3 militants killed, Army officer injured in Chadoora encounter

'11 militants killed in last 7 days; only 1 Srinagar resident active militant now’
3 militants killed, Army officer injured in Chadoora encounter
Photo: Aman Farooq/GK

Srinagar, Jan 7: Three militants affiliated to Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit were killed, while an Army officer was injured in an encounter that broke out late Thursday evening in Zolwa Kralpora Chadoora area of Budgam district in central Kashmir.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar said with the killing of one of the militants, a Nowgam resident, now only one Srinagar resident remains an active militant.

Kumar said so far 11 militants have been killed during the first seven days of the new year. The slain militants include top commanders of Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, he said.

Police said that one of the militants killed in Zolwa was identified as Waseem Ahmad Mir of Nowgam Srinagar. Police said the other two militants seem to be foreigners and their identity was being ascertained. During the exchange of fire, one Army officer was also injured and he is being treated, police said.

The encounter broke out in Zolwa on Thursday evening after Police, 50 Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF cordoned off the area on a tip off about the presence of militants in the area. As reported on Thursday as a joint party reached the area for searches, they were fired upon leading to an encounter.

The operation in the area was suspended for evacuation of civilians and darkness. It resumed on Friday early morning.

“BudgamEncounterUpdate: 3 terrorists killed in encounter. Identification and affiliation being ascertained. Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition recovered: IGP Kashmir,” Kashmir Zone Police Tweeted on Friday morning.

Police said all three militants belonged to JeM. Quoting IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, police said now only one Srinagar resident is a militant as one among three killed militants is from the city. “All the 3 killed terrorists affiliated with terror outfit JeM . So far one identified as Waseem of Srinagar City. 3 AK 56 rifles recovered. After killing of Waseem only 1 terrorist is Srinagar resident : IGP Kashmir@JmuKmrPolice,” Police said in another Tweet on Friday afternoon.

Police said: “Based on a specific input generated by Police regarding presence of terrorists in village Zolwa Chadoora area of Budgam, a joint cordon and search operation was launched yesterday evening by Police and Army (50RR ) in the said area,” police said.

During the search operation, Police said: “As the presence of terrorists got ascertained they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter. Later on, CRPF also joined the operation. However, to evacuate the civilians trapped around the encounter site, the joint team ensured the evacuation of all civilians to safer places. Besides, to avoid any collateral damage due to darkness, the operation was suspended during night hours and in the wee hours the operation resumed, resulting in the elimination of three terrorists linked with proscribed terror outfit JeM. During the encounter one Army Officer received minor splinter injury,” police said.

“One of the killed terrorist has been identified as Waseem Mir son of Ghulam Qadir Mir resident of Nowgam Srinagar who was active since December 2020. As per reliable sources and documents recovered, the other two killed terrorists appear to be foreign terrorists, however further identification is being ascertained.”

As per police records, police said: “The killed terrorist Waseem was a categorised terrorist and part of group involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on security forces and civilian atrocities. Several terror crime cases were registered against him. Terrorist Waseem was involved in killing of Inspector Parvaiz Ahmad on 22-06-2021. He was also involved in grenade attack on CRPF Bunker near Aali Masjid Chowk at Eidgah Srinagar in which 1 civilian and 1 police personnel were injured. Besides other terror crimes, he was also involved in brainwashing and motivating the youth of central Kashmir to join terror folds,” police said adding that incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 3 AK-56 rifles were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation.

“IGP Kashmir appreciated the role of the joint team for conducting a successful operation without any collateral damage,” police said. “IGP while sharing the details regarding encounter said that with the killing of terrorist Waseem, only one terrorist hailing from Srinagar is left out now who will be either arrested or neutralised at the earliest. He further said that so far 11 terrorists including 6 foreign terrorists were killed in different encounters in this year (in the last 7 days).”

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