Foreigner among 4 militants killed in three separate encounters in valley: police

Militants use religious places to stir up crowd as Pak want L&O to be disturbed in valley: IGP

Foreigner among 4 militants killed in three separate encounters in valley: police

HT NEWS NETWORK

Srinagar, Mar 12: A Pakistani commander was among four militants who were killed in three separate encounters in Kashmir valley since last evening, police said. A local militant has also been arrested in a separate operation.

The three overnight gunfights took place after the assassination of a Sarpanch in south Kashmir’s district Kulgam, second in last three days.

The gunfights broke out at Pulwama, Ganderbal and Kupwara districts of Kashmir.

The first gunfight broke out at Chewakalan area of Zadoora, Pulwama on last evening after joint teams of police and security forces launched a cordon and a search operation.

“As the search party zeroed in on the suspected spot near local Dar-ul-Uloom, militants hiding inside fired indiscriminately in which one civilian Zahoor Ahmad Shergojri received gunshot injury. He is said to be stable. The joint party retaliated to the fire leading to an encounter. Keeping the sanctity of the institution into mind, operation was carried out with all due precautions and deliberations,” a police spokesman said.

In the ensuing encounter, he said two militants were killed of whom one was identified as a Pakistani militant commander Kamaal Bhai alias Jatt while the other one has been identified as Aqib Mushtaq alias Usman Hyder of Karimabad Pulwama. Both were affiliated with Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit.

In a separate operation in the district, an active militant Rouf Ahmad Mir of Pulwama was arrested along with a pistol.

Last night two more encounters took place at Nechama Rajwar area of Handwara and Serch area of Ganderbal districts.

“In the ensuing encounters at Handwara and Ganderbal, one militant each, affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed,” he added.

The militant killed at Handwara has been identified as Suhail Ahmad Ganie of Kulgam. The other militant killed in Ganderbal has been identified as Adil Ahmad Khan of Badarkund Ganderbal.

“As per police records, the stains were categorized militants and part of a group involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on police, forces and civilian atrocities,” spokesman said.

From the three encounter sites, incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including two AK-56 rifles, an AK short barrel rifle, a pistol, nine AK-magazines, a grenade, eight pistol rounds and 32 AK rounds have been recovered.

The encounters took place at a time when security forces have stepped up anti-militancy operations across Kashmir after the panchayat representatives' killings. Last evening, a Sarpanch was shot dead by militants in south Kashmir's Kulgam.

Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said sarpanch and punches are “soft targets” and 90 percent among them have no personal security officers.

“Those who are facing threats are being provided safe accommodations in Srinagar and other district headquarters. Sarpanch killed in Kulgam yesterday was provided space in Srinagar but he had travelled to South Kashmir without informing the police,” Kumar told reporters in Srinagar. He said all efforts would be made to ensure safety of these panchayat representatives.

On the three recent encounters near the religious places, Kumar said, “militants on the directions of their handlers across the border are trying to misuse religious places to create law & order situation, they want to cause damage to religious places to stir up the crowd.”

“But we are alert and shall be foiling their nefarious designs,” he said.

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