Three gun-battles rattle south, north Kashmir; 7 militants killed in 24 Hrs


Srinagar: Seven militants including an arrested militant and three non-locals were killed in three separate encounters in Kashmir in the last 24 hours, police said Monday.

Four Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, including three Pakistani nationals and an arrested militant from Shopian were killed in a gunfight on Monday in Lolab area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

A top official told the news agency—Kashmir news observer (KNO) that joint team of JK police and army cordoned off Lolab area of Kupwara area on disclosure of arrested militant Showkat Ahmad from Sedow, Shopian who was arrested in connection with IED case. “As the joint team was searching for the militants, they came under fire and retaliated, Showkat also got trapped and in exchange of fire, four militants including Showkat and three non-locals were killed,” he said.

The slain militants were affiliated with LeT outfit and were identified as Bambar Khan, Al-Bakash, Aftab Bhai o and a local Showket Ahmad Sheikh resident of Sedow Shopian on whose disclosure the said operation was conducted,” Police said.

In another encounter that started on Monday, two local militants namely Zakir Padder of Kulgam affiliated with JeM and Haris Sharief of Zafran Colony, Pantha Chowk, Srinagar affiliated with LeT were killed in D. H Pora Kulgam, police said.

Another encounter broke out on the intervening night of Monday-Tuesday at Chatpora area of Pulwama district in which one militant was killed. An official told KNO that a joint team of police, Army and CRPF after receiving information about the presence of militants launched search operation in the area.

He said that as the joint team of forces intensified searches towards suspected spot, the hiding militant fired upon the party, which was retaliated, thus triggering an encounter. “During exchange of fire, one militant was killed who has been identified as Suhail Ahmad Khan son of Gh Mohi-ud-din Khan resident of Maidan Chogal Handwara.

Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a statement to KNO said that one militant was killed Pulwama operation while as on Sunday, two Pakistani militants were neutralized in Chandigam Lolab area of Kupwara while as two more militants were killed on Monday taking the toll to four.

The spokesman said that the  slain militants include three Pakistani militants identified as Bambar Khan, Al-Bakash and Aftab Bhai of LeT out and a local militant Showket Ahmad Sheikh, a resident of Sedow, Shopian on whose disclosure the said operation was conducted.”

It is pertinent to mention that militant Showket was mastermind behind an IED blast in a private vehicle in which one soldier martyred and other injured. “During his interrogation it was revealed that he used to ferry militants and Arms/Amns from Lolab to Shopian.  Kupwara Police got his custody changed by the order of Hon’ble Court and arrested in one terror related case. During his interrogation in Kupwara he revealed several sensitive information related to militants operating in Lolab valley of Kupwara. On his disclosure, an operation was launched and he also got trapped in initial ensuing encounter in which one foreign militant was neutralised. Several attempts were made to rescue him but he also got neutralised in firing of militants. Later on two more foreign militants got neutralised,” the spokesman said, adding that the incriminating materials, arms/ammunition including 02 AK-series rifles, 06 AK Magazines, 01 M-4 rifle along with 01 Magazine and 03 live grenades were recovered from their possession.

He said, Moreover in Pulwama, on a specific regarding presence of militant in village Chatpora area of Pulwama, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, Army (55RR) and CRPF (182Bn) in the said area. As the joint party proceeded towards the suspected spot the hiding militant fired indiscriminately upon the search party which was retaliated effectively by the joint forces leading to an encounter.

“In the ensuing encounter, one militant was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of encounter. He has been identified as Suhail Ahmad Khan son of Gh Mohi-ud-din Khan resident of Maidan Chogal Handwara and linked with proscribed terror outfit LeT. As per police records, the killed militant was involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on Police/security forces and other civilian atrocities,” the spokesman said. Incriminating materials, arms/ammunition has been recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar congratulated the joint teams for carrying out Anti-militant operations in professional manner without any collateral damage. He also termed the elimination of seven militants in less than 24hrs as a big success taking the toll of total killed militants to 114 including 32 foreigners so far in this year—(KNO)