2 Militants Killed In 19-Hour Long South Kashmir Encounter

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  KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Two local militants were killed and two soldiers injured during a fierce 19-hour-long gunfight in south Kashmir’s Shopian district that ended on Saturday, police said.

A joint team of police, army’s 44RR and CRPF laid a siege around Kanigam area of the district on Friday afternoon after receiving specific input about the presence of militants, a police spokesperson said Saturday. During the search operation, he said, the militants were given an opportunity to lay down their arms and surrender.

“However, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the initial firing two army personnel got injured and were shifted to hospital for treatment. Due to darkness, the operation was suspended and the whole area was put under strict cordon,” the police spokesperson said.

During the wee hours, he said, the holed-up militants fired indiscriminately when the search team reiterated surrender offer to them.

“In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the spot,” he said.

He identified them as Owais Farooq of Awantipora and Asif Lone of Shopian, both associated with Al Badr outfit.

As per police records, the police spokesperson said that both the militants were part of the group involved in several activities, including attacks on government forces. Lone, he said, was also involved in an attack on the army’s naka party at Trenz Shopian besides pasting threatening posters in Zainapora asking people to stay away from recently concluded DDC elections.

“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes,” he said.

The police spokesperson further said that the last rites of the killed militants shall be performed after conducting their medico-legal formalities at Baramulla and their nearest family members shall be allowed to participate.

“In this connection a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated,” he said.

“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” he added.

TRF Militant, Aide Arrested In Jammu: Police

Meanwhile police in Jammu on Saturday claimed to have arrested a militant of ‘The Resistance Front’ (TRF) and his associate along with arms and ammunition in Narwal area of the city outskirts.

Based on a reliable input regarding movement of militants with automatic weapons towards Srinagar, the special operation group (SOG) of police laid a naka in Narwal area of Jammu city, a police spokesperson said. Around 5:30pm, he said, a car tried to escape from the checkpoint when the SOG team was conducting searches of the vehicles

“Observing the suspicious movement, the SOG team immediately chased the vehicle and apprehended it with the two suspects Raees Ahmad Dar of Churath, Qazigund and Subzar Ahmad Sheikh of Ashmuji, Kulgam,” the police spokesperson said.

He said during searches, an AK series rifle, 2 magazines and sixty rounds besides a pistol and 15 rounds were recovered from the bag in possession of Raees.

“On this, a Case FIR no. 359/20 U/S 120-B/121/121-A/122 IPC, 7/25 A. Act, 18/20/38/39 Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, has been registered at PS Bahu Fort and investigation is taken up,” he added.

The police spokesperson further claimed that Raees has a history of involvement in militant activities and has 4 cases registered against him.

“Initial investigation reveals that he is working for TRF. The role of his associate is also being ascertained,” he said.

“Jammu police is further investigating the case to unearth a complete network of associates providing support to militant activities,” he added.

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