Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in a brief gunfight near Gopalpora village of Kulgam late last night, police sources said.
They said that Army had laid an ambush near Gopalpora village late last night following the inputs of militant movement in the area.
“As the two militants tried to cross a road they were challenged by the forces resulting in a brief encounter during which both the militants were killed,” defence sources said.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman said that acting on a specific information, a search operation was launched by a joint team of Kulgam Police, 09 RR, 62 RR and 18 Bn CRPF in village Gopalpora D.H Pora, Kulgam.
During the search operation militants present in the area fired upon the search party, ensuing an encounter. Two militants were killed in this encounter. The slain militants were identified as Aaqib Ahmad Itoo son of Abdul Hamid Itoo resident of Gopalpora and Suhail Ahmad Rather son of Mohammad Arif Rather resident of Tantraypora Yaripora, the police spokesman said.
He said that an INSAS rifle, 01 AK rifle and 02 magazines were recovered from the encounter site.
The spokesman said that both the militants were involved in unlawful and anti national activities.
Aaqib, according to police was involved in the attack on cash van of JK Bank at Pombai in which five policemen were killed and two civilians lost their lives. He was also involved in attack on a police man at Yaripora in which the said police man also succumbed to his injuries later.
Aaqib was involved in many cases including bank robbery at J&K Bank branch Kader and weapon snatching from Adijan minority guard, the spokesman added.
He said that Suhail was involved in instigating people and firing indiscriminately upon security personnel from the mob.
A number of FIR’s were already lodged against these militants in different Police Stations.
Meanwhile, thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of slain Hizbul Mujahideen militants.
From wee hours on Thursday thousands of people reached the native villages of slain militants to participate in their funerals, witnesses said.
They said that several rounds of funeral prayers were held at Tantraypora Kulgam, which happens to be the native village of Suhail Ahmad.
At least three back to back funeral prayers were held in Gopal pora area of Kulgam district.
Notably, a group of militants appeared in the funeral of Suhail Ahmad in Tantraypora village and offered gun salute to him.
Eye witnesses said that three local militants appeared during the funeral prayers of slain militant and fired a volley of rounds in air amid pro militant slogans.
Their bodies were taken to local graveyards where thousands of people participated in their last rites.
Dozens of women showered rose petals and candies on their body from the rooftops and windows of their homes, witnesses added.
For hours together hundreds of women were seen outside martyrs graveyard at Amirabad. The women were mourning the deaths amid slogans “tera bhai mera bhai, Aqib bhai Aqib bhai,” and” tera bhai mera bhai, Suhail bhai suhail bhai,” even as local masjids reverberated with pro-freedom, pro Pakistani and pro militant slogans.