Day 2: Handwara Standoff Continues, 3 Houses Razed 

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SRINAGAR — The lone militant, who played dead under the rubble of a house before firing indiscriminately causing four fatalities’ to government forces and injuring eleven others, continued to engage joint team of army, police and paramilitary CRPF on second running day at Babagund Langate area of Handwara in frontier Kupwara district on Saturday. 

Official sources said that on early Saturday morning, elite paramilitary forces from 3 and 9 battalion joined the already strengthened posse of government forces comprising army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles, 92 battalion CRPF and police’s Special Operation Group.  

They said that there was fresh fire between the militant and the government forces and it continued intermittently for the day. 

The government forces allegedly razed one more house to rubble by blowing it up with an Improvised Explosive Device. The three houses so far damaged belong to Manzoor Ahmad shah son of Ghulam Hassan, Fayaz Ahmad Peer son of Wali Mohammad and Imtiyaz Ahmad Bhat son of Ghulam Ahmad Bhat. Two cowsheds and a tin shed were also damaged so far, the officials added.  

The encounter broke out during the night between February 28 and March 1 after the joint team launched a cordon-and-search operation. A fierce encounter started and two militants were believed to have been killed.

However, when the joint search team went to retrieve the militant bodies amid a lull, one of the two militants, earlier believed to be dead stood up and fired indiscriminately leading to injuries to CRPF Inspector, a policeman and five government forces personnel including army soldiers who were removed to hospital.

Among the injured, the paramilitary Inspector namely Pintu Kumar of 92 battalion CRPF and the policeman of SOG Handwara namely Naseer Ahmad succumbed to wounds, they said.

Subsequently, they said, a commandant of CRPF Deepak Kumar  along with four other paramilitary personnel, a policeman and two army soldiers were injured and all of them were evacuated to military hospital where two of them–one CRPF personnel namely constable Vinod and the policeman SgCt Ghulam Mustufa–succumbed to their injuries. A civilian was also killed in alleged government forces action amid clashes near the encounter site. 

Meanwhile, a wreath laying ceremony was held at District Police Lines, Handwara and officers led by IGPd Kashmir S. P. Pani (IPS) laid floral wreaths on the bodies of SgCt Naseer Ahmad Kholi resident of Gund Gujran Karnah and SgCt Ghulam Mustafa Barah resident of Zachaldara Handwara. 

Among others who attended the ceremony include DIG NKR Mohammad Suleman Choudhary (IPS), SP Handwara Ashish Kumar Mishra (IPS), Commander 7th Sector, CO CRPF and other officers and personnel of the district.

According to a police spokesman Naseer is survived by parents, wife, 2-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. 

Ghulam Mustafa’s family is survived by aged mother, wife, two daughters and as many sons, the spokesman added.

 


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