5 militants killed in Pulwama, Shopian

Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

Three militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba were killed in a 4-hour long encounter with security forces in Hakdipora village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday. Clashes erupted between youths and security forces at a few places near the encounter spot.

According to an official, following inputs about presence of three militants, columns of army, CRPF and police launched a search operation in Hakdipora village at around 1 pm. An exchange of fire took place between the two sides, he said. The encounter ended at around 5 pm with the killing of three militants.

The authorities snapped internet services in the district soon after the encounter broke out to thwart any protests. However, youths from different villages rushed towards Hakdipora and pelted stones on the security forces near Hakdipora, Gudoora, Singoo Narbal. The forces fired tear gas shells on the youths.

PRO Defence Rajesh Kalia told the Greater Kashmir that three militants were killed in the encounter. “It was a joint operation. Three AK47 rifles were recovered from the spot.”

The bodies of the militants would be taken by police to north Kashmir and buried there. For several months now, police have been denying the bodies of the militants to their families as their funerals attracted large crowds.

2 militants killed in Shopian:

At around half past 6 am on Tuesday, gunshots again rang out in Melhora, an outlying village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, breaking the morning silence. After some time, security forces managed to kill a second militant putting an end to at least an 18-hour long operation  beginning Monday afternoon.

A  police official told Greater Kashmir that two militants were killed in a long drawn out operation.

Their bodies would be taken by police to north Kashmir and buried there. The administration snapped the internet in the district to thwart any protests against the killings.

Late on Monday afternoon, a combined team of army’s 55 RR, CRPF and police had surrounded Melhora village, some 28 kms from Shopian town, and launched a search operation. The operation, according to another official, turned into a gun-battle after militants hiding in a farm covered by thick willow trees opened fire.

One of the militants, the official said, was killed soon.

He said that the operation was paused for the night as it started getting dark. The official, however, added that the cordon was tightened and the area near the site of  gun-battle was made off-limits to locals.

“The operation was resumed this morning and soon another militant was killed,” said the official.

He said that the operation was concluded after the area was searched for a few more hours to ensure that no more militants were hiding in the area.

This is the third gun-battle in the district since October 7.

The internet was restored Tuesday evening.