Machhil Gunfight: Soldier, Militant Killed, 5 Troopers Injured


Srinagar: A soldier and an unidentified militant were killed while as five soldiers were injured in an encounter at Machhil sector in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
The encounter broke out yesterday morning after the soldiers of 56 RR who were manning the Line of Control (LoC) intercepted a militant group believed to be infiltrators at Katwara forest area near Jet Gali, some 4 kilometers away from the fence, in Machhil sector Tuesday morning, a senior police officer said.
After being challenged, the suspected militants opened fire on the forces triggering off an encounter, he said.
“In the day long gunfight yesterday, five soldiers have sustained injuries and has been immediately airlifted to army’s 92 base hospital for treatment”, he said.
The injured soldiers have been identified as Sepoy Suraj Kumar, Sepoy Nitesh Kumar, Sepoy Lakhan Singh, Sepoy Lakashman Das and Sepoy Nikhil.
Among the five injured Sepoy Lakashman Das according to official sources is in critical conditions as he sustained bullet injuries in his chest.
“Soon after the gunfight broke out, the additional reinforcement of para-troopers has been rushed to the area and joined the operation”.
Last evening, the exchange of gunfire raged the area with the group of militants resulting in injuries to one more soldier identified as Signalman Ajay Singh Choudhary.
Choudhary(24), a resident of Rajasthan, was immediately airlifted to army’s 92 base hospital where he succumbed to injuries today, he said.
Today in the morning when the joint team of para-commandos and 56 RR launched the search operation and recovered a militant body from the spot, he said, adding that the operation has been launched to track down the militant group.
Meanwhile, official sources said that besides para-commandos army used sniffer dogs and choppers into service to locate the other members of the group who are believed to be hiding inside the dense bushes.
When reports last came in, the search operation in the area is still going on.
SOG, Army Run Amok After Militant Attack 
Kulgam:  Besides causing damage to houses and parked vehicles, government forces shortly after alleged militant attack on police post at Kaimoh Kulgam on Tuesday night barged into the houses of two local militants and according to the family members the men in uniform not only manhandled the inmates but also ransacked the houses and even smashed windowpanes.
Pertinently, suspected militants attacked a newly-established police post in Kaimoh area at around 9:30 pm on Tuesday. The locals alleged that an hour after the attack government forces including Army and Special Operation Group personnel went on a rampage in the area’s including Gufbal, Rampora, Bichroo and Gretbal Kaimoh.
Kaimoh Headman Muhammad Sidiqe told CNS that government forces barged into the house of Ghulam Mohiuddin Zargar son of Ghulam Hasan at Gretbal. Majid Zargar, a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant is the son of Ghulam Mohiuddin. “The government forces ransacked the house, smashed the windowpanes and manhandled the family members. They also caused heavy damage to the house of another LeT militant Tawseef Ahmed Sheikh at Rampora Kulgam,” the village headman said.
He added that government forces damaged dozens of parked vehicles on roadside while in Bichroo village they inflicted much damage to the vehicles. “The tipper (JK015-6425) belonging to Mehrajuddin Sheikh of Koimoh was damaged by gun wielding men from the government. They also caused huge damage to a truck owned by Rameez Ahmed Itoo son of Ghulam Mohiuddin Itoo at Koimoh,” he said.
The alleged vandalization sparked spontaneous shutdown in Koimoh, Khudwani and adjacent areas of Kulgam district while agitated youth resorted to massive stone-pelting prompting police to burst tear-smoke shells. The locals were demanding action against what they called ‘unbriddled’ government uniformed forces. “Instead of fighting militants, the government forces harass common people,” the protesters said.
“We have brought the issue into the notice of Deputy Commissioner Kulgam and he has assured us action against the culprits,” said a respectable citizen.
According to SP Kulgam, Muhammad Irshad, some youth resorted to stone-pelting after the militant attack resulting in the damage of few vehicles. 


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