Srinagar: The two overnight gunfights in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Anantnag districts ended with the killing of five militants and injuries to two soldiers, officials said on Sunday.
A police spokesman said three militants of Al-Badr outfit were killed in orchards of Reban Bandpawa area of Shopian.
He said that at about 1700 hours on Saturday, on a specific inputs, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 34RR and 178Bn CRPF in the area.
“During the search operation, as the presence of (militants) got ascertained they were given an opportunity to surrender. However, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” he said in a statement, adding, “In the initial retaliatory firing, one (militant) was killed, but the operation was suspended to give the trapped (militants) another chance to surrender.”
The joint teams, he said, exercised maximum restraint and facilitated the presence of family members of a holed up militant Faisal Gulzar (14) to encounter site so as to persuade him to surrender. However, despite repeated appeals by his family members and assurances by the joint team, the other militants didn’t allow him to surrender.
“Ultimately in the wee hours, during the fierce gunfight both the trapped (militants) were killed and bodies of all the three killed (militants) were recovered from the site of encounter.” Two of them were identified as Aasif Ahmad Ganai and Faisal Gulzar Ganai both the residents of Chitragam Kalan. However, identity of the 3rd killed militant was being ascertained. As per police records, they were part of groups involved in many cases and linked with Al-Badr outfit.
“IGP Kashmir once again makes a fervent appeal to all misguided youth who have joined militant ranks to shun the path of violence and return to mainstream as the society needs them and most importantly their parents. He further said that we will welcome and accept them with open arms.”
The police spokesman said that arms and ammunition including one AK-56 rifle, two pistols and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter.
In another encounter, the spokesman said that on April 10 at about 1710 hours, acting on specific input regarding presence of militants in a residential house at village Semthan area of Bijbehara, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 3RR and 90Bn CRPF in the area.
“During the search operation, as the presence of (militants) got ascertained they were given an opportunity to surrender, however they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” he said, adding, “The joint teams also rescued all the civilians trapped in the gunfire and halted the operation for the night.”
In the wee hours, after ensuring all the civilians are safe, the operation was resumed and both the militants were killed. They have been identified as Towseef Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Ramzan resident of Takia Maqbool Shah Bijbehara and Aamir Hussain Ganie son of Abdul Rashid of Goriwan Bijbehara, Anantnag linked with LeT.
“As per police records, Towseef was active since 2017 and Aamir had joined (militants) ranks in the year 2018. Both of them were wanted in many cases including the killing of an off-duty Territorial Army soldier Mohammad Saleem Akhoon who was killed by them near his home in Goriwan Bijbehara on Friday.” They were also wanted by law in Case FIR No. 07/2020 of PS Bijbehara regarding attack on CRPF party in which one CRPF trooper was killed, he said. (GNS)