Srinagar: A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of army, two policemen and two militants were killed in a fierce gun-battle in Chowkibal area of the frontier Kupwara district, officials said Tuesday.
Special Operations Group (SOG) of police and army’s 19 Maratha laid a cordon around Zoon Reshi village of Chowkibal on Monday evening after receiving information about the presence of militants in a residential house in the village, the officials said.
The search team zeroed in the house of Abdul Gaffar where the militants were hiding. When the joint team started advances, the holed up militants opened heavy fire upon them. The forces returned the fire, triggering gun-battle.
In the initial exchange of gunfire, two cops sustained injuries. The injured cops identified as ASI Riyaz Ahmad of Machil and SPO Shahnawaz Ahmad were removed to the army’s Drugmulla hospital for treatment. Officials said that additional reinforcements were sent to the area after the gunfight turned intense. The militants and the forces exchanged fire that continued till Tuesday morning. In the firefight, three more SOG personnel, two army men, including a JCO, and a woman sustained injuries. The injured were identified as SPO Fayaz Ahmad, Constable Shala and Constable Reyaz Ahmad of south Kashmir’s Kulgam, JCO Kakanvari and Lance Naik Shourya Marti Mahadeo Rao of 19 Maratha. Shahmali Begum, wife of the house owner, was also injured in the encounter. Later, forces blasted the house using mortars, killing the two holed up militants.
All the injured were removed to the army’s Drugmulla hospital. However, the JCO succumbed to his injuries.
Reports said the two policemen, Head Constable Mohammad Shafi and Selection Grade Constable Reyaz Ahmad, were taken hostage by militants before shooting them dead. However, police refuted the reports and said the due died while fighting militants.
“Our cops were not taken hostage. They died in encounter. The condition of other policemen, who suffered gunshot wounds in arm, hands, and hip are stable. Two of them have been discharged from the hospital,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG) central Kashmir, Ghulam Hassan Bhat, told Kashmir Reader.
“An army officer, two policemen and two militants were killed in the encounter. Three policemen and a woman were injured in gun-battle. The condition of all the injured is stable,” Bhat added.
He said that apparently the slain militants seem to be foreigners. However, their identification is being ascertained.
“Before the gunfight broke out, police and army’s joint team had visited the area twice after receiving inputs about the presence of militants. We were wondering where the militants have gone until they opened fire at the search team from the kitchen,” the DIG said.
He said the village where encounter took place was a route through which the militants try to infiltrate.