Srinagar, June 29: In the night-long encounter at Maloora area of Srinagar, police said a militant was killed while three CRPF personnel were injured. Police said a militant arrested a few hours earlier who was taken to the area to recover arms was also killed in the shootout.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar on Tuesday termed the killing of the duo as a major success and said the militants were planning to carry out multiple attacks on security forces.
“After Lawaypora attack that left three CRPF jawans dead and Khushipora attack in which two jawans were killed, we had identified the module that was responsible for these incidents. We had arrested 10 people and the name of Abrar and Khurshid Mir surfaced,” Kumar told media, adding that Mir was killed in Sopore encounter and the rifle recovered from the slain militant was of the CRPF jawan who was killed in Lawaypora attack.
The Kashmir police chief said that a special police team was constituted to track the movement of Abrar. “The team received inputs that Abrar had left north Kashmir early in the morning yesterday and was planning to carry out attacks on forces in Srinagar,” he said.
He said a special joint naka of police and CRPF was established at Parimpora in the city. “The vehicle in which Abrar was travelling was intercepted by the special naka party and the top commander was apprehended alongwith a pistol and grenade. He was taken to a police station where he was interrogated. An FIR under relevant sections of the law was registered against him,” he said.
The IGP said that during questioning, the militant gave away the location where he had hidden a rifle. “A team was sent to the suspected house at Maloora in the city outskirts. But a militant who was hiding there fired at security forces in which three CRPF personnel, including an officer, were injured,” he said.
The officer said reinforcement from nearby camps was rushed and the area was further cordoned off to foil any attempt by the militant to escape. “In the ensuing encounter, the Pakistani militant, identified as Muslim, and Abrar were killed,” he said.
The IGP said that Abrar had not disclosed that a militant was also hiding inside the house. “If we had information about the presence of a militant in the house, we would have taken extra caution while entering the residence. Our jawans would not have been injured,” he added.
Stop killing civilians, off-duty policemen, IGP warns militants:
The IGP warned militants and asked them not to go after soft targets and not to kill civilians and off-duty policemen.
He also said two militants, including a foreigner, who were involved in the killing of an SPO, his wife and their daughter in Awantipora last week have been identified and efforts are being made to track them.
“If militants don’t stop targeting soft targets we also know what we have to do... I have been working in the police department for the last many years, so I know how to counter these cases. So, I advise them (militants) to not indulge in such activities,” IGP told newsmen here.
“They are trying to create fear psychosis among the masses as they (militants) are scared that the tourist footfall will increase in the coming days and peace will prevail,” he said. “The militants don’t want to see that. They are also trying to disrupt the political process which has started in J&K.”
Policemen, he said, have to go back to their respective families after completing their shift. “The policemen are local and can’t stay in camps. They have to go back to their homes. So they are soft targets,” Vijay Kumar added.
He said there is a militant module operating in Srinagar city that includes a sleeper cell, which carries out attacks and then again goes back to living a normal life. “Tracking a full-time militant is easy, but it is difficult to keep a tab on the militants working in the sleeper cell,” he said, adding that police have intensified its surveillance grid and will soon bust the militant module operating in the city.
“Our SPO was killed by militants in Tral late on Sunday night. When his wife and daughter came to rescue him, the militants killed them as well. We have identified both the militants involved in the incident. One was a local and the other was a Pakistani militant affiliated with Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). We are tracing them down and will soon neutralize them,” he said.
Kashmir police chief said that the militants have shown “how barbaric” they are. “The militants have a habit of dubbing civilians as sources. But the SPO, his wife and daughter were not a source. It is not a sin to work in police department or be a part of anti-militancy operations,” he said, adding that the SPO was not even part of counter-militancy operations.