3 youth on way to PoK held

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Nov 18: Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar today said that one among the five militants killed in yesterday’s gun battles include a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander.

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Kumar said that commander Shakir Nazar who was active since 2018 was killed along with two other militants in Pombai, Kulgam. Earlier, yesterday he said one of the two militants killed in Gopalpora gunfight was TRF commander Afaq Sikander.
Police today identified the five killed militants in yesterday’s encounter as Aafaq Sikander Lone (district commander TRF) son of Mohammad Sikander Lone, resident of Raykapran Shopian and Irfan Mushtaq Lone son of Mushtaq Ahmad Lone resident of Shedcheck Aawneera, Shopian. “One AK-47 rifle and one pistol were recovered from them”, he said.
As per police records, slain Aafaq Sikendar was involved in many cases including in civilian atrocities and attacks on security forces. He was involved in killing of police personnel Nissar Ahmad Wagay on 07/08/2021 at Pombai Crossing and killing of non-local labour Shankar Kumar Choudhary at Nehama Kulgam on 17/09/2021. “Besides, he was also involved in grenade attacks on security forces including attack on 18Bn CRPF at Nehama. He also carried out an attack on SHO Manzgam in which four police personnel got injured,” the statement said.
Similarly in the encounter at Pombai, three militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. “Two of them have been identified as Shakir Najar (dy district commander HM) resident of Ponipora Kulgam and Sumair Najar, resident of Kanipora Shopian affiliated with outfit HM & TRF respectively. While as the identification and affiliation of the third killed militant is being ascertained. As per source third might be Aslam Dar district commander of HM. However, exact identification will be established after matching DNA samples. The killed militants were involved in various crime cases including civilian atrocities. Pertinently militant Shakir Najar was active since April 2018,” the statement said.
It added that incriminating materials, including arms and ammunition (two AK-47 rifles and one pistol) were recovered from both the sites of encounters. “All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation,” the statement said.
In the meantime, police in Kupwara apprehended three youth who were in pursuit of crossing over to the Line of Control (LoC) to PoK for arms training to join back militancy in Kashmir.
SSP Kupwara Yougal Manhas said that following a specific information, police apprehended the trio, all in their teenage from a hideout in Kupwara.
He said that they all are residents of Meej in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district had established contact with a militant commander posing himself as Tayab Farooqi operating from Pakistan and were on their way to cross the LoC via Kupwara to meet him and take illegal training in handling of arms to join back militancy in Kashmir .
The trio has been identified as Furqan Sultan Khanday, 16, a student of Class 10th, son of Mohammad Sultan Khanday , Furqan Nazir Khanday, 16, a student of Class 10th, son of Nazir Ahmad Khanday and Kamran Sajad Sheikh, 16, a student of Class 10th, son of Sajad Ahmad Sheikh , all residents of village Meej Pampore of district Pulwama.
On questioning, police found that these youth from South Kashmir have been radicalised and motivated by Tayab Farooqi operating from Pakistan through social media platforms who constantly fed them with radical Islamic literature .
“Assessing the circumstances and tender age of these young boys who were found to be highly motivated and radicalised to join the path of violence, Police in its endeavour to ensure peace and stability in Kashmir decided to counsel them to give them a chance to reform into responsible and peace abiding citizen”, he said.
“The parents of the youth were called and after threadbare discussion and counselling, the teenagers were handed over to them. Expressing gratitude, the parents of the youth thanked Jammu and Kashmir Police in preventing their wards from joining the path of death and destruction and give a chance to them to live a free and peaceful life”, the SSP said.