SRINAGAR – Three Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants were killed in Pahalgam area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday and included “Ashraf Molvi” who figured in top ten wanted list released by the police last year and the outfit’s oldest surviving member, officials said.
“On May 5, Anantnag Police alongwith Army (19RR) arrested a (militant) of HM identified as Mohammad Ishfaq Shergojri resident of Nowgam Verinag during a CASO at Kokernag area of Anantnag. During the sustained interrogation of the arrested (militant), leads were developed and several CASOs were conducted in various areas of Anantnag,” a police spokesman said in a statement.
“One of such joint cordon and search operation launched by Police and Army (3rd RR) in forest area of Sirchan Top (East of Batkot Pahalgam) area of Anantnag turned into encounter,” he said.
During the operation, he said, as the joint party proceeded towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired on the joint party which was retaliated, leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, he said, three militants of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They have been identified as Mohammad Ashraf Khan alias Ashraf Molvi alias Mansoor-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rafiq Drangay and Roshan Zameer Tantray alias Aqib.
As per police records, he said, all the three categorized militants and were part of groups involved in several cases including attacks on Police and security forces.
As per police records, he said, Molvi was the oldest surviving militant of Hizb and figured among the list of most wanted militants after recycling in year 2013. He had a long history of cases which include attacks on Police/SF and civilians. “He was involved in killings of Ct Imtiyaz Ahmad at Bus Stand Anantnag on 09/09/2017, Mohd Saleem Dar resident of Larkipora, Fatehpora Anantnag on 02/04/2020, ASI Mohammad Ashraf near Police Station Bijbehara on 22/12/2021, HC Ali Mohd Ganie at Hasanpora Tabeela on 29/01/2022,” he said, adding, “Besides, he was also well trained in fabricating and planting of IEDs as he had crossed over to (PaK) in year 1999 to get illegal arms training and join (militant) folds.” He was also instrumental in reviving the militant folds of Hizb in Anantnag by recruiting the “gullible youth” into militant folds, the spokesman said. Moreover, he said, on his directions militants killed Sarpanch Ghulam Rasool Dar and his wife Jawahara Begum at Lal Chowk Anantnag on 9 August 2021.
Similarly, he said Roshan Zameer Tantray was active since year 2018 and involved in several cases including killings of Mohammad Saleem Dar resident of Larkipora, Fatehpora Anantnag on 02/04/2020, ASI Mohammad Ashraf near Police Station Bijbehara on 22/12/2021, HC Ali Mohd Ganie at Hasanpora Tabeela on 29/01/2022. “He was also involved in killing of a truck driver namely Narayan Dutt resident of Sara Kotla Katra Reasi who was loading apple in his truck bearing registration No. JK02AQ-6571 at Fruit Mandi Kanalwan.”
Moreover, he said the Drangay was active since year 2019 and involved in several cases including killings of ASI Mohammad Ashraf near Police Station Bijbehara on 22/12/2021 and HC Ali Mohd Ganie at Hasanpora Tabeela on 29/01/2022.
“Incriminating materials, huge cache of arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site of encounter.”
Meanwhile, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar “congratulated” joint team for neutralizing the most wanted militants and conducting operation in a professional manner without any collateral damage, the spokesperson said. He also termed this operation as a major success as the site of operation is close to Yatra route which indicates that the killed militants were eyeing to target Amarnath Yatra-2022.