SRINAGAR: Dealing a major blow to terrorist designs in Kashmir, security forces have killed one of the oldest surviving terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen Ashraf Molvi in an encounter in Pahalgam in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday.
Along with Molvi, a top A++ category terrorist, the forces also killed two other terrorists in the encounter that broke out at Srichand Top forest area of Pahalgam, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said. Incriminating materials and a huge cache of arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site of the encounter.
As the site of the encounter was near the Amarnath Yatra route, police said that the site of operation indicated that the terrorists were eyeing to target Amarnath Yatra, which is scheduled to start from June 30 after a gap of two years.
“Ashraf Molvi (one of oldest surviving #terrorist of HM #terror outfit) along with two other terrorists killed. #Successful #operation on yatra route is a major #success for us: IGP Kashmir,” Kashmir zone Police tweeted.
The other two terrorists are identified as Mohd Rafiq Drangay and Roshan Zameer Tantray alias Aqib.
Police said Mohammad Ashraf Khan (57) alias Ashraf Molvi, a resident of the Tangpawa area in Kokernag who was operational chief of the terror outfit, was among three terrorists killed in Pahalgam woods on Friday afternoon.
Police said he was active in the organization for many years with reports suggesting that his brush with terrorism started in 2000. He was credited for reviving terrorism in the Kokernag belt of south Kashmir.
“Police along with Army have neutralized three wanted terrorists of proscribed terror outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in an anti-terrorist operation at Sirchan Top Anantnag including the oldest surviving terrorist Ashraf Molvi,” the police said.
The incident came a day after security forces arrested a Hizbul terrorist on Thursday. “On May 5, Anantnag Police along with Army (19 Rashtriya Rifles) arrested a terrorist of terror outfit HM identified as Mohd Ishfaq Shergojri, a resident of Nowgam Verinag, at Kokernag area of Anantnag,” police said. “During the sustained interrogation of the arrested terrorist, leads were developed and several search operations were conducted in various areas of Anantnag,” the police said.
“One of such joint cordon and search operations launched by Police and Army (3rd RR) in the forest area of Sirchan Top (East of Batkot Pahalgam) area of Anantnag turned into an encounter,” it added.
“In the ensuing encounter, three terrorists of HM were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter. They have been identified as Mohd Ashraf Khan alias Ashraf Molvi alias Mansoor ul Haq, Mohd Rafiq Drangay and Roshan Zameer Tantray alias Aqib,” the police said.
As per police records, Mohd Ashraf Khan was the oldest surviving terrorist of Hizbul and figured among the list of most wanted terrorists. He had a long history of terror crime cases which include attacks on police and security forces along with civilian atrocities.
He was involved in the killings of constable Imtiyaz Ahmad at Bus Stand Anantnag on September 9, 2017, Mohd Saleem Dar, a resident of Larkipora, Fatehpora in Anantnag on April 2, 2020, ASI Mohammad Ashraf near Police Station Bijbehara on December 22, 2021, head constable Ali Mohd Ganie at Hasanpora Tabeela on January 29, 2022.
“He was also instrumental in reviving the terror folds of Hizbul in Anantnag by recruiting the gullible youth into terror folds. Moreover, on his instruction terrorists killed Sarpanch Ghulam Rasool Dar and his wife Jawahara Begum at Lal Chowk Anantnag on August 9, 2021,” the police said.
Tantray, according to police, has been active since 2018. He was involved in the killings of Larkipora resident Mohd Saleem Dar on April 2, 2020. He was also involved in the killing of ASI Mohammad Ashraf, head constable Ali Mohd Ganie.
“He was also involved in the killing of a truck driver named Narayan Dutt, a resident of Sara Kotla Katra Reasi, who was loading apples in his truck at Fruit Mandi Kanalwan,” police said.
Drangay was active since 2019 and was also involved in the killings of ASI Ashraf and head constable Ganie.
Do visit www.newindian.in for exclusive video stories from hinterlands of India.