- Local militant was a Hafiz-e-Quran; thousands attend funeral; locals allege army thrashed people
Mushtaq Ahmad/Javid Ali
Baramulla: A local militant of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed while three army men were injured in a brief encounter in Tangmarg on Wednesday morning. Officials said that after receiving specific information, army’s 2 RR along with SOG of police launched a search operation in Danger Mohla, Bungam, under police station Kunzar, in the wee hours of Wednesday. As the search party reached the area, a militant fired on the forces, resulting in a gunfight. The militant was killed, while three army men received bullet injuries, and they were shifted to army’s 92 base hospital, Srinagar.
The Srinagar-based spokesperson of the army, Lt Col NN Joshi, said the gunfight started around 6am on Wednesday. He said the injured army men were in a stable condition while the search operation was continuing in the area.
The militant was later identified as Nisar Ahmad Wani, son of Ali Mohammad Wani of Adipora Kunzar, who, sources said, was involved in militancy since last year.
Soon after the encounter, markets in nearby villages including Kunzar, Bungam, Adipora and Narbal shut down and some youths pelted stones on vehicles on the Srinagar-Gulmarg road.
Nisar, sources said, was a Hafiz e Quran, and used to drive a vehicle before joining militancy. The father of the slain militant, reportedly, is a retired army man.
Locals said additional forces of army and SOG were sent to the area and people were not allowed to step out of their homes throughout the day. They said a large number of people participated in Nisar’s funeral after the police handed over his dead body to his family late in the afternoon. Shouting anti-India and pro-azadi slogans, the people paid rich tributes to the slain militant.
Locals also said the army cordoned off the village at around 6:45 am and started a search operation. The forces were engaged by the militant and the confrontation lasted around 20 minutes. Eventually, they said, Nisar was killed and two other militants managed to escape.
In Bungam village, two brothers, Javaid Ahmad Dar and Shabir Ahmad Dar, were allegedly thrashed by the army, suffering multiple injuries. “The army knocked on our door in the morning and asked us to stay inside. But when gunshots were heard, they thrashed two of our family members brutally,” said Kulsuma, Javaid’s wife. She also said that both were taken to a nearby apple orchard and tortured for two hours. Both, she said, were labourers. Shabir was reportedly hospitalised due to head injuries.
Locals also said that others, including Abdul Rashid Wani and Farooq Ahmad Sheikh, were also thrashed by the government forces and suffered injuries. They also alleged that many people had been asked to report to the nearby Kunzar army camp, where their ID cards were allegedly taken away.