Another soldier injured in Tangmarg gunfight; Nowgam operation continues
Baramulla: Four militants and a soldier were killed in gunfights at two places in north Kashmir on Friday, army and police said.
In Nowgam area of Handwara in Kupwara district, where two militants had been killed on Thursday and a group of three to four more militants were being pursued by soldiers, helicopter gunships and commandos, two more militants were gunned down on Friday, taking the toll to four.
A soldier from 35 Rashtriya Rifles battalion was also killed in the gunfight.
The army claimed they recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition from the deceased militants. The search for other militants is on.
In another encounter in Kunzar area of Tangmarg, in Baramulla district, a joint force of soldiers, police and paramilitary CRPF troopers laid siege around Kanchipora village after being tipped off about the presence of two militants in a house owned by one Ghulam Nabi Dar son of Abdul Aziz Dar.
After a brief exchange of fire, the forces blew up the house with improvised explosive device, killing both militants. A soldier who was injured during the operation was shifted to hospital where his condition is stated to be stable.
The forces pressed into service a bulldozer and recovered bodies of the militants—identified as Mehraj-ud-din Bhat son of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Andergam, Pattan and Adil Ahmad Mir son of Mohammad Sultan Mir from Brath Kalan, Sopore— from the debris of the house. Both were associated with largest indigenous armed resistance group, Hizbul Mujahideen.
Soon after the Friday prayers, people from nearby villages took to streets and demonstrated against India and shouted pro-freedom and pro-militant slogans. They tried to march towards the site of the gunfight but the police and paramilitary forces fired tear gas shells to disperse them.
A group of youth resorted to stone pelting in Druroo Tangmarg in a bid to divert attention of the forces from the encounter site.
Soon after reports about the death of the militants, scores of youth in Palhalan, Pattan demonstrated on roads and threw stones at the forces who tried to stop the pro-militant protests. And when the body of Mehrajuddin reached his native village, Andergam in Pattan, thousands of people joined his funeral procession, shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
The mourners offered funeral prayers to Mehrajuddin on the lawns of the Government Higher Secondary School. The deceased had joined Hizbul Mujahideen in July 2014.