State Times News SRINAGAR: Three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, including brother of an IPS officer, were killed in an encounter with security forces on Tuesday in Shopian district of Kashmir. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Heff area of the district based on information about the presence of terrorists in the area, a police official said, adding “the search operation turned into a gunfight after the terrorists opened fire at the security personnel.” Three terrorists were killed in the operation that lasted over seven hours, the official said, adding arms, ammunition and other incriminating material were also recovered from the encounter scene. The killed terrorists have been identified as Shamsul Haq Mengnoo, son of Mohammad Rafiq, resident of Dragad Shopian, Aamir Suhail Bhat, son of Abdul Aziz, resident of Chidipora Chitragam Shopian, Shoaib Ahmad Shah, son of Ghulam Rasool, resident of Shermal Shopian. Shamsul Haq Mengnoo is brother of 2012-batch IPS officer Inamul Haq Mengnoo who is posted in the Northeast. Shamsul Haq was pursuing a degree in Unani System of Medicine from a college in Srinagar before he joined the terrorist ranks last year, the official said. Former DGP Dr Shesh Paul Vaid tweeted “Shamsul Haq, brother of IPS officer who had joined militant ranks was among the 3 terrorists killed today in Shopian. I remember the efforts that were made by his brother /other family members and J&K Police to bring him back to mainstream but he met a sad end today.” These terrorists, as per the police records, were affiliated with terror outfit HM and were wanted for their complicity in a series of terror crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Shoaib Shah according to police records was involved in several terror crime offences and several cases were registered against him including 13/18 registered under section 307 RPC 7/27 A. Act of PS Shopian, 05/18 registered under Section 307 RPC 7/27 A. Act 16 ULA (P) of Police Station Zainpora, 19/18 registered under Section 307, 353, 332, 148, 149, 336 RPC 7/27 A. A Act, 16 ULA (P) of Police Station Zainpora, 42/18 registered under section 307, 393 RPC 7/27 A.Act 16 ULA (P) of Police Station Zainpora and 52/18 registered under Section 307 RPC 7/27 A.Act 16 ULA (P) 3/4 Exp Sub Act of Police Station Zainpora. Similarly Aamir Suhail Bhat was also involved in several terror attacks. He along with the other terrorists had attacked the residential guard at Chittragam in August 2018 for which a case FIR 42/2018 under Sections 307, 393 RPC, 7/27 A Act, 16 ULAP Act is registered at Police Station Zainpora. According to police records, Shamsul Haq Mengnoo was part of terror conspiracies along with others leading to weapon snatching, recruitment to terror fold, attacks on security forces and so on. Several terrorism-related cases were registered against him. Incriminating material such as arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken into case records to probe their complicity in other terror crimes. Bodies of the killed terrorists were handed over to their families after completion of medico-legal formalities. Kashmir police has asked civilians not to venture inside the encounter zone since such area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are further requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitised and cleared of all the explosive materials if any. Later, clashes broke out between local residents and the security forces near the encounter site. During the clashes, four journalists suffered pellet injuries while they were discharging their professional duties. Various journalist bodies and political parties, including the PDP and the Congress, have condemned the “assault” on the journalists. State president of Congress G A Mir said the “assault on photojournalists is unacceptable and deplorable and amounts to curbing the freedom of press”. PDP leader Naeem Akhtar also condemned the alleged “assault” on scribes, saying if the pellets can hit journalists, who are on the opposite side of the crowd while covering protests, these can hit anybody. “It indicates a very wanton and indiscriminate use of the weapon,” he said.
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