3 militants, soldier killed in Pulwama gunfight

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Hours after four militants were killed in Shopian, 3 Hizb ul Mujahideen militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Zadoora village of south Kashmir’s neighboring Pulwama district.

An army personnel was also killed in the gunfight.

A police official said that acting on a tip-off a joint contingent of special operation group (SOG) of police, army’s 55 RR and 182/183 Battalion CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in Zadoora village last night.

“The forces moved towards the house the militants had taken shelter in and asked them to surrender but they refused and instead resorted to firing,” he said.

The police official said the fire was returned, triggering an encounter.

“An army personnel sustained critical bullet injuries and was removed to hospital. However, he succumbed to the injuries,” he said.

The slain army man has been identified as Prashant from Budhana, Muzzafarnagar, UP.

The police official said the exchange of fire continued throughout the night following which the guns fell silent.

“The bodies of three militants were retrieved from the encounter site,” he said.

They were identified as Adil Hafiz from Dalipora, Arshid Ahmad Dar from Drabgam and Rouf Ahmad Mir from Muspuna villages of Pulwama district.

The bodies were taken by police to PCR Srinagar and later to Gantmula, Boniyar Baramulla for burial.

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

Police in a release said the slain were involved on attacks on police and security establishments.

“Adil Hafiz was involved in case FIR No. 112/2020 pertaining to the attack on Naka party at Prichoo Bridge in which one police personnel was killed and another injured,” the statement said.

This was the second gunfight in south Kashmir in barely a few hours.

Yesterday afternoon four Al Badr militants, one among them a police deserter, Shakoor Parray, were killed in the orchards of Kiloora Shopian.

One of his associates was arrested near the gun-battle site.

Parray alias Abu Qasim Aksari was posted as police constable in Bijbehara in 2016 when he ran away with four AK 47 rifles and joined militants.

However, he was arrested soon and booked under PSA to be released some time back.

In July, he joined Al Badr and according to police was instrumental in recruiting youth and reviving the outfit.