Based on intelligence inputs about the presence of terrorists, a joint team of Indian Army and J&K Police personnel launched a search operation around 3 am in Wathoora Gopalpora area. Holed-in terrorists opened fire at the security forces, triggering a gunfight in which two terrorists were killed.
The slain terrorists were identified as Hilal Ahmad Wani alias Abu Maaz and Shoaib Mohammad Lone alias Mursi. Both Kulgam natives worked for Hizbul Mujahideen and were wanted in several criminal cases, said cops.
“Hilal had a long history of terror crimes who conspired and executed many terror attacks on security establishments in the state. The longest-surviving terrorist operating across the southern and central belts of Kashmir Valley, Hilal was the main person responsible for recruiting terrorists ever since he took up arms in 2015. Shoaib was also wanted for several such attacks and civilian atrocities,” said police.
Cops seized arms and ammunition and other incriminating evidence from the encounter site. The terrorists’ bodies were later handed over to their families after completion of medico-legal formalities, police said.
Meanwhile, a mysterious blast inside Narbal’s Falahi-i-Milat school injured 13 Class X students. The wounded students are currently hospitalised and in a stable condition, said Pulwama SSP Chandan Kohli. Kakpora Police has registered an FIR in this connection and an investigation is underway, he added.
J&K governor Satya Pal Malik announced a compensation of Rs 50,000 for the injured students. Following the blast, clashes erupted between youth and security forces in the district. Forces used tear gas shells to disperse the mob.