J&K Police Say Kashmiri Pandit Killer Among Two Shot
- Police records show that Aqib, the militant who was killed, had been active since January 2021 and that Aijaz had been active since May 2022.
- The killing of Sharma made the Pandits who lived in the Kashmir valley afraid. Regional parties and people in J&K have spoken out against the killing.
Two militants were killed by security forces in the Awantipora area of south Kashmir. One of them was the person who killed Kashmiri Pandit Sanjay Sharma on February 26 in the Achan area of Pulwama. During the fight, one Army soldier was killed and another was hurt.
One militant was killed in the midnight operation, and another was killed in the ongoing Awantipora operation, bringing the total number of deaths to two, according to the police.
“The militant who was killed in the midnight encounter was Aqib Mushtaq Bhat from Pulwama. He was a ‘A’ category militant. At first, he worked for the terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen. Currently, he works for the TRF [The Resistance Front]. “The person who killed Sanjay Sharma has been killed,” said Vijay Kumar, who is the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP).
Police said that the militant was caught during a midnight operation to stop militancy in the Awantipora neighbourhood of Pulwama’s Padgampora area.
#AwantiporaEncounterUpdate: Killed #terrorist identified as Aqib Mustaq Bhat of #Pulwama (A category). He initially worked for HM #terror outfit, nowadays he had been working with TRF. #Killer of late Sanjay Sharma #neutralised: ADGP Kashmir@JmuKmrPolice https://t.co/1EdTeobWYP
— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) February 28, 2023
“One of the militants had also taken shelter in the mosque. He was neutralised in a way that didn’t hurt the mosque.” Sacred precincts meant that people had to be very careful and only use a small amount of firepower. Civilians who were praying inside were also taken out on time, so there was no damage to other buildings, Mr. Kumar said.
The second militant was hiding in a bathroom of a building next door. He was taken out carefully after 14 civilians were rescued from the building first, he said.
During the first exchange of fire with the trapped militant, two soldiers were hurt. Officials said that one soldier died from his injuries and that another is getting care at the Army’s base hospital in Srinagar.
#AwantiporaEncounterUpdate: 01 #terrorist killed. Body of the killed terrorist yet to be retrieved. #Encounter in progress. Further details shall follow.@JmuKmrPolice https://t.co/2Wl6bIhYZH
— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) February 27, 2023
Police records show that Aqib, the militant who was killed, had been active since January 2021 and that Aijaz had been active since May 2022.
At the site of the fight, police found an AK-47, an AKS-74u, a pistol, two grenades, two pouches, five AK magazines, two pistol magazines, and two AADHAAR cards.
“So far, our investigations have shown that both militants, who were part of different militant groups, worked together to plan attacks on minorities, outsiders, other weak targets, and security forces,” the officer said.
The killing of Sharma made the Pandits who lived in the Kashmir valley afraid. Regional parties and people in J&K have spoken out against the killing.