Representational image
Representational image
Photo: PTI

Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Azaad Lalhari was on Wednesday killed in an encounter with police officials. The Pulwama based terror-operative was slain in Kamrazipora following an operation launched by the Jammu and Kashmir Police along with the 53 Rashtriya Rifles.

"In the initial firing, two soldiers were injured. One of the injured succumbed to his injuries at the Army's Base Hospital in Srinagar," police said.

Reportedly, police sources say that Lalhari had been the successor of former Chief Commander, Riyaz Naikoo. There had earlier been reports that following Naikoo's death in May the terror outfit had appointed Gazi Haider as its new operation chief in Kashmir. The separatist militant group has claimed responsibility for many an attack in India and seeks the integration of the Jammu and Kashmir region into Pakistan.

While the Kashmir police in a tweet had said that one terrorist had been killed, he was only later identified as Lalhari.

News agency IANS quoted police sources to say that Lalhari was the most- wanted local militant commander in Kashmir.

According to officials he had been involved in the deaths of several officials. DGP Dilbag Singh said that six FIRs were lodged against Lalhari for killings by militants. The DGP said that Lalhari had been involved in the killing of Head Constable Anoop Singh in Pulwama. The police chief said Lalhari had started as an overground worker of the Hizbul, for which he was detained under the Public Safety Act. After serving his PSA detention, he had joined the Hizbul ranks.

(With inputs from agencies)

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