Cop, militant killed in Zakura shootout: Police

1 suspected militant arrested, vehicle seized, says IGP Muneer Khan; Slain militant Mugees Ahmed Mir was ‘associated with LeT, had reportedly joined Moosa-led Ansar-ul Gazwatul Hind’

Abid Bashir
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 17 2017 11:55PM | Updated Date: Nov 18 2017 1:45AM
Cop, militant killed in Zakura shootout: PoliceL-R: Police officers carry coffin of slain sub-inspector Imran Tak; Slain militant Mugees Ahmad Mir.

A policeman and a militant were killed in a brief shootout in Zakura area on Srinagar outskirts on Friday, even as a suspected militant was arrested and the vehicle in which the militants were travelling was also seized, officials said.

The slain police official was identified as sub-inspector Imran Tak, a resident of Udhampur, Jammu.

A source said that the police had laid ‘naka’ and a search operation was launched in Zakura after reports of militant movement there.  

“A suspicious vehicle was asked to stop, but the militants travelling in it opened fire, triggering a shootout. The vehicle crossed the ‘naka’ point and gained speed but was chased by the alert policemen. But in the initial shootout, sub-inspector Imran and another policeman sustained injuries. However Imran later succumbed,” the source in the police said.

Kashmir range inspector general of police Muneer Khan told Greater Kashmir that the militants were travelling in a Santro vehicle bearing registration number JK01V-5593.

“The police managed to catch hold of one of the persons who was travelling in the vehicle. He had no weapon. We are asking him whether he too is a militant and what he was doing in the vehicle with militants,” he said. “The vehicle has been seized and we have recovered a lot of material from it.”

Khan said that the person arrested can’t be right away labelled as a militant. “Let us first complete his questioning,” he said.

Asked which outfit was involved in the action, he said: “Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were travelling in the vehicle.”

Khan later claimed that a militant from Lashkar-e-Toiba, who had reportedly joined Ansar-ul-Gazwatul Hind, a splinter group of Al-Qaeda led by Zakir Moosa, was killed in the Zakura shootout.

“He has been identified as Mugees Ahmed Mir son of Abdul Aziz from Parimpora. To my information he was associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and had reportedly joined Ansar-ul Gazwatul Hind,” Khan said.

Earlier, during the wreath-laying ceremony of the slain sub-inspector at district police lines here, the IGP didn’t make a mention of the killing of a militant in the shootout.

Mugees has become a first militant from Gazwat-ul-Hind to be killed in a shootout with the police.

The police source said that it is believed that the slain militant might have sustained injuries during the shootout. He said that it is also believed that Mugees had joined Moosa-led Gazwatul Hind a few months back.

“We also have reports that he had made a call to his family before succumbing to his injuries,” the source said.

Mugees is a second militant from Srinagar killed in the recent past.

Earlier, Sajad Ahmed Gilkar from Nowhatta area of Downtown was killed in Redbug area of Budgam in a gunfight with government forces in July this year. As soon as the body of Mugees reached his home in Parimpora, hundreds of people marched towards his residence amid freedom sloganeering.

“Announcements were made on masjid loudspeakers about the death of Mugees. Elderly, women and children were marching towards his house in large numbers,” a witness told Greater Kashmir late on Friday evening.

Meanwhile, soon after the firing incident at Zakura, police and CRPF officers inspected the spot while government forces jointly started a search operation to trace the militants.

Also, the slain policeman’s body was taken to Srinagar police lines on Friday evening where top officers from the police and civil administration laid wreaths on it. The body was later taken to his native village in Udhampur.