4 Hizb militants killed in south Kashmir encounters: Police

Says one among them involved in woman teacher’s killing last month

Srinagar: Four militants of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were killed in two separate gunfights in Kulgam and Kokernag areas of south Kashmir on Thursday. One of them, police said, was involved in the killing of woman teacher Rajni Bala from Samba in Kulgam district on May 31, police said.

“On June 14, acting on specific information about presence of (militants) in village Mishipora area of Kulgam, police along with (Army’s) 1st RR launched a cordon and search operation in the area,” a police spokesperson said in a statement to GNS.

“As the joint party proceeded towards the suspected spot, the hiding (militants) fired indiscriminately upon the search party which was retaliated effectively by the joint forces,” he said, adding, “The hiding (militants) managed to shift their base consistently in the village after the initial exchange of fire and tried to breach the cordon but the cordon remained firmly intact and search was going on from the past two days to nab them”.

On Thursday, he said, the contact was re-established with the hiding militants and the encounter resumed.

In the ensuing encounter, he said, two militants of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit were killed so far. “One of them has been identified as Zubair Sofi of Mohan Pora Kulgam who was involved in killing of woman teacher Mrs Rajni Bala on May 31,” he said, adding, “The identification of second killed (militant) is being ascertained. The operation is still in progress, he said.

Moreover, this afternoon, another anti-militancy operation was launched by Police, Army’s 19 RR and CRPF’s 164 battalion at Hangalgund area of Kokernag Anantnag. “In the operation, two (militants) were killed.”

They have been identified as Junaid Bhat of Hangulgund Kokernag and Basit Bhat of Bijbhera, both affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. “Basit was involved in killing of BJP’s Sarpanch Ghulma Rasool Dar and his wife, a Panch on 9/8/21 in Anantnag,” IGP Kashmir said in a tweet. (GNS)

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