Terrorist Burhan Wani's last aide, seen in viral picture, killed
The last terrorist seen in Hizbul Mujahideen ex-chief Burhan Wani's photo, which went viral four years ago, was killed in an encounter in Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday, said reports. Burhan's photo featured 11 terrorists and over time all of them were eliminated by security forces. The last man standing, Lateef Tiger, was killed in an intense gunfight this morning. Here's more.
The "pioneers" of new-age militancy in Kashmir had posted a picture on social media in 2015. Breaking free from the earlier traditions, the terrorists didn't hide their faces as they posed for the camera. The picture became hugely popular among the youth of the valley. Tiger was seen at the extreme right of the middle row. He took over Hizbul after his aides died.
In the early hours of Friday, a joint team of 34 Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF, J&K police, and the Indian Army launched a search operation. The operation was launched after forces got a tip-off that terrorists were hiding in Adkhara village of Imam Sahab. Soon gunfight started and one army personnel reportedly suffered injuries. Apart from Tiger, two other terrorists were neutralized in the operation.
A senior police officer said had it been any other day, the forces would have skipped searching the house. However, considering Lok Sabha polls they didn't want to take chances. The third phase of polling for Anantnag seat will happen on Monday. "The terrorists were important, we decided to go ahead with the operation and not wait for another day," the officer added.
Tiger had been active in militancy for the last six years and was an expert in fabricating IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). SP Pani, Inspector General of police, Kashmir, called Tiger a "big-catch". The other terrorist killed was identified as Tariq Moulvi, who urged youth to pick up arms. The third terrorist was identified as Shariq Ahmad Negroo of Chotigam, Shopian.
After the encounter, Kashmiris clashed with police forces at the encounter site. Police used pellet guns, tear smoke shells, and live ammunition to ward them off. In the clashes that followed, one youth reportedly suffered injuries. Internet services were snapped in some areas of Shopian. Post Burhan's death in 2016, Kashmir slipped into crisis mode with nearly 100 dying in civil unrest.