HM militant killed in Qazigund encounter

 A militant of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit was killed in a fierce gunbattle with security forces in Qazigund area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday.

Sources told Deccan Herald that the encounter between security forces and militants took place in Shimpora village of Qazigund.

“A contingent of Army’s 9 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operation Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police around 6 am cordoned off Shimpora village after receiving inputs about the presence of militants there,” they said.

“Security forces surrounded the house where the militant was holed up. He was asked to surrender but he refused and instead held the family members hostage. However, later after repeated consultations by the locals with the holed-up militants, the family members were given safe passage by him,” they added.

A senior police officer said as the cordon was tightened, the militant lobbed a rifle grenade and then resorted to indiscriminate firing on the security forces.

“The firing was retaliated triggering an encounter which lasted for around three hours. The militant gave a tough time to the security forces who later planted an improvised explosive device around the house to neutralise him,” he said.

Reports said after the blast, the firing stopped. However, the body of the killed militant was yet to be retrieved from the debris. Police, however, confirmed the identity of the slain militant as Javaid Ahmad alias Salafi.

The slain, police sources said, was a released militant. “He had joined militancy in 2002 and was booked many a times before rejoining again three months back. He was running a hosiery shop in Mattan Chowk of Anantnag town and had joined militant ranks again three months ago,” they added.

Vijay Kumar, Deputy Inspector General Police, South Kashmir, while confirming the killing of Salafi said, “Though the body of a slain militant is yet to be retrieved from the debris, he has been identified as Javaid Salafi, a local cadre of HM.

He was a grade B militant and was involved in a firing on police in Janglat Mandi area of Anantnag in November last year wherein the cop was injured and his service rifle was also snatched,” he added.

The DIG claimed that with the killing of Salafi a major tragedy was averted as he was planning to carry a major attack on an army convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway. Meanwhile, reports said soon after the gunfight, protests broke out in the area. The protests were going on until last reports came in.

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