Gunfight rages in Budgam, 3 militants trapped

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An Army soldier was injured in an ongoing encounter in Chrar-i-Sharief area of Budgam district in central Kashmir Monday evening.

A police official said that a cordon and search operation in Nowhaar locality of Chrar was launched by army’s 52 Rashtriya Rifles, Special Operation Group of J&K Police and Central Reserve Police Force after inputs of presence of at least three militants.

“As cordon was being aligned, hiding militants hurled grenades and opened fire. The fire was retaliated that resulted in an encounter,” he said.

The firefight was on when this report was being filed.

The police official said that the parents of the militants were brought to the encounter site to ask them to surrender. “Security forces also asked the trapped militants to surrender,” the official said.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said that a soldier was injured but he is stable. “He has splinter injury and is being treated,” he told the Greater Kashmir.

The IGP said that the challenge for police was evacuation of civilians. “Eight residential houses are under cordon,” he said. “Civilians from all eight houses and adjoining were evacuated,” he said.

“We are making frequent appeals to them for surrender,” he said.

The Kashmir police chief said the operation will remain suspended for the night. “It will be resumed in the morning,” he said.

Police sources said that lights have been installed at the spot and reinforcement has arrived at the spot to assist already deployed joint parties of Army, SOG and CRPF.