Three including a top terrorist have been killed in an ongoing struggle between terrorists and security forces in the Gulshanpora area in the Tral sub-district of Pulwama district in South Kashmir on Sunday. The terrorists, belonging to militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, have been identified as Hizb commander Omar Fayaz (alias Hamad Khan), Adil Bashir (alias Abu Dujana) and Faizan Hameed.
#Tral encounter update: Killed terrorists identified as Omar Fayaz @ Hamad Khan, Adil Bashir @ Abu Dujana & Faizan Hameed. As per police records affiliated with proscribed #terror outfit HM. Involved in several terror #crimes & civilian atrocities. @JmuKmrPolice— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) January 12, 2020
Hizbul Mujahideen, founded in 1989, is a Kashmiri militant group, which seeks the independence of Kashmir from India. It is comprised of local Kashmiri youth and has seen many commanders from the town of Tral. Tral is considered by Indian authorities to be a hotbed of militancy due to the presence of Hizbul, which was almost wiped out after the face of the militants in Kashmir, Burhan Wani, was killed in an encounter in 2016.
The 22-year-old militant Omar Fayaz, alias Hamad Khan, emerged as the new face of Hizbul after escaping an encounter in January 2019. After losing all the senior leaders of the group in 2016, Khan had reportedly kept the group intact while maintaining a low profile.
In another encounter on 7 January, one suspected terrorist, Shahid, a resident of Bijbehara town in Kashmir, was killed in a gunfight in the Awantipora area of Pulwama district. As per the police records, he was affiliated with proscribed terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen and arms and ammunition were recovered from him.
On the New Year ’s Eve, two Indian soldiers were killed during cordon and search operation in Nowshera sector. The infiltrators were reportedly intercepted in a forest area as they were attempting to enter India from the Pakistan-controlled section of Kashmir.