Srinagar: The killer of 21-year-old girl Shiraza in Shopian and other civilians in the Kashmir valley was shot dead by security forces on Tuesday.
Riyaz Ahmed, who was a Hizbul Mujahideen operative, was killed after a fierce gunbattle. He is thought to be also behind the killing of other civilians: Muqaam-Donadu, Saifuddin Kallar and Aslam Awan, amongst others.
Home Minister Chidambaram had condemned the killing of innocent Shiraza and other civilains, while questioning the silence of separatists on their silence when acts of terror were committed on innocent men and women.
The encounter that killed Riyaz –who was holed up in a house in Pulwama district of South Kashmir – had started yesterday evening. Earlier reports suggested that there was another militant in the house and that he has escaped, but this suggestion was later ruled out by the security forces.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Pulwama, Kifayat
Haider said, “The operation is over...We could not locate any other
associate of the slain militant as was presumed earlier.”
An AK rifle and some ammunition were recovered from the
possession of the slain militant, he said.
Describing the killing of the Hizbul Mujahideen ultra as a
"major breakthrough", the SSP said Deedad was one of the most
wanted militants of the outfit.
“He was involved in killing of civilians across the valley and had as many as seven FIRs under Section 302 filed against him.”
"Deedad`s two other associates were killed by the security
forces in an encounter last year. However, he managed to
escape and was coordinating the activities of the outfit in
the area," Haider added.
Police, assisted by the Army and CRPF, had cordoned off village Abhama-Keller, 60 kms from here to carry out the operation, but it took 18-hrs to eliminate the terrorist as the forces were keen to eliminate the risk of any collateral damage.
Haider confirmed that the forces did tread with caution to prevent any harm to the villagers so that there is ‘no ill feeling in the general masses’.
Since the past few days, J&K has been on boil due to repeated attempts by militants to spread their reign of terror.
Two LeT terrorists were killed by security forces in an encounter in Pulwama on January 9. A day before, two more militants were struck down in an over 30-hr siege at the Lal Chowk in Srinagar.
The Pulwama operation was carried out even as there was a heavy cross-border firing from the Pakistan side on Sabzain Forward Defence Location along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district around 1130 hours today. Indian troops retaliated resulting in exchange of fire for half-an-hour during which sepoy Shurvir Singh was killed.
Earlier, militants triggered a blast to cut into the border fencing in Akhnoor sector of Jammu in the wee hours but BSF troops foiled their attempt after a fierce gunfight.