Cop’s Son Among 3 Militants Killed In Srinagar Encounter: Police


  KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Three ‘non-listed militants’, including a policeman’s son were killed by the security forces on Wednesday in the city outskirts on Srinagar Baramulla highway.

In a handout issued here Wednesday evening, a police spokesperson said that the soldiers of army’s 2 RR around 5:30 pm Tuesday launched a cordon and search operation near Hokersar on the basis of a specific input. The militants, he said, hurled grenades on the soldiers and fired indiscriminately while the cordon was being laid.

The police and CRPF, he said, rushed to the spot on receiving the information about the gunfight. He said that soldiers retaliated after being fired heavily by the militants hiding in the building.

“Repeated announcements were made to the hiding militants to lay down their illegal weapons and surrender, instead they fired continuously upon the searching party,” the police spokesperson said.

He said due to the darkness, the operation was suspended but the cordon remained intact throughout night. On Wednesday morning, he said, the militants again fired towards the government forces when repeated announcements were again made asking them to surrender.

“The fire was retaliated again resulting in the elimination of militants. The operation ended over at 11:30hrs in which all the 3 hiding militants were killed,” he said.

During searches, the police spokesperson said that an AK 47 rifle and two pistols & ammunition and other incriminating material along with some documents were recovered.

He said from the recoveries, the militants have been identified as Ajaz Maqbool Ganie, Ather Mushtaq of Pulwama and Zubair Lone of Shopian.

The police spokesperson claimed that the three militants had reportedly come from south Kashmir to target a convoy of security forces, as the area has witnessed several militancy incidents.

He also said that none of the three were listed militants but two among them were hardcore associates of militants.

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

General Officer Commanding (GoC) Kilo Force H S Sahi claimed that the three alleged militants were planning a big strike on the highway to gain publicity.

Addressing a joint press conference at 2 RR headquarters at Zainakote, HMT, Srinagar, GoC Kilo Force said that in the past one week, five militants including a Pakistani national were killed in two separate gunfights in north Kashmir.

“Since past many days, intelligence inputs were pouring in continuously about the movement of militants on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. Yesterday, we developed leads and came to know that militants are hiding in a house right opposite to Noora hospital at Lawaypora in HMT area,” Sahi said according to the news agency KNO.

To a query why militants are choosing Srinagar outskirts, he said: “Militants choose Srinagar outskirts or highways to carry out attacks on security forces to get maximum publicity. The nature of ammunition used by the militants in today’s gunfight, suggests they were planning a big strike on the highway.”

Meanwhile, violent protests broke out when the news of the killing of the three alleged militants spread in the Lawaypora area this morning.

Groups of people, mainly youth, took to streets and pelted rocks and stones on the government forces, witnesses said. The forces, they said, chased away the protesters, who regrouped and continued stone pelting attacks. The pitched battles, witnesses said, continued for some time.

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