Asif Suhaf, Oct 11: Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including PhD scholar-turned-terrorist Manan Bashir Wani, were killed Thursday during an encounter with security forces at Handwara in frontier district of north Kashmir, officials said.
The encounter broke out in the early hours at Satgund in Handwara following specific intelligence about presence of Wani, 27, along with his associates, they said.
Police and other security forces were fired upon by holed up militants resulting in exchange of fire which continued for several hours.
Police sources said that they also make repeated announcements on public address system appealing to the militants to surrender which Manan & his associate declined and continued firing upon the joint team of forces, on which forces retaliated and Manan Wani was killed along with his associate.
Manan Bashir Wani, who was enrolled as a PhD scholar with the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) joined Hizbul Mujahidin in January last year, following which he was expelled from AMU.
Wani, who was pursuing PhD in Geology earlier, had an impressive academic background. The official website of AMU reads, "Mr Mannan Bashir Wani, Research Scholar at Department of Geology, Aligarh Muslim University has been awarded the 'Best Paper Presentation Award' in an International Conference on 'Water, Environment, Energy and Society (ICWEES) held at AISCET University, Bhopal. The award was conferred to Mr Wani for his paper 'Flood Risk Assessment of Lolab Valley from Watershed Analysis Using Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques'.” He was also active during the student union elections in AMU in 2016.
According to sources, death of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander, Burhan Wani – who was killed on July 8, 2016 – had affected Manan. In July 2018, he had also written a letter explaining "why he picked gun over pen".
Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti termed the killing of PHD scholar turned militant as Loss and has urged to resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue with all stakeholders including Pakistan.
Taking to social networking site Twitter, Mehbooba wrote: “Today a PhD scholar chose death over life & was killed in an encounter. His death is entirely our loss as we are losing young educated boys every day.”
“It is high time that all the political parties in the country realise the gravity of this situation and try to facilitate a solution through dialogue with all the stakeholders including Pakistan to end this bloodshed,” Mehbooba wrote in another tweet.
Meanwhile,joint Hurriyat has called for Complete Shutdown in Kashmir tomorrow against the Killing of Manan Wani and his associate.