Scholar turned Hizb comdr, associate killed in Handwara

Troops on way to site of encounter at Handwara in Kupwara district on Thursday. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Troops on way to site of encounter at Handwara in Kupwara district on Thursday. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Hurriyat activist shot dead

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, Oct 11: A PhD scholar turned militant commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Manan Bashir Wani, along with his associate was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kupwara district of Kashmir today while a Hurriyat Conference (G) activist was shot dead in Shopian district of South Kashmir.
Manan Bashir Wani, who announced his joining the militant outfit in January this year, was killed along with Ashiq Hussain Zargar son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Zargar of Tulwari Langate in the encounter that broke out early today at Shartgund Balla area of Handwara.
A joint operation was launched by Army’s 30 RR and SOG at Shatgund Balla area of Handwara at around 2.30 a.m. following specific intelligence inputs about presence of Wani and his associate in the area. Click here to watch video
During searches, the hiding militants fired upon the search party. Security forces retaliated, leading to an encounter. The two militants were killed after several hours of the operation.
Wani, a resident of Tekipora Lolab had joined Hizbul-Mujahideen in January this year. He was pursuing PhD in Geology at Aligarh Muslim University before joining militant ranks in Kashmir. The slain top militant belonged to a well off family in Lolab. His father is a Lecturer and brother Mubashir Ahmad is a Junior Engineer.
Soon after the news about the killing of Manan spread, violent clashes erupted in parts of Kupwara and Handwara.
Over two dozen protesters were injured in clashes at Shartgund Balla, Qalamabad, Langate, Kralgund, Natnussa, Bumhama, Kupwara, Khumriyal, Cherkote, Wavoora, Takipora, Badi Bera, Gangbugh areas. A police officer Sub-Inspector Mudasir Ahmad was also injured after he was hit by a stone in his face.
At Tikipora, the home of Wani, the angry protesters hurled stones at an Army camp but the protest was later dispersed.
Protests also took place at Kashmir University and Government Polytechnic College Nagam, Chadoora.
In the meantime, thousands of people participated in the Manan’s funeral. He was later laid to rest in the ancestral graveyard.
Meanwhile, the authorities at Kashmir University (KU) have decided to suspend the class work at the main campuses and all satellite campuses tomorrow.
“This is for the information of all the concerned that due to the prevailing conditions in the Valley, the class work for October 12 in main campus and satellite campuses shall remain suspended,” read a notice issued by the KU.
Earlier, the authorities closed all the educational institutions in the frontier district of Kupwara except in Machil, Tanghdar and Keran areas and snapped internet services in parts of Handwara and Kupwara.
The schools and colleges were closed in Bandipora district along with Colleges and Higher Secondary Schools in Pattan and Baramulla. Also degree college Pulwama has been closed by the authorities.
Meanwhile, authorities have decided to impose restrictions in Old city and other sensitive parts of the Valley as a precautionary measure to prevent protests tomorrow.
In the meantime, a Hurriyat Conference (G) activist was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Meemendar area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district today sparking strong protests by the locals.
Tariq Ahmad Ganie, who was a former militant, was fired upon by gunmen near his home at Meemendar village. He was seriously injured and was taken to nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
A police spokesman said that militants this afternoon shot at and critically injured an individual at Meemandar area of Shopian. “The individual was evacuated to nearby hospital for medical attention. However, he succumbed to his injuries,” the spokesman said. Police have registered a case in this regard and investigations have been initiated.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people participated in the funeral prayers of the deceased Hurriyat activist. A group of militants also appeared at the funeral and fired scores of shots in air.
The separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik called for shutdown tomorrow to protest against killing of Wani and his associate and Hurriyat activist.