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Three Hizbul militants killed in J&K’s Tral

J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh, right, and IGP Vijay Kumar address a press conference in Srinagar on February 19, 2020.

J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh, right, and IGP Vijay Kumar address a press conference in Srinagar on February 19, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Police chief says ‘commander’ of the terror group was among those shot dead.

Three militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in a gunfight at Sherabad in Tral, Pulwama on Wednesday. 

Director-General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, Dilbagh Singh said here that the police, the CRPF and the Army had conducted a joint operation. One of the slain militants had replaced Hammad Khan, who was killed in January, the “commander’ of the terror group here. He identified the militants as Jahangir Ahmad Wani, alias Umer Mukhtar, Raja Umer Maqbool and Sadat Ahmad Thokar. 

The police said Wani was behind the arson in a mosque, threats to civilians and attacks on the Army and the police. 

A shutdown was observed in Tral and Bijberaha during their funeral processions.

Mr. Singh said 23 militants had been killed this year. Nearly 40 overground workers (those who offer support to the militants) were arrested.

Mr. Singh said security agencies would continue enhanced vigil in the run-up to U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to India. “Life was normal and shops opened during the two trips of Ambassadors to Jammu and Kashmir. We are hopeful the visit [of Mr. Trump] will be peaceful. On our part, we will continue enhanced security at every place. There are always apprehensions because of the presence of a good number of militants here,” he said.

He said Pakistan was continuing its attempts to misguide the youth. “Pakistan continue to use VPNs [virtual private networks], and even terrorists killed in the Nagrota operation used a VPN to send across pictures from the encounter site. I appeal to the youth to stop falling prey to their machinations,” he said. 

He warned the local people against any misuse of VPNs and social media. “We are aware of the loopholes being exploited. We are keeping a watch on VPN use to ensure that it is within tolerable limits. In case of any misuse, the government will be forced to take a decision...” 

Mr. Singh said a Pakistan drone flew for 11 to 12 minutes over Border Security Force (BSF) pickets along the International Border in Jammu on Tuesday. “It was fired at and returned,” he said. 

Terrorists were waiting in large numbers in the launch pads to cross over, he said. “Launch pads, which used to be empty during winters, remained active this time. They are waiting for opportunities to get in,” he said. 

On the postponement of the panchayat byelections, Mr. Singh said, “The government’s decision must be based on solid reasons.”

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 9:04:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/three-hizbul-militants-killed-in-jks-tral/article30857149.ece

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