GOC says locals joining militancy a challenge

Lt Gen A K Bhatt
Lt Gen A K Bhatt

2 Hizb militants killed in Pulwama

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Nov 10: Two militants of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Tikken area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district today.
A joint operation was launched by Army, Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Tikken area after inputs about the presence of militants. As the search operation was going on, the hiding militants fired on the search party and security forces fired back, leading to a gun battle in which two militants were killed whose bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter.
They have been identified as Liyaqat Wani of Below and Wajid ul Islam of Babhara village of Pulwama.
Liyakat Munir Wani, 20, who had completed his Graduation in History with 92 per cent marks, had joined militancy in January 2017. He was always persuaded by relatives to return to family but he refused. His father was also a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen and was killed in early 1990s when Liyakat was only one year old.
A police spokesman said: “Both the killed terrorists were involved in a series of terror attacks on security establishments and many other civilian atrocities in the area. Liyaqat was involved in a number of terror cases and prominent among them are FIR No 69/2017 under Sections 307, 336, 427 RPC, 3 PPD Act, ¾ Explosive Substance Act of Police Station Pulwama, 85/2018 under Section 307, 427 RPC, 7/27 IA Act & 92/2018 under section 307 RPC, 7/27 IA Act of Police Station Rajpora.”
The spokesman said that arms and ammunition including AK and INSAS rifle and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter. “Pertinently the INSAS rifle seized from the encounter site was the same rifle which earlier terrorists had snatched from Murran, Pulwama leading to the registration of case FIR No 182/2018 at PS Pulwama”, he added.
“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police has registered a case and initiated investigation in the instant matter”, the spokesman said.
“Citizens are once again requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any,” the spokesman said.
Authorities have suspended Internet services in Pulwama district as the encounter started this morning. A shutdown was observed in Pulwama district.
Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of the militants killed in a gunfight.
In the meantime, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps, Lt General A K Bhatt said that joining of local youth into militancy is a challenge for them.
“The joining of local youth to terrorism is a major challenge for us but I am very happy that from last two months, the joining has become less and our efforts will be that the local youth do not join terrorism”, he said while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at Baba Reshi in Tangmarg area of Baramulla today.
When asked about his message to local youth who are joining militancy, the GOC said: “My message to the youth is if you join mainstream, that will be good for you, for country and good for us as well and those who want to surrender, we will give chance to them. The local militants who want to surrender during operations will be given chance to surrender”.
The GOC said that the operations of the security forces against militants will continue and they will be neutralized.
He said Kashmiriyat and Sufism are very distinct characteristic of the Valley. “This is the identity of Kashmir”, he said.