Militant, army man killed in Pulwama gunfight

A militant and an army personnel were killed while another soldier and a policeman were injured in an encounter in Gusoo village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday.

A police official said that in the wee hours army’s 53RR, special operations group (SOG) of JK Police and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation following inputs about the presence of militants in the area.

“As the joint team zeroed in towards the suspected spot, the militants hiding in a house fired upon them. The fire was retaliated, triggering an encounter,” he said.

A police official said the militants came out of the house firing on the forces.

“Two army personnel and an SOG man sustained critical bullet injuries and were immediately removed to the Army’s Srinagar base hospital,” he said.

One of the army men later succumbed to his injuries.

One militant was killed but two others managed to break the cordon and escaped.

A source said the family identified the militant as Mudasir Ahmad of Laribal Kakpora, Pulwama. A former railway employee, he was active in the LeT ranks since October 2018.

The operation to nab the escaped militants continued till evening but was called off later.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said police will be issuing a statement regarding this encounter.

Late in the evening police identified the killed army man as Naik Rajvinder Singh of 53RR.

Several people were injured in the clashes between youths and security forces near the encounter site.

“Youths pelted stones on the forces personnel who fired tear gas shells and metallic pellets,” a source said.

One of the severely injured youths was shifted to district hospital Pulwama.

“The youth had pellet injuries in both eyes and we referred him to SMHS,” a doctor said.

Police took the body of the militant and buried it in north Kashmir. Of late, police have been denying the bodies of the militants to their families as their funerals attracted large crowds.

Meanwhile, 2G internet services in the district remained shut to thwart any attempts of protests.