IPS Officer’s Brother Among 3 Militants Killed In Shopian

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SRINAGAR — Brother of an IPS officer whom police called man behind planning weapon snatching and recruiting militants was killed along with two associates of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in a gunfight at Shirmal area of Shopian district in south Kashmir on Tuesday. Two army soldiers were injured, one of them critically, in a gunfight.

Reports said that a joint team of army’s 44 RR, Para Commandos and SOG launched a search operation in Shirmal area of Zinapora after having credible input about the presence of some militants in the village.

As the joint team of government forces intensified searches towards the suspected spot—the hideout inside an orchard, the hiding militants fired upon them, triggering off an encounter. There was a lull monetarily before firefight resumed, leading to the killing of three militants.

Two army soldiers of 44 RR also sustained injuries in the gunfight and were identified as Sepoy Rahul Kumar and Havaldar Ram Lal, they said.

Both the injured after being treated at army’s local health facility were later airlifted to 92 base hospital Badamibagh here, they said, adding that condition of one of them, Rahul Kumar, is said to be critical.

The bodies of the slain were recovered along with as many weapons and other arms and ammunition, they said. The government forces blasted the hideout, the sources said.

A local news agency quoting sources said four militants were trapped and one of them reportedly managed to flee. However, there was no official confirmation in this regard so far.

Official sources said that among the slain include Shamsul Haq Mengnoo (23) son of Mohammad Rafiq Mengnoo, a resident of Sugan, Draggud village of Shopian district.

Shamsul Haq had left studies at Bachelors of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS) at government college here in Zakura campus. His elder brother Inamul Haq is 2012 IPS batch officer who is posted in North East. 

“According to police records, Shamsul Haq Mengnoo was part of militant conspiracies along with  others   leading to weapon snatching, recruitment to militant fold, attacks on government forces and so on. Several militant related cases were registered against him,” a police spokesman said.

The other slain militants include Aamir Suhail Bhat son of Abdul Aziz resident of Chidipora Chitragam Shopian and Shoaib Ahmad Shah son of Ghulam Rasool resident of Shermal Shopian.

The spokesman said Shoaib Shah according to police records was involved in several offenses and several cases were registered against him including 13/2018 U/S 307 RPC 7/27 A. Act of PS Shopian, 05/2018 U/S 307 RPC 7/27 A. Act 16 ULA (P) of PS Zainpora, 19/2018 U/S 307, 353, 332, 148, 149, 336 RPC 7/27 A. A Act, 16 ULA (P) of PS Zainpora, 42/23018 U/S 307, 393 RPC 7/27 A.Act 16 ULA (P) of PS Zainpora and 52/23018 U/S 307 RPC 7/27 A.Act 16 ULA (P) ¾ Exp Sub Act of PS Zainpora.

Similarly, he said, Aamir Suhail Bhat was also involved in several militant attacks. He along with the other militants had attacked the residential guard  at Chittragam in August 2018 for which a case FIR NO 42/2018 US 307, 393 RPC, 7/27 A Act, 16 ULAP Act is registered at PS Zainpora, the spokesman said.

Bodies of the killed militants were handed over to their families after completion of medico-legal formalities.

“Citizens are once again requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any.”

Meanwhile, seven persons were injured in clashes near the site of the encounter at Heff Shirmal as government forces resorted to tear gas shelling and pellet firing. Among injured four pellet wounded has been identified as Arshid Ahmad Dar (30) son of Bashir Ahmad Dar (Pellet injury in left eye) of Nagbal, Shopian, Abul Rashid (40) of Pulwama  (Pellet injury left eye), Javid Ahmad (35) of Pulwama (Pellet injury in both eyes) and Sabzar Ahmad Kumar (20) son of Abdul Rashid of Koil Pulwama, (pellet injuries in both eyes). All the four pellet wounded were referred to SMHS Srinagar from district hospital Shopian.

Besides the civilians, four photojournalists were injured in the incident. The authorities have also suspended internet in the southern district.

Meanwhile, police said that eleven people, including six forces’ personnel, were injured in clashes near the site of a gunfight in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday.

 “Pertinent to mention that it was a difficult operation due to the terrain and there were clashes in the area which was handled by the security forces,” the spokesman said in a statement.

 “only five cases of injuries were reported and three of them were discharged after preliminary medical attention,” he said, adding, “Separately, six security forces’ personnel injured during the clashes have been discharged after medical attention,” said the spokesman. “Although this was a day-long operation, the effort of SFs and cooperation of citizen did not result in any significant injuries or collateral damage.” 

  Haq met ‘sad end’ despite brother’s efforts: Ex-DGP Vaid

Former Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Shesh Paul Vaid on Tuesday said that Hizb militant Shamsul Haq met a “sad end” despite efforts by his IPS officer brother to bring him back.

Taking to Twitter soon after the news of his killing in Shopian gunfight started doing the rounds, Vaid, who was the director general of police in J&K when Haq turned to militancy, said: “I remember the efforts that were made by his (Haq’s) brother /other family members and J&K Police to bring him back to mainstream but he met a sad end today

Haq, brother of IPS officer Inam ul Haq, was killed along with his two associates in a gunfight in Shirmal village of Shopian. An army soldier was wounded in the gunfight.

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