TWO Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed Sunday morning in an encounter in Pulwama in south Kashmir in a joint operation by the Army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles and J&K police. Police identified the militants as Shariq Ahmad Sheikh from Gulzarpora area of Awantipora and Showkat Ahmad Mir from Srigufwara in Anantnag district. Informing about the encounter, Army’s 12 sector commander Harbir Singh said two “hardcore” militants had been killed, and two weapons — one SLR rifle and one Insas rifle — recovered from them. “ We had information that terrorists were moving in the area for the last three to four days. On this input we launched a search,” he said, adding that the two were involved in “threatening” workers of various political parties and police officials.
SP, Pulwama, Mohammad Aslam Chowdhary said Sheikh had joined militant ranks some seven months ago, while Mir did so in June. Meanwhile, over a dozen people were injured in protests in Tahab over the killings of militants. An official from Pulwana district Hospital said five of the injured were brought to the hospital. “Four had pellets injuries. A 20-year-old youth, Aqib, suffered a bullet injury in chest and has been referred to a Srinagar hospital.”