3 militants killed in Srinagar encounter

Three militants of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in an encounter with security forces in Pozwalpora area of Zoonimar in old Srinagar on Sunday.

The encounter started following a cordon and search operation launched by 115 Bn,  28Bn CRPF and police last night.

The killed militants were identified as Shakoor Ahmad Lango (18) S/O Farooq Ahmad Lango of Barthana Srinagar, Shahid Ahmad Bhat (24) S/O Gul Muhammad Bhat of Semthan Bijbehara, Anantnag, and Mohsin Khandwa S/O Gulam Nabi Khandwa of Anchar Soura, Srinagar. However there was no confirmation by police about Mohsin.

The three had joined militancy on 16 June 2019, 18 February 2020 and 26 May 2020 respectively.

Police said they recovered one AK-47 rifle and two pistols from the slain militants.

“The cordon was established at 2 am, however the contact was established at around 9 am when a joint party of police and CRPF were fired upon by the militants,” a police official said.

Police said since the militants were locals, some prominent people and parents were asked to appeal them to surrender. “But all the three refused to surrender and were killed in the ensuing gun-battle,” the official said.

The residential house in which the militants had taken shelter suffered damage due to shelling.

Soon after the gunfight, the locals held a protest in the area against the killings.

Security forces imposed strict restrictions in old Srinagar since Sunday morning and snapped 2G internet services in the entire Srinagar city to thwart any protests. All entry points of old Srinagar were sealed to restrict the movement of people.

Police took bodies of all the three militants to Handwara in north Kashmir, however they allowed some family members to be present at the time of burial. Lately, police have been denying the bodies of the militants to their families as their funerals attracted large crowds.

“On an input generated by police a siege was laid in the area,” Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told reporters during a press briefing. “We asked them to surrender, but they didn’t.”

The IGP said that Shakoor was involved in the killing of two BSF men at Soura and had also snatched their weapons. “Three militants were involved in Soura incident but Shakoor was the one who had fired at BSF men,” he said, adding that two more militants are active in Srinagar.

This was the second encounter in Srinagar city in a month. Earlier, two militants of Hizbul Mujahideen including Junaid Sehrai were killed in Nawakadal area of old Srinagar.

Militant killed in Kulgam, 2 others escape:

A search operation in Lokhdipora – Pudshoo village of Nehama in southern Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday ended with the killing of a Pakistani militant.

The slain militant was identified as Tayab Waleed.

The security forces launched an operation in the orchards of the village located at the border of Shopian following inputs about the presence of militants.

The fire-fight ensued and one militant was gunned down.

Two others, a police official said, managed to flee.

“The forces launched extensive searches both in the orchards and residential localities but could not find anything,” he said.

The police official said lights were installed and even door to door searches were carried out.

“The operation was called off in the afternoon,” he said.

Tayab Waleed was affiliated to Jaish I Muhammad militant outfit. His body was taken by police to Baramulla for burial.

“It seemed a group of three militants. Two might have escaped during the initial exchange of fire,” Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told the Greater Kashmir.

This was the 10 encounter in South Kashmir in June in which 32 militants have been killed.