Srinagar: New age militancy’s poster boy, Burhan Wani was killed on Friday afternoon in a fierce encounter in a Kokernag village, police sources said. Two of his aides were also killed in the operation.
The operation was a joint exercise of the anti-militancy Special Operations Group from Srinagar and Islamabad. There was no report of any casualty of the SOG in the operation.
Police sources said they are sure that one of the slain trio is Burhan. Another one was identified as Sartaj while the identity of the third slain was not immediately known.
Sartaj was a former militant who had surrendered. Later, he rejoined the militancy two years ago under Burhan’s leadership. The encounter broke in Bamdoora village near Kokernag where the trio was apparently hiding. There lived the uncle of Sartaj.
Reports from the area said that as soon as the SOG surrounded their hideout, Sartaj retaliated by lobbing a grenade and was killed, instantly . Later, there was exchange of fire for some time. Eventually the house was blasted using at least two landmines that led to the killing of militants.
One of the top commanders of the new age militancy who had baptized a new group with apparently new rules was carrying a million rupees on his head. A resident of Dadsara Tral and once an intelligent student-son of a teacher, he lost his brother soon after he became the militant.
Separatist leadership has called for shutdown on Saturday while tributes will be paid to the slain trio for next three days.
Massive unrest was witnessed in various belts across Kashmir. While thousands of people are still marching towards Tral from the peripheral villages, there were protests in various old city areas as well. In various uptown localities, anti-government slogans were also heard. Similar reports of sloganeering from mosques was reported from parts of north Kashmir including city outskirts as well.