Srinagar: Two militants were killed Sunday in an encounter with army in Pampore town of south Kashmir after they attacked the house of a ruling National Conference’s youth leader killing two policemen.
Two youths clad in ‘pheran’ appeared outside the residence of NC leader Yawar Massodi in Khrew area of Pampore town around 2:50 pm when a party meeting was going on to discuss the visit of Minister for Urban Development and Panchayat Raj Ali Mohammad Sagar to the area on Monday, officials said.
The youths took out their assault rifles and fired indiscriminately at a policeman when he tried to frisk them at the entrance of the house. The militants then barged into the compound of the house and opened fire at another cop injuring him critically.
The militants fled from the spot with the rifle of the cops, who were lying on the ground in a pool of blood. The injured cops were removed to the primary health centre (PHC) Khrew by police, where the doctors declared them brought dead. The slain cops have been identified as Head Constable Abdul Hamid and Constable Vinod Kumar.
“The policemen were brought dead to the hospital. One of the cops had died of gunshots in head, while the other had multiple gunfire injuries in abdomen and chest,” Block Medical Officer (BMO) Pampore, Dr Bilqees, told Kashmir Reader.
The gunshots trigged panic among scores of NC workers who had converged at Massodi’s residence. Massodi, organizer of the NC’s youth wing in south Kashmir, is the son of the J&K High Court Judge Hasnain Massodi.
Reports said Yawar Masoodi, who appeared to be the target of militants, escaped from the rear exit of his home and was safe.
Soon after the shootout, Special Operation Group (SOG) of police and army’s 50 RR rushed to the spot. The joint team cornered the militants in the neighboring Andrusa village. However, the militants opened fire upon the search team in a bid to break the cordon. In the exchange of fire, both militants were killed.
Militant outfit Shuhada Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack, according to local news agencies.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a handout said that two AK 47 rifles and the snatched SLR rifle were also recovered from the encounter site. The slain militants have been identified as Abdullah Gori and Abu Zarr of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, according to a police official.
Sources in the police told Kashmir Reader that a Maruti car in which suspected militants were travelling in Awantipora was recovered from Sangam area on Saturday night. The cops, who had prior information about the militants’ movement, had opened warning shots to halt the car.
“The militants had managed to flee from the cops. They had abandoned the car at Sangam which has been recovered,” the sources said.
Meanwhile, a suspected militant was killed in a firefight with SOG at Ahmadnagar area in outskirts of Srinagar on late Sunday, reports said.
SOG had laid a cordon in the area after receiving a tip-off about the presence of militants. Locals told Kashmir Reader that a few gunshots were heard after the SOG team laid a siege around the area.
Reports said two suspected militants came in open and attacked the police team in an attempt to break the cordon, wounding one SOG man. One militant is said to have been killed while two more took shelter inside a residential house.
The firefight was going on when Kashmir Reader went to press.