Police ‘Unsure’ About Militants Killed In Arwani Encounter

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Anantnag: As mystery continues to shroud two day long Arwani encounter, police today said two militants have been gunned down and DNA samples have been collected for their identification.

There is no official word yet on the identity of those killed in the encounter that ended on Friday after nearly 42 hours.

The police on Thursday had claimed three militants were killed in a shootout in the south of the valley. The slain militants, police claimed, were all Kashmiris and apparently belonged to southern Kashmir

According to the Press Trust of India, army officials at Srinagar-based 15 Corps, refused to comment on the operation.

An encounter had raged at Hussanpora village of Arwani in south Kashmir on Wednesday evening and amid heavy firing the encounter continued till today. Earlier, police sources had claimed that three militants, all locals, were killed but body of none of the slain were recovered.

Amid encounter, massive clashes had erupted at Hussanpora and adjoining areas. The residents had attempted to storm the gunfight site in order to give safe passage to trapped militants. During the stone-pelting one civilian hailing from Sangam area of Anantnag was killed. Although police claimed that he was hit by a stray bullet.

With increasing confusion, police sources had said that the forces were fired upon several times yesterday when they tried to move towards the house where militants were holed up. The forces coming under repeated fire indicated that there could more militants. After putting the operation on halt yesterday, it was resumed today.

The firing between the two sides was also reported today and in the afternoon, the police and army officials said that the encounter is over and they have started searches to retrieve the bodies. After hectic efforts, the forces recovered one charred body and pieces of flesh of another body beyond identification from debris of house that was damaged extensively due to mortar shelling, police sources said today.

However, it was unclear whether the bodies of the slain militants were actually of Majid Zargar and Ruhail Amin of Qaimoh and Vesoo Qazigund respectively. Reports said that their families have claimed that the duo is alive and has even met their family members. But police didn’t comment over these claims.

Interestingly, the conglomerate of Kashmir militant groups, United Jihad Council Thursday had paid ‘glorious tribute’ to the three militants who according to the outfit were killed in Husanpora Arwani gunfight with Indian armed forces.

“The death of three budding militants Majid Zargar, Muhammad Waseem and Rahil Amin is the biggest setback to the ongoing freedom struggle,” local news agency CNS quoted UJC Chief, Syed Salahuddin as having said in a press statement.

In the meanwhile, a police spokesman said on 07-12-2016 police received specific information about the presence of militants in the house of one Mushtaq Ahmad Ganie son of Ghulam Qadir Ganie at Hassanpora, Tavila Arwani. The spokesman said as per the information, one Mushtaq Ahmad Ganie works as an over ground worker (OGW) of militants of LeT outfit and “not only harboured terrorists in his house, but also provides all sort of logistical support to them”.

“Based on this input, an operation was launched by joint team of Anantnag, Awantipora police along with Army and CRPF. The said house was cordoned off and when the security forces party entered into the house for searching, ‘terrorist’ fired on them. The fire was retaliated and the ensuing gun battle lasted for almost two days. The operation concluded today when a joint team of Jammu and Kashmir police and CRPFs quick action team (QAT) stormed the house and cleared it. The cover fire to the storming team was given by army troops,” the J&K police spokesman said.

In the search operation, two bodies of the militants and 3 AK-Rifles along with other incriminating material has been recovered so far. “DNA samples from the killed militants’ bodies have been collected for their identification,” he added.

“Both the bodies were beyond recognition. On account of hearsay that these militants are Majid Zargar from Gofbal Kulgam and Rohul Amin from Vessu Qazigund, we handed over the bodies to the elders of these areas,” said an elderly person from Hussanpora Arwani.

Reports said that one body was laid to rest in Gofbal Kulgam area while another was buried in Vessu Qazigund.

Witnesses said that thousands of mourners amid pro-freedom slogans participated in the last rites of these two slain persons. “We can’t say whether the body is of Majid Zargar or somebody’s else. We are sure,” said a local from Gofbal. Eyewitnesses added that a number of militants arrived in Gofbal area and raised pro-freedom slogans.

Locals from Vessu claimed that as the body of the slain person considered to be of LeT commander Roohul Amin was taken towards martyrs grave yard, Roohul Amin along with his friends appeared their on a motor-cycle. “Yes, we saw Roohul Amin. He arrived here on motorcycle,” said a local.

Meanwhile, a police handout read that police received a specific information about the presence of militants in the house of one Mushtaq Ahmad Ganie son of Ghulam Qadir Ganie at Hassanpora, Tavila Arwani.

 “As per the information Mushtaq Ahmad Ganie works as an over ground worker (OGW) of militants of LeT outfit and not only harboured militants in his house, but also provides all sort of logistical support to  them. Based on this input, an operation was launched by joint team of Anantnag, Awantipora police along with Army and CRPF. The said house was cordoned off and when the security forces party entered into the house for searching, militants fired on them. The fire was retaliated and the ensuing gun battle lasted for almost two days.  With inputs from CNS and GNS

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