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Top Lashkar militant killed in encounter

Top Lashkar militant killed in encounter
A top Lashkar-e-Toiba militant operating in the volatile  North Kashmir was killed after a brief gunfight in Srinagar’s old city. Hilal Ahmad Rather aka Hilal Moulvi of Palhalan village of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district was killed in the wee hours at Narparistan Fateh Kadal.

In the ensuing gunfight, police said, Hilal lobbed three grenades to fled from the site in which three policemen including an officer were injured.

Eyewitnesses said that around midnight, a huge contingent of police and paramilitary forces cordoned the area. ‘We had slept and suddenly some policemen came to our home. They took position on the top floor of my home. We heard gunshots followed by a bang,’ said a resident of Fateh Kadal. Police official said the slain militant was involved in many cases. ‘Hilal was involved in ten FIR’s lodged in different police stations of north Kashmir,’ said police spokesman.

Last month, he escaped from the encounter site at Arampora in Sopore town in which another Lashkar militant Shabir Ahmad Sheikh, a resident of Palhalan was killed. Police sources said that since then he was taking refuge with his friends in Lal Bazar, Nowhatta, Batamaloo and Fateh Kadal areas. A senior police official said that Hilal had earned Mufti (a degree in theology) from Darul-ul-Deoband and used to preach sermons.

‘He (Hilal) had served detention under public safety act before joining Lashkar in October 2012. He was involved in stone pelting cases in 2010 and killing of Sarpanch in north Kashmir,’ the offical said.

Meanwhile, his native village and the adjoining areas observed shutdown to mourn his killing.
Moazum Mohammad

Moazum Mohammad

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