Srinagar, Dec 28: A militant of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) was killed by security forces in an encounter which ensued during a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in south Kashmir district of Pulwama on Friday, official sources said.
However, two militants have reportedly managed to escape during the operation which has now ended, they said.
Meanwhile, the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) Awantipora suspended classes and directed students and teaching staff to leave while authorities suspended internet service in Pulwama as a precautionary measure to prevent rumours.
Sources said on a tip off about the presence of militants in hilly orchard Rinzipora Banderpora, Awantipora in Pulwama, troops of Rashitriya Rifles (RR), Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police and CRPF launched a joint search operation this morning.
However, when the security forces were moving towards particular area in hilly orchards, militants hiding there opened fire with automatic weapons, they said adding security forces also retaliated ensuing in an encounter. A militant was killed in the encounter, they said adding two militants managed to escape.
The slain HM militant was identified as Ishfaq Yousuf Wani a resident of village Quil, Pulwama.
The authorities suspended internet service in Tral, Pulwama and Awantipora as a precautionary measure.
The IUST suspended clashes and all examinations which were scheduled today. Students and teaching staff who had arrived at the campus were directed to leave. Students said as the classes were just to start they were asked to leave to their homes in university buses. They said several times the university buses were caught in stone pelting during demonstrations at Awantipora chowk.
Meanwhile, thousands of people participated in his last rites that was held at his native village Koil. Ishfaq Yousuf was laid to rest amid pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans.
Ishfaq who came from an affluent family and own his own shopping complex was an MBA student. He completed his studies at Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University. “He left home on 19 July this year with a word that he will pursue PhD course and after that we never saw him. We came to know through social media that he has joined militant ranks,” said one of his relatives.
He said Ishfaq was a born businessman. “He was witty and had set up his own shopping complex. He could have earns millions while sitting at home,” he added.
Ishfaq had lost his father Muhammad Yousuf on 31 August 1996 in a gunfight at Pinglena Pulwama. “His father was a top Hizb commander and an expert in making explosive substances for his outfit,” locals said.