Two terrorists, including top Hizbul commander Manan Wani, were killed in a gunfight encounter with the security forces in Handwara area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara on Thursday. Here’s why Manan Wani’s neutralisation came as the biggest victory for security forces:
Manan was the son of Bashir Ahmad Wani and was AMU research scholar at Department of Geology. Earlier in January, Manan went missing from AMU and his phone was switched off from January 4. The family tried to contact him but to no avail. Left with no option, the family lodged a missing report with the police. Manan’s brother Mubashir Ahmad informed that the family was completely oblivious about him joining Hizbul Mujahideen.
A photograph of Mannan Bashir Wani appeared on the social media in which he was seen holding assault riffle. The photograph that appeared on Facebook and Whatsapp read that Manan had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen on January 5.
He picked up gun and declared war against forces. He said that "there is dignity in fighting forces". The mastermind behind terror attacks, he was also the commander and recruiter for Hizbul. His role was to mislead youth and lure them into terror.
Earlier on Thursday, a police official confirmed the killing of two terrorists in a gunfight that raged intermittently since 3:00 am in Shatgund, Handwara. While speaking to Republic, top Police senior officer, while wishing anonymity, said that Wani was enrolled as a Ph.D. scholar with the AMU before joining the ranks in January this year. However, sources said Wani along with two of his accomplice had come to the area to receive a group of recently infiltrated terrorists.
“There is possibility that the infiltrated group is hiding in the nearby forest area and the operation may take longer than usual,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, authorities have suspended the Internet services in the Kupwara district “as a precautionary measure”. Schools and colleges have also been closed in the district and also in South Kashmir.
Reports said clashes erupted near the gunfight site with youth pelting the forces with stones who responded by firing tear gas. Clashes were also reported in Lal Chowk, Anantnag. This is the first encounter reported in the valley after municipal election began in J&K.