Srinagar: In a blow to the banned Hizbul Mujahideen terror group, two militants, one of them an M.Phil degree holder, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Nowgam area in the outskirts of the city on Wednesday, police said.
"The slain militants have been identified as Sabzar Ahmad Sofi, an M.Phil scholar who had joined the militant ranks, and Asif Ahmad," a police official said.
Sofi, who had completed M.Sc from Barkatullah University in Bhopal and M.Phil from Gowwalya University of Rajasthan, had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen, a day after the terror group's poster boy Burhan Wani was killed in July 2016.
Sofi is third highly educated person to have been killed in 2018 after joining militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
The 33-year old Sofi also held B.Ed degree and had cleared the National Eligibility Test and Junior Research Fellowship.
Earlier in October, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) scholar-turned-militant Manaan Bashir Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in north Kashmir Kupwara district while an assistant professor from Kashmir University, Mohammad Rafi Bhat, was killed in a gunfight in Shopian district two days after joining the militant ranks in May, 2018.
There has been an increasing trend of well educated youth joining militancy in recent years.
Esa Fazli, a engineering graduate from Ghulam Shah Badshah University, was killed in a gun battle earlier this year as well.
After Fazli's joining, an MBA student, Junaid Ashraf Sehrai, son of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, also disappeared and join the militant groups.
"The standard operating procedures were followed during the operation and there was no collateral damage during the encounter," the official added.
"Acting on a tip-off about presence of militants in Suthu Kothair locality of Nowgam, security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the early hours," the police official said.
He said the militants opened fire on security forces during the search operation, triggering a gunbattle in which two ultras were killed.
"Incriminating material besides arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site," he added.
"Clashes broke out between protestors and security forces soon after the encounter ended," he said, adding the law-enforcing agencies were engaged in pitched battles with the stone pelters for most part of the day.
Authorities snapped mobile Internet services in the city and shut educational institutions as a precautionary measure.
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Updated Date: Oct 25, 2018 15:51:02 IST