SRINAGAR, OCT 11: In a major breakthrough, two top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, including a former Ph.D scholar-turned-terrorist Manan Bashir Wani, were killed in a fierce encounter at Handwara in frontier district of north Kashmir.
The encounter broke out in the early hours at Satgund in Handwara following a specific intelligence about the presence of Wani, 27, along with two others.
The encounter began after the police and other security forces were fired upon by Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists holed up in the area which resulted in a heavy exchange of fire between the two sides.
The firing continued till 11 AM.
During the encounter, the J&K Police made repeated announcements on the public address system appealing to the terrorists to surrender.
There was a lull in firing at around 9 AM, prompting the police to initiate search operation at the encounter site, but the same had to be suspended after firing resumed after 15 minutes, the officials said.
Meanwhile, the killing of two terrorists in the Handwara encounter has evoked a sharp reaction from Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
In a series of tweets, PDP chief regretted the killing of Wani and also called for finding a peaceful solution through dialogue with all stakeholders to end the bloodshed in the Valley.
”Today a Ph.D. scholar chose death over life & was killed in an encounter. His death is entirely our loss as we are losing young educated boys every day. It is high time that all the political parties in the country realise the gravity of this situation and try to facilitate a solution through dialogue with all the stakeholders including Pakistan to end this bloodshed,” she said in her tweets.
Wani, who was enrolled as a Ph.D. scholar with the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), joined militant ranks in January this year.