Srinagar: Thirteen militants and three soldiers were killed in three separate encounters in Shopian and Anantnag districts of south Kashmir on Sunday.
Official sources said that seven militants were killed and two soldiers were injured in a gun battle which started at Dragad late last night and continued for several hours before it concluded at around noon.
The slain militants have been identified as Adil Ahmed Thoker of Humhuna, Nazim Dar of Nagbal, Ubaid Shafi Malla of Trenz, Yawar Itoo of Safanagri, Rayees Ahmed Thoker of Padarpora, Zubair Turay of Shopian and Ashfaq Malik of Pinjura.
At Kachdora, five militants and three soldiers were killed in the fierce gun battle which also started last night and continued for a longer period and ended late in the afternoon on Sunday.
While three militant bodies were recovered from under the debris by government forces, the fourth militant corpse was found by locals. The locals also found another militant in critical condition who succumbed later.
Three army soldiers were killed and two others were injured in the firefight.
Several houses as per local sources were completely damaged in the gunfight.
At Dialgam Anantnag one militant Rouf Bashir Khanday was killed and another militant Imran Rasheed surrendered during the gunfight.
SSP Anantnag Altaf Khan told news agency GNS that a joint team of police, army’s 19 and CRPF launched a cordon at Brunty Dialgam village during the intervening night of March 31/ April 1.
As the joint team approached the suspected spot, the hiding militants opened fire and triggering off an encounter, SSP said.
“One militant Rouf Bashir Khanday was killed and another militant Imran Rashid has been captured alive during the operation,” SSP said.
Rouf Ahmad Khanday Son of Bashir Ahmad Khanday, a resident of Dehruna village of Dooru Anantnag had announced his joining Hizb ul Mujahideen and his photographs wielding Ak 47 went viral in last week of March. The photograph had his code name Umar Hayat and joining “active date” 4/02/2018.
The picture also depicted that he was a graduate (B.A) and 15 chapters (Paras) of Quran ‘Hafiz’.
In the gunfights household goods and other items worth lakhs of rupees were damaged, locals alleged.
In wake of a militant killing in Anantnag and two separate encounters which are going on in neighbouring Shopian district, authorities decided to suspend railway services to and fro South Kashmir.
The train services from Srinagar to Banihal remained suspended today. However, the train runs as per normal schedule from Srinagar to Baramulla.
Meanwhile, internet services remained blocked in Shopian and Anantnag district of south Kashmir.
Pursuing credible leads of the presence of militants, Shopian Police and security forces started a search operation in Draghad and Kachdoora areas of Shopian district.
While the searches were going on, the hiding militants fired upon the search parties, ensuing encounters at both the sites.
At Draghad, seven militants were neutralized. They have been identified as Adil Ahmed Thoker of Humhuna, Nazim Dar of Nagbal, Ubaid Shafi Malla of Trenz, Yawar Itoo of Safanagri, Rayees Ahmed Thoker of Padarpora, Zubair Turay of Shopian and Ashfaq Malik of Pinjura.
Apparently, the militant group had joined HM in the summer of 2017 and were involved in series of cases of attacks on civilians and security forces; the killing of Lt. Umer Fayaz is one among them.
All the bodies have been handed over to families for their last rites.
There was no collateral damage of property at this encounter site.
At Kachdoora Shopian, three more militants have been killed whose identities and affiliations are being ascertained.
At Kachdoora three army men laid down their lives in the line of duty.
Meanwhile, in the process, the incriminating material including AK 47 assault rifles, grenades etc have been recovered.
FIR’s into the incidents have been registered and investigation was taken up.
We request citizens not to fall prey to any speculations and rumors which are intended to disturb the peace. J&K Police seeks your cooperation for maintaining order.
GOC, DGP addressed a joint Press Conference
GOC 15 CORPS Lt General AK Bhatt and Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) S P Vaid while addressing a joint press conference at Victor Force headquarters at Awantipura, said two Army jawans lost their lives at the Kachdooru encounter in Shopian district.
Corps Commander of XV Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, termed it one of the biggest operations in recent times and said the death of Lt Umar Fayaz, who was brutally killed in Shopian last year, had been avenged.
“Among the militants killed are Ishfaq Malik and Rayees Thokar. They were responsible for his death,” Bhatt said.
Umar Fazyaz, 22, was reportedly assassinated by militants in May last year. His body was found with bullet wounds in the Hermain area of Shopian district in south Kashmir.
The DGP also made a special mention of an SSP’s efforts to convince a militant to surrender during the Dialgam encounter. (GNS)