The Army on Thursday claimed to have killed two Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Shopian district, South Kashmir.
Among the slain militants one has been identified as Naseer Ahmad Pandit. He was a former police constable and was deputed as a guard at the residence of former Roads and Buildings Minister, Altaf Bukhari. He escaped along with a rifle from Bukhari’s house and joined militants.
Pandit last year, after deserting police, joined Hizbul Mujahideen group led by Burhan Wani. He was considered close to Burhan and featured in many videos and pictures along with the Hizbul commander.
The Army said that the militants were killed after an encounter. The other militant has been identified as Waseem Ahmad Malla.
During the last 24 hours the Army and police have killed four militants in three different encounters. Another operation is in progress in the forests of Dardpora Kupwara.
The two killed militants were part of Burhan’s close group, a picture of which had gone viral on the social networking sites.
Police sources say that after specific inputs security forces laid cordon of Vehil village in Shopian and as they were zeroing in on the target house where the holed-up militants tried to escape by firing indiscriminately.
However, both the militants were killed outside in the fields after a brief exchange of fire.
Waseem, a resident of Pehlipora Shopian and Naseer, a resident of Karimabad village in Pulwama, were associated with Burhan.
Naseer was a policeman before he joined the militants in 2015.