Hizb militant killed in Shopian encounter

A Hizb militant was killed in a gunfight with security forces in this south Kashmir district on Friday morning.

A police official identified the slain militant as Sameer Ahmad Seh son of Abdul Aziz Seh of Sugan Shopian. “Sameer had joined Al Badar militant outfit in May 2018. However, he had recently switched over to Hizbul Mujahideen,” the official added.

He said the gunfight began at around half past six in the morning after the militants fired at a search party in Narwani village, some 12 kms from Shopian town.  “The search party, comprising army, Central Reserve Police Force and Police, had laid a siege around the apple orchards surrounding the village after receiving definite information about the presence of militants in the area. While the searches were going on, militants hiding in a thick orchard fired over the security forces. The security forces returned the fire, leading to a gunfight which ended with the killing of a militant,” he added.

While the gunfight was underway, local youths, according to another police official, poured into the streets and pelted security forces with stones.  The security forces fired tear smoke shells and shot gun pellets to disperse the protesters. A youth was injured the clashes, said a witness.  

A health official at Zainpora hospital identified the injured youth  as Shakeel Ahmad and said that he was sent to SMHS Srinagar for the specialized treatment.

As the body of the slain militant was handed over to his family, people from the village and adjoining areas arrived there to participate in his funeral prayers.  

Authorities blocked the cellular Internet services in the Shopian district and neighbouring Pulwama district.

Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a statement said, “The slain militant was affiliated with proscribed militant outfit Al-Badar and had recently joined proscribed HM. He was wanted by law for his complicity in a series of militancy related incidents including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities.”

“According to the police records, Sameer had was part of groups involved in planning & executing militant attacks in the area. As per the records available with police, several cases were registered against him including Case FIR No.62/2018  of P/S Zainapora pertaining to killing of a civilian at Zainapora Shopian, Case FIR No. 65/2018 of P/S Zainapora pertaining to killing of 4 policemen at Guard Post in Zainapora, Case FIR No. 52/2018 of P/S Zainapora pertaining to an explosion at Heff Shirmal Shopian, Case FIR No. 283/2018 of P/S Shopian pertaining to abduction of a civilian, Case FIR No. 08/2019 of P/S Zainapora pertaining to killing of a civilian at Draggad Shopian and Case FIR No. 12/2019 of P/S Zainapora pertaining to recovery of arms and ammunition from Zainapora Shopian,” the spokesman said, adding that  “Incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases.”