Hizbul Mujahideen is trying to re-establish its base in north Kashmir, the Army said on Saturday. This came a day after three militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Baramulla district.
In a joint press conference with Deputy Inspector General of Police Muhammad Sulaiman Choudhary, Commander 10 Sector of the Rashtriya Rifles of the Army Brigadier N K Mishra said it was after a long gap that militants belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in north Kashmir where, in the recent years, only the militants from Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad had been counterpoised.
“The activity of the HM was very less in north Kashmir. It seems that Hizbul is trying to re-establish its base in north Kashmir,” the Army officer said.
He said the security forces were alarmed and ready to defeat all the plans aimed at its re-establishment in the north Kashmir.
“If anyone wishes to join the mainstream, they are always welcome, but if anyone wants to become a terrorist, he will not be given any opportunity,” Brigadier Mishra said.
The DIG North Kashmir said the three militants died on Friday in Yeddipora area of Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district were connected with the HM.
“Two of the killed militants were locals and were known as Shafkat Ali Khan of Rawatpora, Delina and Hanan Bilal Sofi of old town Baramulla. The identity of the third one is being ascertained,” he said.
Choudhary said AK-47 rifles, four magazines, one pistol and two pistol magazines besides incriminating matter, were seized.
He said the militants were sneaking in a house, holding captive 12 civilians, including children, hostage. The Army officer said that the operation was a planned one as the first priority was to evacuate the locale.
An Army Major and two Special Police Officers (SPOs) of J-K Police were injured in the gunbattle, but their condition is said to be stable.