Two suspected militants involved in the killing of civilians were shot dead in separate gunfights in Srinagar and Pulwama districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.
The militants belonged to the Resistance Front, an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the police claimed in a statement.
The militant killed in the Pulwama gunfight was identified as Shahid Bashir Sheikh, a resident of Srinagar. A rifle along with ammunition was recovered from him, said Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar.
The police claimed that Sheikh was given an opportunity to surrender. But, he fired at the security forces, resulting in the gunfight.
The police claimed that the militant was involved in the October 2 killing of Mohammad Shafi Dar, a Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department official.
Dar was shot at in Batamaloo area of Srinagar, reported Greater Kashmir. He had sustained injuries and died at the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital. On the same day, another man from Srinagar’s Chattabal area was shot dead in the city’s Karan Nagar locality.
In the Srinagar gunfight, the police claimed that they shot down a militant identified as Tanzeel Ahmad, who had killed probationary Sub-Inspector Arshid Ahmad. The gunbattle took place in Srinagar’s Bemina area.
The police claimed that Tanzeel Ahmad was also given a chance to surrender. But, he too fired at the security forces and the militant was killed in retaliatory firing.
Arshid Ahmad was shot at by the militant on September 12. He succumbed to his injuries at the Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Science in Soura.
CCTV footage showed that the assailant had fired at the officer at least twice from a close range from behind him at a market in Khanyar, the police had said.
In their statement, the police said that they have filed cases in connection with the killings and further investigation was underway.
Kumar said the two militants were also involved in the recent killing of a Kashmiri Hindu pharmacist Makhan Lal Bindroo and two teachers.
The police said that after the recent killing of civilians in the Valley, they have carried out eight operations since October 8 and shot dead 11 militants.
At least seven civilians have been killed by militant groups in Kashmir since October 2. Four of them, including a vendor from Bihar, belonged to the Hindu and Sikh minority communities.
After each of the seven killing, the Resistance Front claimed responsibility and explained why they had killed the victims. They had been killed because they were “agents of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh”, “non-local Hindutva agents”, government “informers”, the group had claimed in statements.
On Tuesday, the police had claimed that they had shot down a militant identified as Mukhtar Shah, who had killed Virender Paswan, the vendor form Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, on October 5. Shah was killed along with two other militants.
On October 7, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that innocents were being killed in Jammu and Kashmir and strongly condemned the targeted killings of civilians in the Union Territory.
Politicians across the Union Territory have also condemned the killings. The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a coalition of political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, said on October 8 that the killings “have created a climate of fear”. The alliance had also criticised the Centre for failing to contain militancy in the region.
Earlier this week, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had asked migrant employees not to leave the Valley, saying that security arrangements have been increased for them. The order was seen as a step to allay fears after the civilian killings.