By Ajaz Ali
Srinagar: Police on Tuesday claimed to have killed three local Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, including a Srinagar resident in a pre-dawn encounter in Kokernag area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
Around 4:00 am Tuesday, a joint team of police, army’s 19 RR and the personnel of CRPF laid a siege around Sheikhpora, Vailoo area of Kokernag on the basis of an input suggesting presence of three militants in a residential house, a police spokesperson said. He said the presence of militants got ascertained once the search operation was launched.
The holed-up militants, the police spokesperson said opened fire upon the search team after rejecting the surrender offer given to them.
“The joint party retaliated to the fire triggering off an encounter. The joint teams also rescued all the civilians trapped in the gunfire and halted the operation for the time to ensure safety and safe evacuation of people from the area of gunfight,” he said.
He further said that after ensuring all the civilians were safe, the operation was resumed and all the militants were killed in the ensuing encounter. He said that the bodies of the three killed militants were also retrieved from the encounter site.
The police spokesperson identified the trio as Ilyas Ahmad Dar alias Sameer of Danwathpora Kokernag, Ubaid Shafi alias Abdullah of Batamaloo Srinagar and Aqib Ahmad Lone alias Sahil of Khandaypora Kulgam.
“As per police records, all the killed militants were linked with proscribed outfit LeT and part of the groups involved in several crime cases including attacks on security forces and security establishments,” he said.
The police spokesperson also claimed that Ubaid Shafi was part of the militant group involved in the killing of a police constable Rameez Ahmad in Aaribagh area of Nowgam in Srinagar on April 1.
“Arms & ammunition including 01 AK-47 rifle, 02 pistols and incriminating materials have also been 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 last rites of the killed militants shall be performed after conducting medico-legal formalities and the nearest family members of local militants shall be allowed to participate in the last rites,” he added.
He further said that a case under relevant sections of law has been registered in this connection and further investigation has been initiated.
“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any,” the police spokesperson added.
He also quoted IGP Kashmir as urging parents of the “misguided youth” to help police to bring their wards back into mainstream.
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