Shopian Gun Battle|2 militants killed: Police

Militants escape after brief shootout in Shopian village, forces intensify searches

Two militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces at Awneera village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday.

The slain militants were identified as Shakir Ahmad Wagay of Awneera, Shopian and Sayar Ahmad Bhat of MonchwaYaripora, Kulgam. Both Shakir and Sayar had joined militant ranks in January and March this year.

A police official told Greater Kashmir that a joint team of Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and personnel of  Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police  surrounded  Awneera, a sleepy hamlet tucked away in the apple orchards on the tail-end of the Shopian district, and started a search operation.

The operation, according to the official, was launched at around 2 am after the forces received “definite information” about the presence of militants in the area.

“As the forces neared the suspected spot, the militants present there opened fire on them,” the official said, adding that the fire was immediately returned, leading to an encounter.

The fire fight, the official said, continued for some time and finally ended with the killing of two militants. The bodies of both the slain militants were later handed over to their families.

FUNERAL

After the bodies of slain militants were handed over to their families, mourners started trickling into their native places. Eye witnesses told Greater Kashmir that multiple funeral prayers were held for both the militants.  “They were later interred in their ancestral grave yards” the witnesses added.

Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, authorities blocked cellular internet service in the entire Shopian district.

POLICE VERSION

A police spokesman in a statement said that “as per police records both the killed militants were inspired by IS ideology. They were wanted by law for their complicity in militancy related incidents including attack on security establishments.”

“According to the police records, they were part of groups involved in planning and executing militant attacks in the area and many other civilian atrocities.   ShakirWagay, according to police records, was involved in Case FIR No 25/2019 pertaining to the killing of civilian Irfan Hameed Sheikh of Zainapora. Many cases were registered against both of them,” the spokesman said.

“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation and to probe their complicity in other incidents,” the spokesman added.