SRINAGAR Six militants were killed in a brief encounter in an open field at Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday.
Thousands of people participated in the funeral of the militants even as authorities snapped internet in Awantipora area and suspended train services were suspended to south Kashmir.
A senior police officer said that a joint team of army’s 42 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation following “credible inputs” about the presence of militants at Arampora hamlet of Dadsara early morning.
In the meantime, the government forces fired some warning shots towards a “militant hideout” situated in an orchard along the Tral-Awantipora road. The militant group hiding inside the hideout opened fire, triggering off a gunfight which lasted for a brief period, he said.
During the course of the gunfight, six militants of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind including outfits Deputy Chief Soliha was killed, he said.
The bodies of all the slain along with as many weapons and other arms and ammunition were recovered from their possession.
He identified the slain as Soliha Mohammad Akhoon son of Ghulam Mohammad Akhoon of Arampora, Rasik Mir son of Ghulam Qadir, Rouf Mir son of Ghulam Nabi, Umer Ramzan son of Mohammad Ramzan Mir, residents of Dadsara, Nadeem Sofi son of Mohammad Muzaffar Sofi of Batgund, Tral at present Dadsara and Faisal Javid Khanday son of Javid Khanday of Amlar Awantipora.
After completion of medico-legal formalities, bodies of all the six militants were handed over to their legal heirs for last rites, the spokesman said.
Soliha was Deputy Chief of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, he said, adding that all the slain were involved in many militancy-related attacks including grenade throwing incidents in recent past in Awantpora police district.
A police spokesman said that all the six slain militants were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of militant attacks including those on security establishments and civilian atrocities. The militant group was part of Zakir Mousa faction and was active in district Pulwama, the spokesman said.
As per police records, Rasiq had a long history of militant records since last five years. Several militant cases were registered against him including case FIR number 170/2016 under section 13, 18, 18E, 20 ULAP Act, he said.
Soliha according to police records also had a long history of militant crimes since 2015 and was involved in several attacks on security establishments and many other civilian “atrocities” in the area, he said.
Similarly, Nadeem and Umar were also involved in several crimes. Also, Rouf and Faisal were involved in planning and executing many attacks in the area, he said.
Earlier, the officer said that the gunfight broke out after a joint team of army’s 42 RR, SOG and CRPF fired some warning shots towards a militant hideout situated in an orchard along the Tral-Awantipora road during a cordon-and-search operation.
Soon after the gunfight, youth took to streets and clashed with the government forces. However, there were no reports about injury to anyone in the incident. The authorities also suspended internet services while train services were suspended fearing law and order situation.
The militants were laid to rest after multiple rounds of funeral prayers in their respective native villages.
Reports said that four militants Raski Mir, Rouf Mir, Nadeem Sofi and Umer Ramzan were laid to rest at a single graveyard in Dadsara village of Tral.
Two other slain militants – Soliha Mohammad Akhoon and Faisal Khanday were respectively laid to rest at Arampora and Amlar area of the district.
Reports said that ten rounds of funeral prayers were held to accommodate thousands of mourners who had marched to Dadsara, Arampora and Amlar areas.
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