Gunfight breaks out in Srinagar

A gunfight between militants and security forces is underway in Lawaypora area on Srinagar outskirts and at least two militants are trapped.

This is the second gunfight in Lawaypora area this year and 10th in Srinagar district in 2020.

Senior police officials said here that the gunfight broke out as columns of army’s 2-Rashtriya Rifles, Special Operation Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force cordoned the area after inputs about presence of at least two militants in the area.

“As the area was being cordoned, militants opened fire on the forces,” a senior police officer told the Greater Kashmir. “The fire is coming from a structure (house) and that is being retaliated.”

The officer said that at least two militants are trapped. “The cordon has been tightened further as trapped militants can take advantage of darkness and escape,” the officer said adding that inhabitants from adjoining houses have been evacuated.

Officiating Senior Superintendent of Police, Srinagar, Sudhanshu Verma said that things will be clear only in the morning. “Exchange of fire is on and the cordon has been tightened,” Verma told the Greater Kashmir.

Meanwhile, police said traffic coming from Baramulla, Sopore and Gulmarg towards Srinagar has been diverted via Magam- Budgam to Srinagar and vice-versa in view of the encounter.

Police records say Srinagar city has so far witnessed nine encounters this year in which 19 militants have been killed.

In February this year, two militants and a CRPF personnel were killed during a gun battle at Lawaypora in the outskirts of Srinagar city.

In May, a 12-hour-long encounter took place in the Nawa Kadal area in which two militants including Junaid Sherai were killed. Over a dozen houses were destroyed, sparking protests.

On June 21, security forces killed three militants during a gun battle in the Zadibal area of Srinagar.

In July, one militant was killed during a shootout at Srinagar’s Mallabagh area.

On July 25, two militants were killed during a gunfight at Panzinara on the outskirts of Srinagar city.

On August 30, three militants and an assistant sub-inspector of the J&K police, Babu Ram, were killed in an encounter in the Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar city.

In September three militants and a woman were killed in Batamaloo area of Srinagar.

In October two militants were killed during a gun battle in the Barzulla area of Srinagar.

In November security forces killed the operational chief of Hizbul Mujahideen during an encounter in Rangreth area of Srinagar.