8 militants killed in 2 encounters in South Kashmir

3 belonged to Pulwama, 5 were from Shopian district
8 militants killed in 2 encounters in South Kashmir
File photo

The gunfights that erupted the day before in south Kashmir ended with the killing of six more militants on Friday. Two militants had been killed initially in two different encounters in Awantipora and Shopian.

One militant was killed yesterday in Meej village of Pampore in police district Awantipora. Two other militants had escaped and taken shelter in a local Jamia mosque.

"We tried to motivate both the militants to surrender but they refused," Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar told the Greater Kashmir.

The IGP said the forces then lobbed tear gas shells but even then the militants did not come out.

"Both the militants were killed by afternoon," he said.

The police on its Twitter handle maintained that they neither fired nor used any explosive to kill the trapped militants, but only used smoke shells.

"Patience and professionalism worked. No use of firing and IED. Maintained sanctity of the mosque. Both militants hiding inside neutralized," the police tweet quoting IGP read.

A police official said the militants were identified by their families as Irshad Ahmad Dar of Marwal, Pulwama; Shahnawaz Ahmad Ganai of Muran, Pulwama; and Faisal Baba of Sheikhpora, Pulwama.

The trio, police said, was affiliated with Lashkar I Toiba (LeT) militant outfit.

Dar, sources said, was a close associate of slain LeT commander Naveed Jat. He had escaped from a gunfight site in Chatergam, Budgam, on November 28, 2018, in which Naveed was killed. He was presently the commander of the outfit.

"The bodies of all three were taken to Gantmula Baramulla in North Kashmir for burial. The families can participate in their last rites there," a police official said. Lately, police have been denying the bodies of the militants to their families as their funerals attracted large crowds.

Shopian encounter:

The encounter in Bandhpawa-Munand village of Chitragam in Zainapora area of Shopian district ended on Friday with the killing of four more militants. Earlier, one militant was killed in the initial exchange of fire in the orchards.

A police official said that guns blazed heavily on both sides intermittently, throughout the night.

The cordon, the police official said, was tightened around the orchards of the village to ensure militants don't escape in the darkness.

"In the morning one more militant was gunned down, followed by two more," the police official said.

He said that in the afternoon the last militant was also killed.

"The bodies were retrieved and taken to PCR Srinagar," the police official said.

The militants, he said, were affiliated to Hizb ul Mujahideen militant outfit.

They were later identified by their families as Munazir Shafi Shah alias Shakir of Nazneenpora Shopian. He was cousin of former Hizb commander Naveed Babu. , Jehangir Ahmad Malik of Achan, Adil Hussain Pal of Malder, Mohsin Ahmad Wani of Ahind and Nadeem Zaman of Heff-Khur villages of Shopian.

Shakir has joined militancy last month, Malik in December 2017, Pal in June 2018, Wani in February 2020 and Zaman only last month.

A police official said the bodies have been taken to Gantmula Baramula for burial.

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