Slain Hizb militants identified: Aaqib Itoo was involved in Pombai cash van robbery & other chilling attacks

Police on Thursday said that slain Hizb militant Aaqib Ahmad Itoo was involved in an attack on policemen guarding a cash van of a bank in May this year.

Itoo was killed along with an associate Suhail Ahmad Rather in a gunfight with government forces in Gopalpora village of Kulgam in south Kashmir late last night.

“Acting on a specific information, a search operation was launched by a joint team of Kulgam Police, 09 RR, 62 RR and 18 Bn CRPF in village Gopalpora in the jurisdiction of Police Station D.H Pora , Kulgam. During the search operation militants present in the area fired upon the search party, ensuing an encounter. Two militants were killed in this encounter,” said an official.

“One INSAS rifle, one AK rifle and two magazines were recovered from the encounter site.”

He said both the militants were involved in “unlawful and anti national activities.”

“Aaqib was involved in the attack on cash van of J&K Bank at Pombai in which five policemen were killed and two civilians lost their lives. He was also involved in attack on a policeman at Yaripora in which the said policeman achieved martyrdom,” said the official.

“Aaqib was involved in many cases including bank robbery at J&K Bank branch Kader and weapon snatching from Adijan minority guard. Suhail was involved in instigating people and firing indiscriminately upon security personnel from mob.”

He said a number of FIRs were already lodged against these militants in different Police Stations.