A former Hurriyat activist who escaped police custody and joined militancy, and a Class XII student who joined militants three months ago, were among the 12 militants killed in encounters in Jammu & Kashmir Sunday. At least eight of the 12, and possibly three more, were locals; one is yet to be identified.
Sources said most of the youths joined militancy after the killing of Hizb-ul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in 2016 and trained in arms in the forests of Shopian.
Seven were killed in Dragad in Shopian: Zubair Ahmad Turray, Yawar Itoo, Aadil Thoker, Ubaid Shafi Malla, Ishfaq Ahmad Malik, Rayees Thokar and Nazim Nazir, all of Shopian. Of the four killed in Kachidora in Shopian, locals said at least three were locals — Ishfaq Ahmad Thokar, Aeitmad Ahmad and Waseem. Ishfaq was blamed by police for killing Lt Umar Fayaz and carried a reward on his head.
In Daligam of Anantnag, the militant killed was Rouf Bashir, 21, who was from Anantnag and joined militancy last year. Last month, pictures of Rouf carrying Ak47 rifle had appeared on Facebook. His aide Imran was captured.
Except Nazir, who was with Lashkar-e-Toiba, all…