SRINAGAR, APR 30:
Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including Sameer Ahmed Bhat alias ‘Sameer Tiger’, were on Monday gunned down and a civilian killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, police said.
Two armymen also suffered bullet injuries in the encounter that took place in Pulwama’s Drabgam area, police officials said.
Acting on an intelligence tip-off that militants were holed up inside a house, a joint team of personnel from the Army, the state police’s special task force and the CRPF cordoned off the area.
As the search operation closed in on the house, security personnel received a barrage of bullets in which the two armymen were injured, officials said.
The civilian was killed when security forces were trying to chase away a stone pelting mob, they said.
Civilians wanted to throng the encounter site so that the militants could run away, an official said.
Around noon, security personnel, who were fighting stone pelting from the civilians, fired at heavily at the house, thereby creating an explosion, officials said.
About an hour later, the first militant, identified as Aaquib Mushtaq, wa
killed. He was a local resident belonging to Pulwama’s Rajpora area.
Around 2.15 pm, Sameer Tiger, who is alleged to have carried out several political and civilian killings in the Pulwama area, was gunned down, the officials added.
Sameer Tiger had been involved in militancy since April 2016.
One of the injured is a Major-rank officer, who has hit by a bullet in the arm. Both the injured soldiers were evacuated to the Army’s 92 base hospital for treatment, the officials said.
The civilian killed in the clashes was identified as Shahid Ahmad Dar, they said, adding that the circumstances in which the 25-year-old youth was killed are being ascertained.
Police said that Sameer was earlier recruited as an OGW by the banned outfit HM after passing Class 8th since he had discontinued his education due to lack of interest in studies. He was involved in several stone pelting incidents prior to his militant activities. He was active in the area since May 2016 and had remained part of several cases of civilian atrocities in the area.
He was involved in the firing incident on the residential house of Ex MLA Syed Bashir Ahmad in Sheikhard and in a grenade attack on the Naka Party at Hawal, Pulwama. Besides his involvement was established in the kidnapping and firing on two civilians from Qasbayar in which one civilian Bashir Ahmad Dar had died instantly while another Altaf Ahmad Dar was seriously injured. Last year he had indiscriminately fired upon a patrolling party of 44 RR besides he had also entered into the residential houses of civilians in South Kashmir and forced them to issue video statements against the government and security agencies. Several FIRs pertaining to these incidents had been registered in Police Station Rajpora. Sameer was said to be a close confidant of HM commander Riyaz Naikoo and both had been spotted together in a video released recently on social media.
The other militant was Aqib Mushtaq Khan who was active since July 2017. He also had plotted several attacks on the security establishments in South Kashmir along with Sameer Tiger and was closely associated with him after joining the militant ranks.
Bodies of both the slain militants have been retrieved from the site of encounter. Moreover, 2 AK 47 rifles and other incriminating material have also been seized.
In the incident one civilian named as Shahid Ahmad Dar, aged 25, son of Mohd Ashraf Dar resident of Arihal Pulwama died in cross firing while some others were injured who are all stated to be stable.
Police has registered a case and investigation is on.