October 20, 2021 11:28 pm

4 Militants, Soldier Killed In South Kashmir Encounters

KO File Photo By Abid Bhat

Police Says Slain Militants Were Responsible For Killing Of Migrant Labourers

Srinagar: Four militants and a soldier were killed and two army men injured on Wednesday in two separate encounters in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Kulgam districts.

Police, army’s 44 RR and the personnel of CRPF 178 battalion launched a joint cordon and search operation (CASO) in Dragad village of the district on the basis of specific input about the presence of militants, a police spokesperson said Wednesday. The holed-up militants, he said, were given repeated opportunities to surrender after their presence got ascertained.

“Instead they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the police spokesperson said.

In the ensuing encounter, he said, two militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter.

The police spokesperson identified them as Lashkar district commander for Shopian Adil Hussain Wani of Shirmal, Shopian and his associate Shakir Ahmad Wani of Litter Pulwama.

As per police records, he said, both the killed militants were involved in several terror crime cases including civilian atrocities.

He said that the LeT commander was active since July 2020 and was involved in several “terror crime” cases, including the killing of Sageer Ahmad, a carpenter from Saharanpur Uttar Pradesh, at Litter Pulwama on Saturday last.

“One of the killers of said carpenter was resident of the same village and got active recently after joining terror folds. Reportedly, after committing the crime both terrorists shifted from Litter to Dragad Shopian,” he added.

The police spokesperson further said that during the exchange of fire, three soldiers also sustained bullet injuries and were shifted to nearby hospital for the treatment. However, one among them identified as Sepoy Karanveer Singh succumbed to his injuries.

“Incriminating materials including arms & ammunition were also recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation,” he said.

Hours after Shopian encounter, police claimed to have killed two LeT militants, including a district commander in a gun-battle in neighbouring Kulgam district.

IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar claimed that police and army killed LeT district commander Gulzar Ahmd Reshi of Kulgam and his associate, who were involved in the killings of two poor labourers from Bihar on at Wanpoh on Sunday.

Earlier, the police spokesperson quoted IGP Kashmir congratulating the joint teams for carrying out today’s operation successfully and also complimented Police and Security Forces for working with great synergy and coordination on the ground that lead to 10 successful anti-militancy operations post recent civilian killings.

“It is pertinent to mention that, during past two weeks 15 terrorists were eliminated in the said operations and most of them were involved in recent civilian killings,” he said.

“Police have registered case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated. People are requested to cooperate with Police till the area at encounter site is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” he added.

Slain Militant’s Family Contest Police claim

The family members of one of the slain youth in Shopian encounter refuted police claim that their son was a militant stating that he left his home at 9:30 in the morning to appear before a court in a royalty related case.

Muhammad Rafiq brother of slain Shakir was quoted by a local news gathering agency as saying that his brother, aged 22, was working as a driver. “My brother left home at 9:30 am, to appear before a court in a case related to geology and mining department,” said Rafiq. “At 12 in the noon, they called him but no body received phone and later it went off.” He said the killing of his brother in an encounter should be investigated. However, a top police official said that slain was a C-category militant who was involved in the killing of non-local carpenter Sagir Ahmad from UP. “Since last few years Shakir was working as OGW and was also detained in 2019 for some time in a militancy related case,” the police official said.

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