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Kashmiri Pandit Sanjay Sharma’s killers eliminated in Pulwama encounter

Terrorist Aqib Mushtaq who killed Kashmiri Hindu Sanjay Sharma shot dead in encounter (Photo: Twitter)

In a significant achievement, security forces in coordination with the Jammu and Kashmir Police have eliminated two armed terrorists—including one who had shot dead the Kashmiri Pandit Sanjay Kumar Sharma on Sunday—in a nightlong gun battle at Padgampora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Senior officials said that the operation was being concluded with the death of both the holed up terrorists in the afternoon on Tuesday. They said that two soldiers sustained injuries in the very beginning of the operation on Monday night. They were rushed to Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar for specialised treatment. However, one of them later succumbed to injuries.

Officials said that one of the two terrorists killed in the encounter had been identified as Aaquib Mushtaq Bhat of the nearby village of Malangpora, Pulwama, in close vicinity of the Indian Air Force’s Awantipora Base. However confirmation from the family was still awaited.

Additional Director General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, disclosed through Twitter that Aaquib Mushtaq Bhat was ‘A’ category terrorist who had initially joined the Hizbul Mujahideen but had subsequently shifted to The Resistance Force (TRF). “Killer of late Sanjay Sharma neutralised,” the ADG tweeted.

Officials said that the Police and security forces began looking for the killers of Sanjay Sharma, the Jammu and Kashmir Bank ATM guard who was gunned down at his village Achen in Pulwama district on Sunday, immediately after the terror attack. With the help of human and electronic surveillance, the assassins were tracked and trapped at a mosque at Padgampora, in Awantipora Police district of Pulwama, around midnight on Monday.

While the cordon-and-search operation was being launched, the holed up terrorists opened fire and made unsuccessful attempts to escape. However, multiple rings of the Police and security forces foiled their attempts. Aaquib Mushtaq was fatally hit when he was escaping from the mosque to a nearby house. His accomplice managed to hide at a different house for several hours but was neutralised in the afternoon on Tuesday.