Pulwama encounter: Hizbul militant involved in jawan Aurangzeb’s death last June among three killed

Adil Akhzer
Soldier Aurangzeb, posted at the 44 Rashtriya Rifles camp at Shadimarg in Shopian, was abducted by militants and killed on June 14, 2018. (Youtube screengrab)

Four militants were killed in separate encounters in South Kashmir s Pulwama and North Kashmir s Sopore on Saturday. One of those killed in Pulwama was part of the group that killed Armyman Aurangzeb in June last year, police said.

Twelve militants have been killed in less than two weeks in anti-militancy operations in the Valley since Lok Sabha polls ended on May 6 in Kashmir.

A J&K Police spokesperson said that based on specific input, a cordon and search operation was launched by joint forces at Panzgam area in Pulwama district on Saturday morning. As the search was underway, the hiding militants fired at the search party, triggering an encounter in which three militants affiliated to the Hizbul Mujahideen were killed.

They have been identified as Showkat Dar of Panzgam in Awantipora, Irfan War of Sopore s Wadoora Payeen and Muzaffar Sheikh of Pulwama s Tahab area, police said.

Muzaffar joined militant ranks in April last year, Irfan was active since December 2018 and Showkat joined militancy in 2016, police sources said. Showkat was part of a group involved in the killing of Army jawan Aurangzeb last year, police said. He was also involved in the killing of policeman Aqib Ahmad Wagay last year.
One militant was killed in another encounter at Hathlangoo area in Sopore, police said. Minor clashes erupted near the site later.

A police spokesman in a statement later identified the militant as Waseem Ahmad Naikoo of Barsoo Awantipora. He joined JeM after he went missing from his home in the month of February 2019.

Another exchange of fire between militants and security forces took place in South Kashmir s Anantnag district, police said. The militants managed to escape.