Srinagar, October 11: In a major crackdown by the forces, the joint team of J&K police, Army and CRPF shot dead two top Hizbul Mujahideen militants in North Kashmir's Handwara district. The deceased includes Manan Wani, the PhD scholar at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) who switched to militancy earlier this year.
Wani, along with another militant Ashiq Hussain Zargar, was holed up in Satgund village of Handwara in the wee hours of Thursday. The State Intelligence had received inputs of the two insurgents present in the region, which compelled a team of security forces to cordon the village before the dawn. Security Forces Gun Down Two Terrorists in Tujjar.
Before the encounter, the J&K police reportedly attempted to force them to surrender. However, firing from the deceased's end left the forces with no other option than to neutralise them.
#UPDATE Handwara encounter: The two terrorists killed earlier today, have been identified as Manan Bashir Wani, resident of Tiki Pora, Sogam, Kupwara & Ashiq Hussain Zargar, resident of Tulwari in Langate. #JammuAndKashmir
— ANI (@ANI) October 11, 2018
While the cross-exchange of fire began at 8am, the fatal bullets were fired at around 11am. No casualties were incurred on the side of forces.
The death of Wani is likely to spark protests in the Kashmir Valley. The 27-year-old had turned popular among a section of the youths, with some analysts labelling him as the "next Burhan Wani" -- whose encounter sparked an unprecedented agitation in July 2016.