Two Hizbul militants killed in Anantnag

The encounter came just two days after Lok Sabha polls in Anantnag district were over. Bijbehera is the home town of regional People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. (PTI File Photo)

Two local militants affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit were killed in an encounter with security forces in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Thursday morning.

A police spokesperson said on a credible input about the presence of militants at Bagender Mohalla, Bijbehara, 48 km from here, a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) was launched by the army and special operations group of Jammu and Kashmir police.

He said the gunfight began after the militants fired upon a search party. “In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed,” the spokesperson said and identified them as Safder Bhat and Burhan Ganaie, both locals affiliated with Hizbul.

The encounter came just two days after Lok Sabha polls in Anantnag district were over. Bijbehera is the home town of regional People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

The frequency of encounters between the militants and security forces have come down in the recent weeks after the Lok Sabha polls began. Police and Army maintain that situation in Kashmir has improved during the past one year.

“Stone pelting incidents have come down considerably, law and order situation has improved, local militant recruitment has been contained and the ongoing parliamentary elections are being held peacefully,” state police chief Dilbag Singh and general officer commanding (GOC) of Srinagar based 15 Corps Lt Gen Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, told reporters on Wednesday.

According to official figures 71 militants have been killed this year while the number was 272 in 2018. Post-February 14 Pulwama fidayeen (suicide) attack, 41 militants have been killed, of them 25 belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit. 

Even the civilian casualties during encounters have gone down significantly in the first three months of this year, compared to the last year. 

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