2 Soldiers, Militant Killed In Shopian Gunfight

KO File Photo By Abid Bhat

House Owner Arrested 

Srinagar- Two soldiers and a militant were killed on Saturday in a fierce firefight in Zainapora area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

The encounter broke out after police, army’s 1RR and the personnel of CRPF in a joint operation laid a siege around a cluster of houses in Chermarg village of Zainapora (Shopian) after receiving input about the presence of a militant, a police spokesperson said Saturday. The civilians, he said, were evacuated by the joint team during the search operation.

“During the process, as the search party started searching house belonging to Gowhar Ahmad Bhat, the house-owner intentionally misled the search party and denied sheltering the terrorist in his house,” the police spokesperson said.

While questioning the house owner, he said, a militant hiding in his house opened fire on the search party resulting in grievous injuries to two Army men.

“The fire was retaliated effectively leading to an encounter. The injured jawans were immediately evacuated to hospital for treatment however; both of them succumbed to their injuries and attained martyrdom,” the police spokesperson said.

The deceased soldiers have been identified as Sepoys Santosh Yadav and Chavan Romit Tanaji.

In the ensuing encounter, he said, the hiding militant was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter.

The police spokesperson identified him as Abdul Qayoom Dar of Kakapora in the neighboring Pulwama district, associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

As per police records, he said, the killed militant had a history of “terror crime cases” as he was working as militant associate before joining their ranks.

Giving further details, the spokesperson said that Dar’s house was also being used as hideout for militants and in April-2020 an encounter took place in his house & subsequently he was booked under PSA.

“Post his release in August-2021, he continuously kept on working as an associate for active terrorists. Earlier this week, SSP Pulwama officially intimated that he had left house and joined terror folds of LeT outfit. Consequently he was listed as “C” category terrorist,” he said.

He said that IGP Kashmir and all ranks of Kashmir Zone Police pay rich tributes to the soldiers, who made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.

“Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 01 AK-series rifle, 01 Pistol were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation. In this regard, a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated,” the police spokesperson added.

According to news agency PTI, the IGP said that the house owner has been arrested for misleading police and denying sheltering the militant.

TRF Militant Held In Srinagar: Police

Meanwhile Police on Saturday claimed to have arrested a TRF militant from Eidgah area of Srinagar.

The militant from whose possession police claimed recovery of the pistol was arrested based on specific information by a joint team of Police and CRPF, a senior police officer said, as per news agency GNS.

"He is from Kulgam and had come to carry a target killing in the area", the officer said. Further investigation in the case is going on, the officer said further.

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