Police deserter among two top-ranking militants killed in Shopian gunfight

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Qayoom Khan
Pulwama, April 7 (GNS): In a major setback to Hizbul Mujahideen, two top militants including a police deserter and a District Commander were killed by government forces in a pre-dawn surgical operation at south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Police said acting on specific information about the presence of militants in Vehil village of Shopian, a joint tea of army’s 62 RR, police’s SOG and CRPF cordoned off the area and launched a search operation. During the search the hiding militants opened fire which was retaliated, triggering an encounter,” said a police official here.
However, an official source disclosed to Srinagar-based news agency GNS that the militants were killed in an ambush. “The duo was in a house and they came out for performing ablution for Fajr prayers. As soon as they came outside, government forces opened a volley of fire on them, killing both on the spot,” the source said.
Police identified the two slain militants as Hizb District Commander, Anam-ul-Haq Malla alias Waseem alias Rizwan of Pahlipora Trenz in Shopian and deserter, Naseer Ahmad Pandith of Karimabad in Pulwama, who was active since 2015 after deserting from the Police department along with service weapons.
“Two AK-47 rifles, 183 rounds, 06 magazines, 02 grenades, 02 LTPE, 02 electric detonator, 01 wire cutter, 01 HM letter pad, 01 Scissor and cash Rs. 6,500 were recovered from the encounter site,” the police said.
The police said Anam-ul-Haq Malla was active from year 2012 and was involved in many militancy related activities including attack on police guard deployed at Pargochi Shopian where he had snatched two SLR rifles. “He was involved in firing on a civilian Mohammad Rafiq Malla resident of Pahlipora in which latter was critically injured.
“Wasim was involved in firing on police Guard at Pinjoora in 2012. In 2013 he was involved in firing on Police party at Imam Sahib and firing on Police Station Zanipora Shopian. In 2014 he was involved in the killing of a civilian Naseer Ahmad resident of Gugloora, Shopian and attack on a police Party at Bungam Shopian in which some policemen were injured,” the police said.
Police claimed that in 2015 he was involved in the killing of three police personnel at Ashipora, Shopian and lobbing of a grenade at Batpora Chowk, Shopian in which 16 civilians were injured.
“He was Involved in killing of a civilian Rasik Ahmad Khan resident of Wasohallan, Shopian, and also in an attempt to snatch weapons from police guard at Court Complex Shopian,” the police added.
With regard to Naseer Pandith, police said he too was involved in the killing of three police personnel at Aishipora, Shopian last year after deserting from the police along with service weapons. Naseer, before deserting police, was posted as PSO of former R&B Minister, Altaf Bukhari.
A senior police official said that the killing of Waseem and Naseer is a major blow to Hizb and its top commander Burhan Muzzafar Wani as the duo belonged to “Burhan group” and had appeared in several pictures and a video with him.
Meanwhile, police and army started a cordon and search operation at Chontipora and Kanlipora villages of Verinag in Anantnag district after unidentified gunmen resorted to firing. The operation was underway when reports last came in. (GNS)