Oldest surviving Hizb militant among three killed in Pahalgam gunfight: police

As per police, Khan was the oldest surviving Hizb militant and figured among the list of most wanted militants after recycling in year 2013.
Oldest surviving Hizb militant among three killed in Pahalgam gunfight: police
Soldiers near a gunfight site in Kashmir. [Representational picture]Mubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar May 6: Three Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants including the oldest surviving militant of the outfit Mohammad Ashraf Khan alias Ashraf Molvi killed in a gunfight with security forces at Sirchan Top forest area in Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag district on Friday, police said.

As per a police spokesman, the encounter broke out during one of the several CASOs which were launched after sustained interrogation of Hizb militant Mohd Ishfaq Shergojri resident of Nowgam Verinag who was arrested at Kokernag area of Anantnag on Thursday.

"During the operation, as the joint party proceeded towards the suspected spot the hiding terrorists fired on the joint party which was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, 03 terrorists of proscribed terror outfit HM were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They have been identified as Mohd Ashraf Khan alias Ashraf Molvi/Mansoor ul Haq, Mohd Rafiq Drangay and Roshan Zameer Tantray alias Aqib, " police said.

"As per police records, all the three categorized killed terrorists were part of groups involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on Police/SF and civilian atrocities, " it added.

As per police, Khan was the oldest surviving Hizb militant and figured among the list of most wanted militants after recycling in year 2013.

"He had a long history of terror crime cases which include attacks on Police/SF and civilian atrocities. 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. Besides, he was also well trained in fabricating and planting of IEDs as he had crossed over to PoK in year 1999 to get illegal arms training and join terror folds. He was also instrumental in reviving the terror folds of Hizb in Anantnag by recruiting the gullible youth into terror folds. Moreover, on his directions terrorists killed Sarpanch Ghulam Rasool Dar and his wife Jawahara Begum at Lal Chowk Anantnag on 09/08/2021," said police.

"Similarly, the killed terrorist Roshan Zameer Tantray was active since year 2018 and involved in several terror crime cases including killings of 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 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," it added.

"Moreover, the killed terrorist Mohd Rafiq Drangay was active since year 2019 and involved in several terror crime 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".

Police said "incriminating materials, huge cache of arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site of encounter" adding a case has been registered under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar congratulated the joint team of security forces for "neutralizing the most wanted terrorists and conducting operation in a professional manner without any collateral damage". "He also termed this operation as a major success as the site of operation is close to Yatra route which indicates that the killed terrorists were eyeing to target Amarnath Yatra-2022, " a police spokesman said.

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