NEW DELHI: Five terrorists, including a Kashmir University professor, were today killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian, according to J&K Police.
The professor has been identified as Mohammad Rafi Bhat who had reportedly gone missing on Friday.
“Encounter concluded at Badigam, Zainpora in Shopian, 5 bodies of terrorists recovered,” said SP Vaid, Director General of Police, Jammu & Kashmir.
Top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Saddam Padder is also believed to be among the slain terrorists but police officials said it can only be confirmed after ascertaining the identity of the bodies.
Clashes broke out between civilians and security forces in Shopian, Pulwama and other parts of South Kashmir following the encounter of five terrorists. Five civilians were killed in the clashes.
Bhat’s involvement in militancy began sometime late afternoon on Friday and ended after he was trapped in a security forces cordon at Badigam in Shopian late last night, making him a terrorist with possibly the shortest active time in militancy in the state.
Bhat, a resident of Chundina area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, was a contractual assistant professor in the Sociology department of the university and had gone missing around 3.30 pm on Friday.
He spoke to his mother the last time that day without giving any hint about his short-lived future plans.
Several Muslim youth, who joined the militant ranks in a wave following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in 2016, have had a short life with some of them getting killed within a fortnight.
Bhat’s family informed university authorities about his disappearance yesterday morning, following which protests rocked the varsity campus over his disappearance.
The university’s vice chancellor had met the protesting students and assured them that all efforts would be made to trace the missing professor.
He had also written to the Director General of Police, requesting him that all efforts be made to trace Bhat’s whereabouts.
However, this morning Bhat was among the terrorists trapped in an encounter in Badigam village in Zainapora area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
The encounter started early in the morning following a cordon and search operation launched by security forces based on specific information about the presence of terrorists in the area.
Police said they brought Bhat’s family from Ganderbal to persuade him to surrender, but to no avail.
“Reportedly, Bhat is among the terrorists trapped there. After receiving the input about his presence there, we brought his family from Ganderbal to persuade him to surrender, but so far, repeated attempts have not materialized,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, S P Pani had said earlier.