Top Hizb commander slain during gunfight in Shopian

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SRINAGAR — A top Hizb commander Aabid Manzoor Magray alias Sajju Tiger from Nowpora Payeen of Pulwama district is believed to be one among the slain militants.

Sources said that Sajju was active since 2016 uprising and presently was area commander of Zainapora-Litter belt.

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“He was close associate of Riyaz Naikoo,” a police official said.

An official confirmed that one among the slain is Aabid Magray.

Pertinently, three dead bodies have been recovered so far in the area whose identification is being ascertained.

Earlier, a joint team of forces including 44 RR, CRPF and SOG Zainapora launched search operation after having specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area.

“On intensifying search operation towards the suspected spot, hiding militants fired upon the forces which triggered an encounter,” official said.

“After initial exchange of fire, two dead bodies were recoverd who identification is being ascertained and later after seven hours in fresh firing, one militant was killed,” he added.

Meanwhile, clashes between protestors and government forces are also going on in the area.

As a precautionary measure, mobile internet services have been snapped in Shopian district.

Police Version:

On a credible input, a cordon & search operation was launched by police and security forces at Dragad in Sugan area of District Shopian. Pertinently the encounter site was located in orchards and with no habitation nearby.

During the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter.

In the ensuing encounter, 02 listed militants along with the other one who was part of this group were killed.Bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter and handed over to the legal heirs.

The killed militants were identified as Abid Manzoor Magray alias Sajju Tiger son of Manzoor Ahmad Magray resident Nowpora Payeeen Pulwama, Bilal Ahmad Bhat son of Gul Mohammad resident of Urmulla Lassipora Pulwama and Jasim Rashid Shah son of Abdul Rashid resident of Malnar, Shopian. This group was affiliated with HM.

Abid and Manzoor were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Several crime cases were registered against them.

According to the police records, Abid had a history of crime records since 2016. Abid was part of groups involved in planning & executing series of attacks in the area and many other civilian atrocities. Several crime cases were registered against him. He was involved in case FIR No 509/2016 pertaining to attack at Litter, Case FIR No. 281/2016 pertaining to weapon snatching at Gudbug Guard, Case FIR No. 19/2018 pertaining to firing on PP Lassipora, Case FIR No. 35/2018 pertaining to firing on patrolling party at Alaipora Lassipora, Case FIR No. 45/2018 pertaining to theft of vehicle, Case FIR No. 304/2013 pertaining to kidnapping of a girl and several other criminal cases.

Similarly, Manzoor was also involved in several attacks on security establishments in the area. Many crime cases were also registered against him.

Jasim, as per the records and inputs available with police coupled with the family version was missing since yesterday afternoon and was part of this group.

Incriminating materials including arms & ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes.

People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any.

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