Srinagar: In a major success for the security forces, two top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were killed in an encounter at Drabgam village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday. The two terrorists have been identified as Sameer Tiger, a resident of Drubgam, and Aaqib Khan from Rajpora in Pulwama.
Two army personnel including an officer, Major Rohit Shukla, of the 44 Rashtiya Rifles were injured in the encounter. A civilian, Shahid Ahmad Dar, was killed in clashes that followed after a mob gathered near the encounter area where the security forces were present. Some 15 civilians were injured.
In a video that surfaced recently, Sameer had threatened informers of security forces and directly targeted Major Shukla. “Tell (Major) Shukla that the jungle belongs to the Tiger…” the terrorists purportedly said in the video.
After a bullet hit him, Major Shukla was immediately evacuated from the encounter site and airlifted to the Indian Army’s 92 Base hospital, were be was operated upon.
“Samir Tiger was involved in a number of civilian killings. It should bring peace in the area,” Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police SP Vaid said.
According to police, Sameer was earlier recruited as an overground worker by the Hizbul Mujahideen and was involved in several stone-throwing incidents before becoming an active terrorist in May 2016.
Police said he was involved in firing at the house of former legislator Syed Bashir Ahmad, and a grenade attack on the checkpost at Pulwama.
He was also involved in the kidnapping and killing of a civilian. Police said that last year, he fired at a patrol of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles. He was a close aide of Hizbul terrorist Riyaz Naikoo and both had been seen together in a video released recently on social media.
The second terrorist killed on Monday, Aaqib Mushtaq Khan, had been active since July last year. Police said he has plotted several attacks on security forces in south Kashmir along with Sameer Tiger.