3 Militants, Cop Killed In Twin Encounters in South, Central Kashmir

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KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Three local militants and a special police officer (SPO) were killed in two separate nocturnal encounters in twin districts of Shopian and Budgam in the Kashmir Valley, officials said Friday.

On the basis of specific input suggesting presence of militants, police, army’s 44 RR and CRPF personnel from 178 battalion launched a cordon and search operation on Thursday night in Badigam area of Shopian district, a police spokesperson said Friday. He said that the militants were given repeated opportunities to lay down their arms and surrender.

“Instead the hiding militants fired indiscriminately and also managed to keep some of the inmates as hostage. Due to darkness the operation was suspended however the cordon remained intact throughout night,” the police spokesperson said.

With the first light of the day on Friday, he said, the joint party tactfully evacuated the hostage and renewed surrender offer to the holed up militants. However, the militants, he said, refused the offer and fired indiscriminately on the join team which was retaliated resulting in the killing of all the three hiding militants.

The police spokesperson identified the trio as Suhail Sheikh alias Azeem of Turkwangam, Shahid Ahmad Dar alias Furkan of Samboora in Awantipora and Muddasir Ahmad Wagay of Chak Sangren, all affiliated with Al-Badr militant outfit.

“The bodies of all the three killed militants were retrieved from the site of encounter. Arms and ammunition including 2 AK rifles, 5 AK magazines, 96 AK rounds, a pistol, one pistol magazine and five rounds and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter,” he said.

He further said that all the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes.

Meanwhile, an SPO was killed in a gunfight with militants in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, police said Friday.

According to the police spokesperson, police, army’s 53RR and CRPF 79 battalion launched a joint cordon and search operation in village Zanigam Beerwah of Budgam. During the search operation, he said, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party in which two police personnel- SPO Mohammad Altaf and Sg Ct Manzoor Ahmad received gunshot injuries.

“However, Mohammad Altaf succumbed to his injuries while another injured police personnel has been shifted to hospital,” he said.

“However, taking advantage of the darkness, the militants believed to be two in number managed to escape in an injured condition from the spot. Efforts are on to track the militants,” he added.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar said while the militants have managed to escape in injured condition, their blood trace has been followed to another village some two kilometres away from the encounter site. The area has been cordoned off, he said.

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