Srinagar: Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants and a civilian were killed in an encounter with security forces in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Six other civilians were injured during the clashes that followed during the encounter.
According to the reports, a joint team of Police Pulwama, 03 RR, 55 RR, 182 & 183 Bn CRPF cordoned off Litter village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district after inputs about the presence of militants in the village.
Police said that as the joint team was zeroing on the target house belonging to a former militant Pintu Malik, the holed up militants opened fire, resulting in a gun fight that ended with the killing of the two militants.
The militants were identified as Waseem Ahmad Shah alias Abu Usama Bhai son of Ghulam Mohammad Shah resident of Heff Shirmal, Shopian and Nisar Ahmad Mir son of Abdul Hameed Mir, resident of Litter.
Witnesses said that during the gunfight several protestors tried to storm the encounter site. However, troops stationed there resorted to firing that resulted in injuries to four people who were shifted to hospital for treatment.
They said that one of the civilians who had suffered critical injuries died at the hospital. The civilian was identified as Gulzar Ahmad Mir son of Ali Mohammad Mir resident of Allaipora, Lassipora.
“A 25-year old civilian identified as Gulzar Ahmad Mir lost his life in the cross firing and one more civilian who was identified as Mohammad Ashraf Mir son of Mohammad Abdullah Mir resident of Litter also sustained injuries. The injured person is undergoing treatment at SKIMS, Soura,” a police statement said.
Earlier, Police claimed that the civilian, Gulzar Ahmad Mir, was caught in the cross-fire between the militants and security forces, but some locals alleged that he was killed in the action by security personnel against the protestors.
Pertinently, a group of people started throwing stones at the security forces, eyewitnesses said.
They claimed that six persons, including Mir, were injured in the security forces’ action. Mir succumbed to injuries at a hospital here.
Four injured persons were taken to a local hospital for treatment and another injured is admitted to a Srinagar hospital, the eyewitnesses claimed.
Meanwhile, police said that Waseem Shah was Lashkar’s district commander and one of the recruiter of cadres for the militant outfit in South Kashmir.
Police said that Shah had joined militant ranks in March 2014 and was involved in seven incidents of criminal cases including a case of murder. Meanwhile, his associate Nisar had joined militant ranks this year. Two AK 47 rifles and ammunition was recovered from the encounter site.
Shah who worked as an over ground worker for the militants before joining them was carrying a bounty of Rs 10 lakh on his head, police said.
Before joining militant ranks, Shah was a known cricket player of the area and was a close friend of another militant Setha Paray.
Meanwhile, Nisar Ahmad Mir was a post graduate in sociology and Hafiz e Quran before he had joined militant ranks in May this year.
“It is a established fact that it is a setback for the Lashkar and great success for the security forces,” IG Kashmir Munir Khan said.
Police said that Shah was A category militant while as Mir was a B category militant.
Meanwhile, the slain were laid to rest at their native villages after multiple funeral prayers amid pro freedom pro Militant and anti India slogans
Reports said that, thousands of people including women and children participated in the funeral prayers of slain militants and the civilian.
A complete shutdown was observed in most parts of Pulwama and Shopian district of south Kashmir to mourn the death of two let militants and the civilian.