5 militants killed in Kupwara encounter: army

Villagers say there was no gunfight

Baramulla: The army claimed on Saturday that it killed five militants in Check village of Drugmulla after a daylong gunfight.
The residents, however, said there was no gunfight, suspecting that the five deceased could have been first apprehended and then killed in a staged gunfight.
Officials said that the government forces comprising army, SOG of police and CRPF troopers surrounded a house in the village after receiving inputs about the presence of a group of militants. As they zeroed in on the house, they said, militants fired at the forces who retaliated. Two soldiers were injured in the exchange of fire, they said.
Five AK-47 rifles were recovered from the deceased persons, who are yet to be identified, army claimed.
The forces blew up the house where they claimed the militants were hiding. However, Mohammad Sayeed Shah, the owner, told Kashmir Reader that the house remained locked because he is currently residing in Srinagar where he owns another house.
“I visit Drugmulla twice a week. On Saturday I received a call from my relatives who said the army has surrounded the house and they were not allowing anyone to go near the house. My relatives had pleaded before them that no militant is hiding there but they did not listen to them and blew it up with mortar shells,” he said.
“When I reached the village there was intermittent sound of gunfire and blasts. I can’t say whether anyone was in the house or not,” Shah said.
A few villagers who spoke to Kashmir Reader said no militant was present in the house when army fired at it. They said army did not allow local policemen to go near the house throughout the day.