May 2019 News

Two Hizb Militants Killed In Kulgam Gunfight

22 May 2019
Kashmir Reader
Suhail A Shah

Kulgam: Two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants, including one who had joined ranks only 25 days back, were killed in a gunfight with government forces here in Kulgam district on Wednesday. Several people were injured during clashes that erupted near the site of the gunfight in Gopalpora and later in main town Kulgam. One civilian with pellet injuries to his eyes was shifted to Srinagar for specialised treatment. The slain militants have been identified as Zahid Ahmad Mantoo, son of late Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Feeripora village in Shopian district, and Irfan Manzoor, son of Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Paniwa village in Kulgam district. A Hafiz-e-Quran, Zahid led prayers and taught at a Darsgah to support his two sisters after his parents died a few years ago. A relative of his told Kashmir Reader that he was ruthlessly beaten by government forces days before he joined militant ranks in August last year. Irfan, too, as per his family, was repeatedly harassed since last more than two years now by government forces. 'He was often picked up by forces, tortured and detained for days at a stretch. He could bear it no more and picked up arms some 25 days back,' a relative of the Bhat family told Kashmir Reader. Mantoo and Bhat were killed in Gopalpora area of Kulgam district today. As per police reports the area was cordoned off at about 1:00 AM in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. 'There were specific inputs regarding presence of militants in the area. They were asked to lay down their arms but they chose to open fire instead,' a senior police official from Kulgam district said. He said that the two militants were killed after the gunfire was retaliated from the side of the forces.