SRINAGAR Two militants, house owners son, claimed to be an active accomplice of militants by police and a constable of Special Operation Group of police were killed and two paramilitary CRPF soldiers were injured in a gunfight in Fateh Kadal area of the Srinagar.
The killing of militants and the civilian sparked off massive clashes in the city in which at least twenty people were injured. Schools and colleges were closed while Kashmir University suspended class work even as authorities snapped internet soon after the encounter started at wee hours.
Reports said, special operations group (SOG) of police and CRPF laid a cordon around Syed Ali Akbar of Fateh Kadal following specific inputs suggesting the presence of Lashkar-e-Taiba militants.
The search team came under fire when they started advances towards the house where the militants were hiding.
In the initial exchange of gunfire, one cop of SOG identified as Kamal Kishore was killed and two CRPF men injured.
In the ensuing gun-battle that continued for over an hour, two Lashkar militants were killed. They were identified as Me’raj-ud-Din Bangroo and Fahad Mushtaq Waza. A civilian identified as Rayees Ahmad Sofi was also killed by the government forces during the gun-battle. Police, however, maintains he was an active accomplice of the militants, an accusation strongly contested by the family.
He was beaten to death by forces and had no connections with the militants, Rayees mother told Kashmir Observer.
During the encounter, three residential houses and several cars parked in the locality were damaged, the reports added.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a handout issued here this evening said that one policeman was killed and two CRPF personnel injured in the initial exchange of gunfire with militants hiding in a residential house.
During the encounter, all the two (militants) and their active accomplice refused to come out of the house and in turn fired upon the search party. Consequently, they were killed in the encounter. The eliminated (militants) and the active accomplice have been identified as Me’rajudin Bangroo, Fahad Mushtaq Waza and Rayees Ahmad (sic), a police spokesman said.
Bangroo, he said was involved in the killing of three police personnel at Bagh-e-Ali Mardan Khan and Batamaloo besides an incident of rifle snatching and several grenade attacks.
Faid Mushtaq Waza son of Mushtaq Ahmad Waza resident of Akilmir Khanyar was also involved in several militant-related incidents. Many cases were registered against him including FIR No. 45/2016 U/S 148, 149, 336, 332, 427 RPC, FIR No. 28/2017 U/S 147, 148, 149, 336, 152, 353 RPC at Police Station Khanyar. The complicity of Rayees Ahmad who was part of the group in providing shelter and logistics to the militants is being investigated, said police spokesman.
Police also issued an advisory to the people living around Fateh Kadal encounter site as the area was being sanitized and cleared by Bomb Disposal (BD) squad.
Many journalists covering the encounter were also roughed up by the government forces in the area leading to outrage among the media fraternity. Media associations including Kashmir Editors Guild condemning the police action forcing senior police officers to tender an apology.
Meanwhile, the killing sparked off violent protests in the Old City of Srinagar and led to a spontaneous shutdown.
Groups of youth took to streets in Fateh Kadal, Karfali Mohalla, Safa Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Eidgah and other parts of the city and clashed with the government forces. The government forces burst tear gas canisters and fired pellets to disperse the stone pelting protesters.
At least twenty people were injured in the clashes that continued till late evening.
Meanwhile, thousands of people attended the unreal of the slain militants at Eidgah here where they were laid to rest late in the evening. Meanwhile internet services were been snapped in the Srinagar.
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