SRINAGAR: Two local militants were killed during a gunfight between armed forces and militants in Padgampora village of south Kashmirs Pulwama district on Thursday.
According to police, the fire fight started between 7:30 am when a joint team of 55 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), the CRPF and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K police cordoned Padgampora village.
During the search operation, militants present in the area fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated, ensuing in an encounter, police said.
As the gun fight raged in the Pulwama district, hundreds of civilians marched towards the encounter site to help save the militants engaged in the gun fight. Two civilians were killed when one of the duo was hit by a stray bullet and another died of heart break. Scores of other protestors were injured in battle with the men in uniform.
Later on, police identified the slain militants as Mohammad Shafi Wagay @ Ehsan and Jahangir Ahmad Ganie @ Safi-ul-lah of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
The security establishment brought the family members - wife and son - of Ganie to the encounter spot to persuade him to surrender. However, they did not succeed.
The forces blasted at least three residential houses razing them to ground using explosives.
2 Cops Injured After Firing From Crowd: Police
J&K Police on Thursday said that acting on specific input, regarding the presence of militants in Padgampora area of Awantipora, a cordon and search operation was launched by Awantipora Police, 130 Bn CRPF and 55-RR. During the search operation militants hiding in the area fired upon the search party.
Since one of the militants was Mohammad Shafi of Banderpora Pulwama belonging to LeT, his family was brought and repeated announcements were made for the surrender of the said militants. However, it did not yield any result and hiding militants kept on firing on the forces, police said in a statement. Both the militants were killed in this encounter.
A crowd of people from the village and from the villages near the encounter site gathered, pelted stones and made attempts to reach the encounter site, it added.
Police handled the situation with due care and diligence. However, from the crowd there were firing in which two Police officials namely Sg Ct Khalid Ahmad No. 598/Awt and SPO Manzoor Ahmad received bullet injuries. Both the injured were shifted to 92- Base hospital and District Hospital Pulwama respectively for treatment, the police statement added.
One person identified as Amir Nazir Wani, resident of Begumbagh was injured after being hit by a stray bullet and succumbed to his injuries, it said.
Another person was brought dead to District Hospital Pulwama, whose medical examination by the Doctors has revealed that he had no external injury on his body. X-Ray and other radiology tests could not find any bullet or pellet wound on his body. A separate inquest proceeding has been initiated in this connection, the statement said.
Train Services Suspended
Train services from Budgam-Srinagar to Banihal were suspended on Thursday for security reasons following encounter between militants and armed forces in south Kashmir's Pulwama district.
However, train service on Srinagar-Budgam in the central Kashmir to Baramulla in north was running as per schedule, a railway official said.
He said that all trains running on Budgam-Srinagar-Pulwama, Anantnag and Qazigund to Banihal in Jammu region were suspended. The decision to suspend the train services was taken on the advice by local authorities and police in view of apprehension of violence.
In the past, railway property had suffered massive damage during protests in the valley, where the train services remained suspended for about six months during summer unrest last year. (PTK)
Hizb Militant Killed In Bandipora: Police
One militant of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed after he fired upon a naka party in Bandipora, on Thursday evening, a statement issued by J&K Police said.
On specific information, a naka was laid near Police Station Bandipora by Bandipora police and 14 RR, the statement said, during the checking, one militant opened fire on the naka party injuring an officer of 14 RR. The fire was retaliated in which the said militant was killed.
Police identified the slain militant as Mushtaq Ahmad Shergojri, resident of Malangam Bandipora. One pistol and a grenade were recovered from his possession.
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