Anantnag: Two militants were killed Sunday in an encounter with government forces in Kulgam district of south Kashmir. One of the slain militants father is a police officer.
On receiving information about the presence of militants in village Nowpora of Kulgam, army, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon in the area at around 11 am, a police officer said.
“As the forces intensified searches in the village, two militants who were hiding in the house of a Sarpanch, opened fire on the forces, which was retaliated, triggering an encounter,” he said.
During the gunfight, which lasted for about four hours, both the militants were killed. The slain were identified as Ishfaq Ahmad Wani alias Muzammil, of Nowpora, and Zubair Ahmad Bhat, of Chaku, Shopian.
Reports said the house in which the Lashker-e-Toiba militants had taken shelter was blasted to neutralize the duo.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG), south Kashmir, Vijay Kumar the slain militants belonged to Lashker-e-Toiba outfit.
“Zubair had joined militant ranks one year ago and Ishfaq six months ago. Zubair was also involved in the killing of a 70-year-old Sarpanch in Wanpoh area of the district earlier this month,” Kumar said.
He said that Zubair’s father is a Sub-Inspector of police posted at police station Keller.
Reports said that soon after the encounter ended, a number of people rushed to the encounter site and staged anti-India and pro-freedom protests. “The youth resorted to intense stone pelting at forces who were part of the operation. The forces in retaliation lobbed dozens of teargas shells and fired in the air to disperse them,” reports said.
Meanwhile, according to a police spokesman, the slain militants belonged to Ayatollah alias Ma’az sub-group of LeT and were active in South Kashmir.
Police claimed recovery of two AK rifles along with ammunition, two pistols and one hand grenade from the encounter site.
According to an army spokesman, the slain militants were “planning to carryout spectacular strike on National Highway and weapons recovered from the(m) indicate that they were well up in the LeT cadre.”