Foreign militant, associate among 4 killed in Hyderpora encounter
The Hyderpora encounter had started on Monday evening after Police, 2 Rashtriya Rifles and Central Reserve Police Force cordoned off the area on a specific information of the presence of militant/militants.Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Foreign militant, associate among 4 killed in Hyderpora encounter

Building owner killed in crossfire, deceased doctor was OGW: IGP; SIT constituted to check any discrepancy

Srinagar: A foreign militant, his associate, an Over Ground Worker (OGW) and the owner of the building, where an encounter in Hyderpora area here broke out Monday evening, were among those killed during the operation, police said.

Meanwhile, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to look into any discrepancy that may have occurred during the firefight. This was stated by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar, during a press conference here on Tuesday.

“Four persons including Bilal Bhai or Haider a foreign terrorist, his local associate, an OGW, and a building owner were killed in the Hyderpora encounter,” IGP Kumar said.

The Hyderpora encounter had started on Monday evening after Police, 2 Rashtriya Rifles and Central Reserve Police Force cordoned off the area on a specific information of the presence of militant/militants.

Besides two militants, others killed are Dr Mudasir Gull, a senior dental surgeon/ real estate agent - whom police termed OGW and Altaf Ahmad Bhat, owner of the building where the encounter took place. Altaf owns shops in the commercial complex at Hyderpora, where the encounter took place Monday evening.

“The building owner Altaf was killed in crossfire along with the OGW who provided his rented place to foreign terrorists for using it as a hideout,” the officer said.

"I am saying Altaf was killed in cross-firing. I am not saying if he was killed by militants or we have fired at him. During the encounter whose bullet hit him is matter of investigation. If he was hit by pistol bullet then terrorists have killed, if hit by AK rifle, then we can say he was hit by our bullet," the IGP said .

The IGP said: “Police received an input about the presence of terrorists at Hyderpora and based on that laid a cordon along with other security forces,” he said. “When the suspects were rounded up, terrorists fired upon the advancing party, which started a gunfight in which two terrorists were killed,” he said.

The Police said Dr Mudasir Gull, had rented space in the building where the encounter broke out. However, Gull was “providing shelter to Haider and his associate at this location”.

“This way he was harboring terrorists. Mudasir was also involved in ferrying Haider from the recent attack site of Jamalata Srinagar where a policeman was injured,” the IGP said. “Besides, he ferried militants from the south and north Kashmir areas.”

IGP said two pistols, two magazines, half-a-dozen mobile phones and a few computers were recovered from the site. “He (Mudasir) was also running an unauthorised call centre. This way, he was an OGW and directly involved in harbouring terrorists,” he said.

"We approached families of Mudasir and Altaf to participate in burial. Since we have apprehensions of law and order problem we cannot handover bodies to families. We took bodies to Handwara where burial took place" IGP said.

The senior police officer said that a Special Investigation Team has been formed to look into any discrepancies during the encounter. “The SIT will probe the modus-operandi of the hi-tech hideout of Hyderpora. They will also get into the details of whether terrorists were in touch with any foreign country. The team will also look into the sequence of events that led to the killing of building owner and militant associate,” he said.

A statement issued by the police regarding the Hyderpora encounter said: “On a specific input generated by Police regarding presence of terrorists in an illegal call centre rented for business in a private building in Hyderpora area of Srinagar, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 2RR & CRPF in the said area”.

“In order to show the suspect call centre in the building, owner of the building namely Altaf Ahmad as well as the tenant namely Mudasir Ahmad were also called to accompany the search party. As the search party approached towards a room in top floor of the building, the hiding terrorists started firing indiscriminately towards the party which was retaliated. However, in the initial exchange of fire, both the individuals accompanying search party received critical gunshot injuries and succumbed to their injuries. In the ensuing encounter, both the terrorists hiding in the room were eliminated and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter” said the statement.

“The killed terrorists have been identified as Haider @Bilal Bhai (a foreign Pakistani terrorist) and his associate Amir Ahmad resident of Banihal (a hybrid terrorist) who was working earlier as an OGW of LeT Commander. Preliminary investigation revealed that the killed Mudasir Ahmad was running an illegal call centre in the said building rented for business and was working as a terrorist associate” the statement said.

“Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including 02 pistols, 03 magazines, 06 mobile phones, 01 call centre (06 cabins along with 06 computers, 06 CPUs working network, VOIP enabled) various virtual numbers of foreign numbers, dairies with alpha, beta, gamma codes, 01 US map, cabins and other equipments were recovered from the site of the encounter. Besides, a hideout of terrorists with warm clothes, snow boots, kitchen equipments, food packets, TV and other necessary equipments like drug bottles, cigarette packets and 04 mobile phones were also recovered” said the statement.

The recoveries and other digital evidences indicated that a fake call centre was established to provide logistic support to the active terrorists” the police statement said.

It said the investigations also revealed that the killed foreign terrorist Haider was involved in the recent brief shoot out at Jamalatta area of Srinagar and terrorist associate Mudasir Ahmad facilitated his escape from said spot to this rented location in an Alto-800 car.

“Keeping in view the law and order scenario, all the dead bodies of the killed terrorists, associate and building owner have been sent to Handwara for burial purposes after completion of all medico-legal formalities. Police have registered case under relevant sections of law and further investigation from all the angles have been initiated`` the police statement said.

It needs to be mentioned here that Srinagar has been witnessing frequent militancy related incidents for last over a month. Last Sunday evening, a policeman was injured in militant firing in downtown area of Srinagar. The police said terrorists fired during a raid by the security forces.

There have been several incidents of targeted attacks by terrorists on migrant workers and members of minority community since last month in various parts of Kashmir including Srinagar.

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