Owais Farooqi/Gowhar Maqbool
Hajin: Three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants have been killed in a gunfight in Khosa Mohalla of Hajin area in Baramulla district on Thursday.
The gunfight broke out on Thursday morning after the police and 13 Rashtriya Rifles battalion of army besieged Khosa Mohalla, where three militants were hiding in the house owned by one Sonaullah Bhat.
During the gunfight, the forces reduced the house to rubble with mortar fire, killing the militants.
Soon after the first bursts of gunfire were heard, the local residents attempted to march towards the site of the gunfight to divert forces’ attention and to help the militants escape. They were shouting pro-freedom and pro-militant slogans.
However, the police and CRPF thwarted them by firing countless teargas canisters. The residents said teargas was also fired into residential houses.
After the operation was called off for the night, the local residents demonstrated on streets and demanded the bodies of the deceased militants. When this report was filed, the protesters were clashing with the police who resorted to baton charge and teargas shelling.
Since people have been attending the funerals of militants in massive numbers, the forces are yet to hand over the bodies to the local people. In fact, after 35,000 people attended the funeral of Lashkar’s Kashmir chief, Abu Qasim, bodies of Pakistani militants are taken by the forces to a remote north Kashmir village for burial to prevent such protests.
North Kashmir inspector general of police Garib Das told Kashmir Reader that the deceased militants are “foreigners”.