Tribune News Service
Srinagar, June 29
For the first time since the onset of militancy, Kashmir’s largest indigenous militant group Hizbul Mujahideen has no presence in Burhan Wani’s hometown Tral.
Three local Hizbul militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Tral area of Pulwama district a few days ago and hours later police claimed Tral area has no active militant from the group.
“There is now no HM terrorist in Tral. Since 1989, Tral has been considered as the epicentre of militancy along with some other areas. The wiping out of HM in Tral is a huge success for the forces,” Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said.
The IGP, however, maintained that Hizb still has a large cadre in Kashmir and the group has not been wiped out yet. Half of the militants killed this year were associated with Hizb
Sources said the militants of other groups including Jaish-e-Mohammad are still operating in the Tral.
Surrounded by mountains on three sides, Tral is the hometown of the poster boy of Kashmir’s ‘new-age’ militancy—Burhan Wani—the Hizb commander who was killed in a gunfight in 2016. His killing led to massive unrest across Kashmir. There have been many other prominent militant commanders of Hizb from Tral.
Security forces have suffered casualties in the area including that of Col M N Rai on January 27, 2015, who was killed in a gunfight with Hizb militants. In 2013, four Army men were killed in a Hizb attack in Buchoo Tral Police had in 2019 claimed to have made any north Kashmir’s Baramulla area local militant free, but soon after the announcement, many locals joined militant ranks.