Injured Militant, Associate Surrenders: Police

KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Will Welcome Those With Open Arms Who Shun Violence: IGP

Srinagar: Two local militants of Hizbul Mujahideen, one among them injured, laid down their arms during a gunfight with government forces in Lelhar area of Pulwama district, police said Saturday.

Acting on a specific input about the presence of militants, police, army’s 50 RR and the personnel of CRPF 183 battalion launched a cordon and search operation in Lelhar area of the south Kashmir district around 8:00 pm Friday, a police spokesperson here said. The holed up militants, he said, fired upon the search team when their presence got ascertained.

“The search party retaliated to the fire leading to an encounter. However, the joint forces showed utmost restraint and provided them an opportunity to surrender. Family members of the trapped militants were also called to the encounter site to motivate and persuade them to surrender,” the police spokesperson said.

He further said that due to the great efforts and utmost patience of the government forces and repeated appeals with the help of their family members, both the militants ultimately laid down their arms before the joint forces.

The police spokesperson identified them as Akeel Ahmad Lone of Lelhar and Rouf Ahmad of Wasoora Pulwama, both associated with Hizb. Lone, who was injured in the initial exchange of fire, was evacuated to the hospital for treatment, he said.

“Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 01 AK-47 and 01 AK-56 rifles laid down by them were seized,” he added.

The police spokesperson further said that a case under relevant sections of law have been registered in this regard and further investigations initiated.

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

The surrender of the two militants, as claimed by police, comes barely a day after Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said in a presser on Friday that the focus of police in 2021 will be to ensure surrender of local militants.

“As you may have seen, in Bandipora, Manzoor, a local militant was intercepted at a checkpoint by our party. He was given ample opportunity to surrender. He raised his hands and surrendered. We recovered five grenades and a pistol from him,” Kumar said in the news conference.

“We made an effort to make him surrender because it not only helps us extract information but also persuades others to surrender,” he had added.

The IGP had further said that police will make every effort to newly joined local militants to lay down their arms. He had said the police will also seek help from the parents of the militants to ensure their surrender.

Meanwhile, as per the police spokesperson IGP Kashmir has congratulated the joint team for showing utmost patience and exhibiting professionalism, which resulted in saving the life of two “misguided youth”.

“IGP Kashmir once again makes a fervent appeal to all misguided youth who have joined militant ranks to shun the path of violence and return to mainstream as the society needs them and most importantly their parents. We will welcome and accept them with open arms,” Kumar, as per police spokesperson said.

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