Manan Wani among 2 militants killed in encounter

Manan was enrolled as a PhD scholar at Aligarh Muslim Universty (AMU) before joining militant ranks in January this year.

Hizbul commander Manan Wani.

Two militants, including Aligarh Muslim Universty (AMU) scholar-turned-Hizbul commander Manan Wani, were killed in an encounter with the security forces in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s frontier district Kupwara on Thursday.
 
A senior army official confirmed the killing of Manan and another local militant, identified as Ashiq Tanwari, in the gunfight that raged intermittently since 2:30 am in Shatgund, Handwara, 75 km from Srinagar, following a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO).
 
The encounter started after army and police cordoned off the village following intelligence inputs about the presence of some militants, including Manan in the area, sources said. There was a lull in firing at around 9 am, prompting the police to initiate search operation at the encounter site, but the same had to be suspended after firing resumed after 15 minutes.
 
Manan was enrolled as a PhD scholar with the AMU before joining militant ranks in January this year. Sources said Manan along with two of his accomplice had come to the area to receive a group of recently infiltrated militants. “There is a possibility that the infiltrated group is hiding in the nearby forest area,” they revealed.
 
Manan, who hailed from a well-off family of Tekipora in Lolab, Kupwara, was being projected as the new poster boy of the militancy in Kashmir by Hizbul Mujahideen after Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in July 2016.
 
Manan was studying at the AMU’s Department of Geology for around four years. He had chosen to specialise in Applied Geology and had won an award for the best paper presented at an international conference in 2016.
 
Immediately after his pictures flaunting an assault rifle cum grenade launcher surfaced on social media in January this year, his parents and security agencies tried their best to get him back. Wani's distressed mother had urged her son to shun the path and come back home.
 
“I haven't hurt you nor refused any of your any decisions. If I ever did anything, please forgive me and come back. Shun the militancy path and join the family members again," Manan's mother said, then.
 
However, Manan remained firm on his decision to join the militant ranks and reportedly said, “the militants don’t fight to die but to win and don't feel dignity in death but feel dignity in fighting Indian forces.”
 
Meanwhile, authorities suspended Internet services in entire north Kashmir and some parts of south Kashmir “as a precautionary measure.” Educational institutions were also closed in various parts of the Valley in the wake of the gunfight.
 
This was the first encounter reported in the valley after four phase municipal polls began in J&K on October 8.

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Manan Wani among 2 militants killed in encounter

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