Scholar turned militant, aide killed in Nowgam gunfight

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Srinagar, Oct 24: Two militants were killed and six forces’ personnel wounded in a fierce gun battle in Wanabal area of Nowgam in the outskirts of Srinagar on Wednesday morning, police said.
Reports said that the gunfight broke out around 2 AM in the area following a search operation.
Two militants have been killed and six forces’ personnel wounded in the gunfight, said DIG central Kashmir VK Birdi told reporters.
The slain militants were identified as PhD scholar Sabzar Sofi and Asif Ahmad Gojri – both residents of Anantnag.
Massive clashes broke out in the area with youth taking to streets to disrupt the operation.
Meanwhile, Internet was snapped in Srinagar and Budgam as a “precautionary measure” to prevent law and order situation.
Schools and colleges were closed in Srinagar district.
Reports said that massive clashes erupted in Nowgam and its adjoining areas while protesters pelted stones on deployed forces who retaliated with tear-smoke shells. Reports added that all shops and business establishments remained shut in Nowgam, Wanabal, Naikbagh, Mochu, Kanihama and other areas.
Reports said that many protesters were injured in clashes with the government forces in Sangam area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district shortly after the news about the killing of Sabzar Ahmed spread in the area.
The youth hurled stones on the forces deployed in the area to prevent protests. The forces, according to witnesses, resorted to tear gas shelling and pellet firing, leaving three protesters injured.
The injured hit by pellets in their eyes were shifted to sub-district hospital Bijbehara for treatment. A top health official confirmed that the three youth hit by pellets were brought to the facility. “They are being treated here, but will be referred to SMHS hospital for specialised treatment,” he said.
A police official in a statement said that security forces in the outskirts of Srinagar at Wanbal J/D of P/S Nowgam, launched a cordon and search operation today morning based on credible input about the presence of the militants.
During search operation, militants fired upon the search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter.
In the ensuing encounter, two militants were neutralized. The identity of the killed militants is being ascertained. “Six forces’ personnel were wounded in the firefight,” the police said.
Pertinently, the SOP was followed during the encounter and no collateral damage took place during the encounter.
“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter.”
“Citizens are once again requested not to enter the encounter site as such an area can prove dangerous due to un-cleared explosive materials.”
“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any,” the official said.
Police has registered a case and investigation has been initiated. (CNS)