Three Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants, including a Police deserter and a top-ranking commander, were killed in a gunfight with troops in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Monday, Police said.
Troops launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in Wacchi area of Shopian following information about the presence of militants there, a Police official said.
He said the militants were asked to surrender but they chose to open fire at the troops.
“In the ensuing gunfight, three militants of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were killed,” the official said.
One of the militants was identified as Adil Ahmad, a Special Police Officer who deserted J&K Police in 2018. He had decamped with seven AK assault rifles and a pistol from the official residence of then MLA Wachi Aijaz Ahmad Mir from Jawahar Nagar area in the city, the official said.
The other two militants were identified as Waseem Wani and Jahangir, he said.
Terming the killing of three militants as a major success, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were on the “verge of elimination” in south Kashmir.
The Police force has made a successful start to 2020, he said.
The operations have been successful due to increased movement of troops following leads provided by militants arrested along with Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh, now suspended, on January 11, he said.
The DGP said Wani was one of the top-ranking commanders of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
“He was involved in 19 cases, including killings of four civilians and as many policemen. Adil was also involved in some of these killings after he deserted the Police force in September 2018,” he said.
Singh said the elimination of this group of militants would remove fear from the minds of people in Shopian and bring closure to the kin of their victims.