SRINAGAR - A video surfaced here today showing the mother of martyred Hizbul Mujahideen commander Saddam Padder, who was among the five youth martyred in an encounter with security forces yesterday, giving a gun salute to her slain son in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir .
The video surfaced on social media this morning. A pheran-clad woman, believed to be Padder's mother, is seen pulling the trigger of a gun held by a militant atop a building in the Heff area of Shopian.
Padder's mother hugged the militant, Syed Naveed Mushtaq -- a police deserter who decamped with four rifles from a police post guarding the Food Corporation of India facility in Budgam district last year -- before pulling the trigger of the automatic weapon.
A police official said the video is being investigated.
Five Hizbul Mujahideen youth including its top commander Saddam Padder and a fresh recruit, an assistant professor from the Kashmir University, were killed in an encounter today in militancy-infested Shopian area in south Kashmir even as five civilians died during clashes between protesters and security forces near the encounter site, the police said.
The five martyred youth were identified as Saddam Hussain Padder, Bilal Ahmad Mohand, Adil Ahmed Malik, Tauseed Ahmad Sheikh and Mohammed Rafi Bhat, a PhD scholar and an assistant professor in the Kashmir University, they said.
Padder, who hailed from Heff in Shopian region, was active since September 2014, while Malik was active since 2014 and Sheikh from 2013. Mohand was active since 2016 and the Kashmir University assistant professor had joined the terror group last Friday, officials said.
With Padder's killing, all 10 militants, who appeared for the first time together along with Hizbul Mujahideen's poster boy Burhan Wani in 2015, have been neutralised, officials said.
The picture of 10 Hizbul Mujahideen militants at an apple orchard had created a stir in the valley as they were touted by insurgent groups as 'Kashmir's new boys' who had taken up arms. Of the 10, Padder was the only one alive, police said.
Padder and his aides were involved in attacks on security forces besides instigating youth to join the terrorist network, police said.
Today's encounter in Badigam comes within 24 hours of a swift police operation in Chattabal area of the city in which three militants were gunned down.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir , S P Pani said repeated attempts were made to persuade the assistent professor to surrender.
After receiving an input about his presence, we even brought his family from Ganderbal to persuade him to surrender, Pani said.
"During the encounter, while handling a highly volatile situation, civilians were injured in cross firing and among them five succumbed to their injuries. The condition of other injured persons are stated to be stable," an official spokesperson said.
Police once against requested that encounter sites are prohibited zones and must be avoided by civilians.
Three security personnel were injured and were undergoing treatment at a hospital, officials said.
Kashmir University suspended classes for two days from tomorrow as a precautionary measure and postponed exams that were to be held tomorrow.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed anguish and grief over the death of five civilians.
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