The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday claimed that there was no presence of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) terrorists in the Tral area of Pulwama district, adding that it had happened first time since 1989. The statement of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar came after three terrorists were on Friday killed in a near 15-hour long gunbattle with security forces in the Chewa Ullar village of Tral.
Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, the Kashmir Zone Police tweeted, "After today’s successful ops, no presence of HM terrorist in Tral area. It has happened for the first time since 1989: IGP Kashmir"
The security forces on Friday killed at least three terrorists during the gunbattle. According to reports, bodies of all three terrorists along with arms and ammunition were recovered from the spot. Reports stated that all three terrorists were local residents of the Valley.
The killed terrorists have been identified as Mohammad Qaasim Shah alias Jugnu, Basit Ahmad Parray and Haris Manzoor Bhat. Qaasim, a Madoora Tral resident and son of Gh Mohammad Shah, was pursuing a B.Tech Degree in Civil Engineering prior to joining militancy. He was carrying out terror-related activities in the Valley since March 2017.
Basit Ahmad, son of Gh Mohammad Parray, was resident of Laribal, Tral. He had joined militant ranks recently, on May 27, 2020, and had a degree in Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.
Haris Manzoor Bhat, son of Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, was resident of Koil Shikragah, Tral. He had disappeared in April 2020 and was believed to have joined militancy.
The encounter between forces and terrorists in the Chewa Ullar area had started on June 25 evening but was put on hold during the night. The encounter resumed in the early morning on Friday with a fresh exchange of fire between the two sides, in which one terrorist was killed.
A police official confirmed the report of the killing of one terrorist saying his body was visible at the encounter spot and searches were being carried out to nab others, if any. Kashmir zone police too confirmed the killing of 3 terrorists in Chewa Ullar encounter, writing "Chewa Ular Encounter Update: 02 more unidentified terrorists killed. Search going on. Further details shall follow."
On June 25 evening, after receiving a tip-off of presence on terrorist in the area, a joint team of Police, 42 RR and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in the area. As the joint team of forces cordoned the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them which was retaliated triggering an encounter an official said.
This is 12th encounter in south Kashmir in the month of June alone in which 38 terrorists have so far been eliminated in the valley. The total number of terrorists killed in Kashmir this year is now 111.
The Hizbul Mujahideen had many youths who were introduced to the life of terrorim. Several top commanders of the outfit, like Burhan Wani and Zakir Musa, were from Tral.