Anantnag: Two militants, one of them with bullet injuries, have been arrested during an ongoing operation in the forest area of Haalan-Kond village in Qazigund, in Kulgam district. The operation has been going on since Tuesday morning, when a militant and an army soldier were killed in an exchange of gunfire. Another exchange of gunfire took place on Wednesday morning and yet another on Wednesday afternoon.
“The cordon was tightened overnight as we believed some militants were still holed up in the forest area. We were right about it, because there has been a fresh contact with the militants,” a senior police official told Kashmir Reader, adding that the operation was on.
Police officials have given out almost no details regarding the arrest of the militants. A presser has been scheduled on Thursday, which will be addressed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Munir Khan.
“I will address a press conference tomorrow and give out the details,” Khan told Kashmir Reader.
A senior police official from south Kashmir, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the arrests. “Yes, we have arrested two militants. One of them has a bullet wound and has been hospitalised. He will survive, hopefully,” he said.
Sources in the police said that both the militants were arrested from near the site of the encounter in Haalan-Kond area.
“One of them belongs to the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the other to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen,” a highly-placed source told Kashmir Reader.
He identified the militants as Shamsul Viqar of LeT from Ganjpora in Kulgam district and Aaqib Iqbal Malik from Ringath village in Noorabad area of Kulgam district.
Malik, sources said, had escaped in the forests after getting shot during the encounter and had managed to reach a health facility in the area.
“He was arrested from the health facility,” the source said, adding that Viqar, too, was arrested from within the peripheries of the encounter site.
Viqar had joined LeT ranks in May this year, only a day ahead of his scheduled classes for a law degree at Central University of Kashmir. A national-level cricket player, Viqar studied at Delhi Public School (DPS) in Sangam up to Class 10.
Sources said Viqar rose within LeT ranks very quickly and was now operating out of Anantnag town and parts of Kulgam district.
Days ago, a picture of Viqar brandishing an AK 47 rifle, apparently clicked at the sports stadium in Anantnag, had gone viral on social media.
Malik is said to have joined militant ranks recently.
“He is very young and has been active since less than a month,” a police source said.