2 militants killed in Bijbehara encounter

Two militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Waghama village of Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday.

A police official said that on specific information about the presence of militants, army’s 3RR, special operations group (SOG) of police and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in the area.

“As the forces approached towards the suspected spot, in the open maize fields, the hiding militants fired upon them which was retaliated, triggering an encounter,” he said.

“The exchange of fire continued for some time, after which the guns fell silent. Searches were carried out and two bodies retrieved along with weapons,” the police official said.

The slain militants were identified as Yawar Ahmad Bhat from Hatigam-Kanelwan village of Bijbehara and Ukash Ahmad Sheikh of Bugam village of Kulgam.

Police took the bodies to Handwara in northern Kashmir for burial. Some family members were allowed to participate in their last rites, police said.

Lately, police have been denying the bodies of the militants to their families as their funerals attracted large crowds.

2G internet services in Anantnag district are already snapped by the authorities to thwart any attempts of protests as three more militants were killed yesterday.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that the slain militants along with Zahid of Waghama village were involved in the killing of one policeman and a CRPF man last year.

“They were also involved in the attack in which a CRPF personnel and one minor were killed in Bijbehara town recently,” he said.

This was the 15th encounter in south Kashmir in June. The month in the region, which has been the epicentre of militancy since 2014, ended with the killing of 42 militants. These, police say, include 27 from Hizb, 7  from Lashkar I Toiba, 6 from Jaish i Muhammad and 2 from ISJK.

“48 militants have been killed in the valley this month, which is highest in a single month in several years,” the IGP said.