Militant Killed In Budgam Encounter, Another Held After Chase

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Srinagar: A local militant was killed on Saturday in a gunfight with government forces in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, while his associate escaped the cordon but was arrested in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.

Police, army’s 50 RR and the personnel of CRPF 181 battalion started a joint cordon and search operation in Mochwa area of Budgam on the basis of specific information about the presence of militants, a police spokesperson said Saturday. The hiding militants, he said, turned down the surrender offer and fired indiscriminately upon the search party which retaliated leading to an encounter.

In the ensuing encounter, the police spokesperson said that Shakir Bashir Dar of Goripora, Awantipora, an Al-Badr militant was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of encounter. As per the police records, he said, the killed militant was part of groups involved in various “terror” crime cases and several cases were registered against him.

“It is pertinent to mention that Shakir Bashir was earlier working as a terrorist associate with proscribed terror outfit LeT and joined terror folds of proscribed terror outfit Al-Badr recently,” the police spokesperson said.

“Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including 1 AK-rifle with 2 Magazines, 32 rounds, 1 Chinese pistol with 2 Magazines, 16 rounds, 1 Bagpack and 1 Pouch were recovered from the site of encounter,” he added.

The police spokesperson further said that while the operation was in progress, it was learnt that while laying cordon another militant had managed to escape from the encounter site and the information was shared with Awantipora Police.

He said that Awantipora Police developed the lead further and launched a cordon and search operation in Mantaqi Colony, Khrew area along with 50RR and 185BN CRPF and arrested the escaped militant from a truck JK13-2397 in which he was hiding.

The police spokesperson identified him as Shabir Ahmad Najar of Wuyan linked with LeT.

“The driver of the truck identified as Mohd Shafi Dar resident of Gratwani Mohalla Khrew has also been arrested. Besides, the said truck has also been seized,” the police spokesperson said.

“Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 01 Chinese Pistol, 01 Pistol Magazine, 07 Pistol rounds, 02 AK-Magazines, 50 AK-rounds, 01 Chinese grenade, 5Kgs IED (destroyed on spot) were also recovered from the site,” he added.

According to the police spokesperson, IGP Kashmir has congratulated joint teams of Police and security forces for showing exemplary coordination in conducting successful operation in professional manner without any collateral damage and tracking down the escaped “terrorist”.

“Besides, IGP Kashmir appeals to parents of newly recruited terrorists to bring their children back to mainstream,” he said, adding “In this connection, Police have registered cases under relevant sections of law and further investigation is in progress,”

Search Operation Continues In Rajouri

Meanwhile, a massive search operation continued for the second day on Saturday in a dense forest area in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir where two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter by security forces, officials said.

The joint operation by the police and the army in remote Pangai village, located in a forested area of Thanamandi, was launched early Friday following information about the presence of three to four militants, including two foreign nationals, there.

“The operation is going on but no fresh contact was established with the suspected terrorists believed to be holed up in the dense forest,” an Army official said.

Two LeT militants were killed in a fierce gunfight in the forest area on Friday and a huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from them, they said.

The bodies of both the terrorists were removed to a local hospital where their post-mortem was conducted on Saturday, the officials said, adding the identity of the deceased is still awaited but they are most likely from Pakistan.

2 Injured In Ramban Blast

Two people, including a teenage boy, were injured in a mysterious explosion along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway near Banihal town in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Saturday.

The blast occurred at M G Construction site at around 11.15 pm on Friday, they said.

Two people, Gopal Sharma (35) of Udhampur and Mohammad Aquib (16) of Mangit-Khari, were injured in the incident. They were shifted to hospital where their condition is stated to be stable, police said.

The police said the blast took place under mysterious circumstances and an investigation is on to ascertain its cause.

Officials said police and security forces immediately cordoned off the entire area near the scene of the explosion.

The blast occurred between M G Company office and workers' accommodation, they said, without ruling out the possibility of hurling of grenade by suspected terrorists to create panic among the people.

M G Company is constructing Banihal bypass, a portion of the four-lane Jammu-Srinagar highway project.

The officials said police have registered a case in connection with the blast and the probe is going on. (With PTI Inputs)

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