Two Al-Badr militants killed in Pulwama Gunfight: Police

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Srinagar, April 28: Two Al-Badr militants were killed in a gunfight in Mitrigam area of Murran of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, police said Thursday.

A police official said that based on specific input generated by Pulwama Police regarding presence of militants in village Mitrigam area of Pulwama, a joint cordon & search operation was launched by Police, Army (44RR) and CRPF in the said area.

“During the search operation, as the joint search party proceeded towards suspected spot the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” he said, adding that, “In the initial exchange of fire, one security force personnel received gunshot injuries. He was immediately evacuated to hospital for treatment of his injuries.

However, the operation was halted to ensure safe evacuation of all the civilians trapped around the encounter site. Moreover, all due precautions were also taken to avoid any collateral damage.”

“After evacuation of civilians was done, the operation was resumed. In the ensuing operation, two local militants identified as Aijaz Hafiz of Dalipora and Shahid Ayub of Dheeri Murran linked with proscribed outfit Al-Badr were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter.” he said.

“As per police records both the killed militants were categorized militants and part of groups involved in a series of terror crimes including attacks on Police/SFs and civilian atrocities. Both the killed militants were involved in series of recent militant attacks on outside labourers in Pulwama,” he said.

The official said that “Aijaz Ahmad Hafiz was involved in firing upon outside labourers namely Sonu Sharma son of Banarasi Dass resident of Pathankote at Yadder Pulwama, Mohammad Akram son of Ab Salam resident of Bijnor UP at Arihal Pulwama and Wishwajeet Kumar son of Parwas Mandal resident of Banka Bihar at Circular Road Gangoo, Pulwama. He was also involved in firing upon bank guard namely Ab Hamid Wani resident of Tahab Pulwama and Sarpanch Gh Nabi Kumar of Panchayat Halqa Arihal B at Arihal Pulwama,” he said

He said that “besides these crimes, Aijaz Hafiz was instrumental in recruiting Shahid Ayoub Sheikh into militants ranks, who too was neutralized in the said encounter.

“Shahid Ayoub was involved in firing upon two outside labourers namely Patlashwar Kumar son of Jako Choudary and Joko Choudary son of Thaugh Choudary, both residents of Bihar at Lajoora Pulwama. Before joining ranks, he was working as a militant associate & was involved in several other crimes,” he said. “Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation.”

Inspector General of Police Kashmir range Vijay Kumar said that duo were involved in the killing of non-local labouers. “Two Ak 47 riffles were recovered from the slain,” he said.

Meanwhile, Army in a statement  said that based on specific input generated by JKP regarding the likely presence of unidentified militants in the general area of village Mitrigom, Pulwama, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by the Indian Army and JKP in the area at 3:00 PM on 27 Apr 22. At around 4:10 PM, while the initial cordon was being established, militants attempting to break cordon opened heavy fire onto the Security Forces during which an army soldier suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He was immediately evacuated to the nearest Medical Aid Post for first aid by road and subsequently by air to 92 Base Hospital.

“The militants had entered an area that comprised of a cluster of eight houses including a cowshed, with a large orchard adjoining the houses. The Cordon was reinforced and tightened around this area to prevent the escape of the militants,” it said. “Systematic evacuation of civilians from the area was undertaken in coordination with JKP. The area was kept under constant surveillance using quad copters to locate the militants.”

The statement said that at around 7:30 PM, the militants were spotted and isolated inside the cowshed. “The Cordon was readjusted around the target shed. Firefight between the militants and own Forces commenced which continued till about 9:50 PM when it was found that the one militant had been neutralised and the other grievously injured.”

“Intermittent firing continued through the night into the intervening morning of 28 Apr till around 2:15 AM when it was found that the second militant had also been neutralised.” It added.

“A search of the target area resulted in the recovery of weapons and other warlike stores. As per JKP records, the neutralised militants belonged to the LeT and have been identified as Aijaz Ah Hafiz, a resident of Delipura, Pulwama, who had been recruited on 10 Mar 22 and Shahid Ayoub Sheikh, a resident of Deri, Murren, Pulwama, recruited on 02 Apr 22,” it adds.

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