Srinagar: Three local militants of newly formed Ansar Ghazwatul Hind outfit of top commander Zakir Musa were killed on Wednesday in a brief gunfight at Tral area of Pulwama district in south Kashmir.
Police said that the government forces after receiving specific information about the presence of militants cordoned off Gulab Bagh village of Tral. “As the forces were conducting the search operation, the hiding militants fired upon them. The security forces retaliated, leading to an encounter,” a police official said.
However reports said that the militants were taking bath in a local stream and were zeroed in after which they were gunned down. The police said that three militants of Zakir Musa’s group identified as Zahid Ahmad Bhat resident of Nowdal Tral, Mohammad Ishaq Bhat resident of Batagund Tral and Mohammad Ashraf Dar resident of Baghi Trich, Pulwama were killed. “Two AK 47 rifles and one pistol were seized from the encounter site,” the police official said.
According to a police spokesman, “Mohd Ishaq Bhat was involved in firing upon police personnel HC Ab Gani Bhat resulting in his grievous injuries. He was also involved in visualising thrashing and torturing of some SPOs on gunpoint and circulated the same on social media.”
The spokesman said that Zahid Rashid Bhat was involved in hurling grenade on CRPF men which resulted in injuries to one CRPF personnel. “Both Ishaq and Zahid were also involved in firing incident at Tral-i-Payeen Bazaar resulting in injuries to 03 persons and firing incident at T-Chowk, Tral. They were also involved in various grenade attacks in South Kashmir,” he added.
In the meanwhile, Hizbul Mujahideen operational spokesman was quoted by various media outlets as having said that the trio was killed when they were on way to re-join the outfit. Pertinently, all the three militants were earlier affiliated with Hizb and after the formation of Ansar group of Zakir, they joined it, police sources said.
After the gunfight raged, Internet and voice call services in whole of Pulwama district were shut by authorities. Reports said that besides the slain militants, some two-three militants were also trapped but they managed to escape.