South Kashmir: 2 Runaway SPOs Among 4 Militants Killed In Pulwama

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SRINAGAR — Two Special Police Officers (SPOs) who deserted police’s Special Operation Group  and joined Jaish-e-Mohammad two days ago were killed along with two other local affiliates of the outfit in an overnight encounter with government forces in Pulwama district on Friday. 

The encounter between militants and the government forces comprising army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles and Police’s Special Operation Group besides CRPF ensued last night at Litter Lassipora area in the southern Kashmir district. 

Official sources said that the two slain SPOs— Shabir Ahmad of Tujan Pulwama and Salman Ahmad Uthmula Shopian—were part of SOG and were posted at DPL Pulwama until they left along with their service rifles to join the militant ranks couple of days back. The two other militants included Imran Yousuf Bhat of Arihal Pulwama and Ashiq Hussain Ganie of Panjran Pulwama. 

Reports said that joint team of government forces on wee hours of Friday blasted two houses where the militants were holed up and razed them to the ground. According to locals two houses— both 3-storeyed houses belonging to two brothers Mohammad Yasin and Ghulam Mohammad Ganai were damaged completely and there was an estimated loss of about Rs 1.5 cores.

Mohd Yasin Ganai, according to locals is working in the telecom department as an operator while Ghulam Mohammad had shifted in his newly constructed house on the auspicious day of Eid-ul-Fitr, Mohd Yasin had shifted in his newly constructed a few months back.

According to locals, the militants and the join team exchanged gunfight on the roadside and later the militants took shelter inside the residential houses. The families of both houses become homeless and were in a distressed situation.

While confirming the gunfight, a senior police officer said that the operation was launched following credible inputs about the presence of some militants. “Today morning, the joint team of forces while searching the area retrieved four bodies along with arms and ammunition and other incriminating material”.

“According to the police records, Ashiq Hussain had a history of militant-related crimes and was part of a group involved in planning and executing a series of militant attacks in the area,” the spokesman said.

Similarly, Imran Bhat was also involved in several militant attacks on security establishments in the area, he said. Many crime cases have been registered against the duo, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, after conducting all legal medico formalities, the bodies of the slain were handed over to their respective families for last rites. Reports and eyewitnesses said that thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of all the slain at their respective native places.

At Tujan, a group of militants appeared and fired aerial gunshots as a mark of gun salute to their fallen associate Shabir Ahmad Dar.

Later, all the four slain were laid to rest amid pro-freedom slogans and a spontaneous shutdown in their native villages and other adjoining areas including main town Pulwama. The stone pelting clashes also erupted near the encounter site and other places adjacent to it including main town Pulwama. The forces deployed in the area used tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse them.

In wake of the encounter, the mobile internet services remained suspended since Thursday evening in the southern district.  

One Of The Houses Razed Was Dwelled Only On Eid

  The government forces on Friday allegedly blasted two houses, both 3-storeyed, at Panjran area of Lassipora Litter in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district to neutralize four militants, two of them SPOs who deserted police to join Jash-e-Mohammad ranks.

Both the houses were constructed recently and one of brothers– Ghulam Mohammad—had shifted only on just concluded Eid-ul-fitr.

The militants after a gunfight on the roadside with government forces had taken shelter in the houses, other belonging to Mohammad Yasin Ganie, an employee in the telecom department. 

Reports said that both the houses were damaged completely and there is an estimated loss of about Rs 1.5 cores.

While Ghulam Mohammad had shifted in his newly constructed house on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, Mohd Yasin had shifted in his newly constructed a few months back, they said.

According to locals, the militants and the join team exchanged fire on the roadside and later the militants took shelter inside the residential houses. The families of both houses become homeless and were in a distressed situation.


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