wani alias Colonel Jameel, Liyaqat was a brilliant student and had secured 92% marks in the graduation. He was also a close relative of Manan Wani, the scholar turned militant commander who was killed on October 11 in a gunfight in the home district of north Kashmir. At Wajid’s funeral, reports said, militants appeared and offered a gun salute to him.
Meanwhile, as soon as the gunfight broke out, mobile internet service was suspended in Pulwama district. With the confirmation of the militants killing, there was also spontaneous shutdown in Pulwama.
Also, massive clashes erupted in main town Pulwama as soon as the news of the killing of the militants spread. Scores of youth took to streets in the main town and resorted to stones pelting on government forces who responded by firing tear gas shells.
Also in Tral town, a complete shutdown was observed against the yesterday’s killing of Jaish-e-Mohammad militant Anwar. All the shops and business establishments remained closed while transport was mainly off the roads.