Pulwama: Two families in south Kashmir have claimed as their kin two of the five alleged infiltrating militants killed in Tangdar sector last month by the army. The families hail from Parigam village of Kulgam district and Lajoora village of Pulwama district.
According to police sources, the two families had earlier approached police in their respective districts to report missing Sheeraz Ahmad Sheikh of Lajoora and Mudasir Ahmad of Parigam. Sheeraz was reported missing since September 2017 and Mudasir since July 2016.
The families again approached the police today to say that they were informed by their relatives and friends after some pictures of the slain militants were shared by people on social media.
Pulwama Senior Superintendent of Police Choudhary Muhammad Aslam told Kashmir Reader that on Sunday the family of Sheeraz Ahmad Sheikh approached the police in Pulwama and he directed them to Kupwara. “They claimed that they identified their sons through photographs and I told them to go to Kupwara and contact the station house officer of Tangdar. I asked the officer to provide every possible help to the family,” Aslam said, adding that the bodies of the militants had been buried and it will take time to investigate the family’s claim
When news spread that the militants killed in Tangdar may be locals, scores of youth in Pulwama and Kulgam held protests and raised pro-freedom slogans. They also hurled stones on government forces who hit back with tear smoke shells.
Kulgam Superintendent of Police Harmeet Singh told Kashmir Reader that a family approached the police in the morning to claim that one of the militants killed in Tangdar was their son, Mudasir Ahmed. He said that they were directed to go to Kupwara to obtain further information about the slain persons.
Sources said that the bodies, which were buried at about midnight on May 27 in Badwan area of Tangdar, are likely to be exhumed in a day or two for DNA tests.
Kupwara Senior Superintendent of Police AS Dinkar told Kashmir Reader that both the families approached Kupwara police and they are investigating the issue. “We sent them to Tangdar police station which has the file on that encounter. The officers there are checking the facts. I have no more details about this case,” Dinkar said.
The encounter in Tangdar broke out after soldiers of the 20 JAT regiment intercepted a group of infiltrators near Eagle Post on May 25. Addressing a press conference, Brigadier PK Mishra, Commander Tangdar Brigade, claimed that 5 militants had been eliminated in the encounter.
“We had credible intelligence inputs that there is likely to be an infiltration in the sector, because of which we had placed a number of interception groups to trap these militants,” Mishra had said.
On the intervening night of May 25 and 26, these militants walked into this side where the ambush was placed and they were killed, Mishra said.
“The troops on the ground have succeeded in foiling the infiltration bid of a group of militants who were very heavily armed. They had modern weaponry, modern equipment. They were carrying under-barrel grenade launchers (UBGLs) and we succeeded in eliminating them without any casualties to our troops, which is indeed creditworthy,” Mishra said.
He also claimed that the army recovered a huge quantity of arms, ammunition, food items and other equipment from the possession of the slain militants.
The recovery, Mishra said, included five 7.62 mm AK-47 rifles, one pistol with magazine, eight rounds, carts 7.62 mm AK-47 (546), one UBGL, six grenade UBGL, nine hand grenades and other equipment including medicine and food items.
“The recoveries are indicative of actively aiding and abetting of this kind by Pakistan because you see a lot of food items with Pakistan markings on them,” Mishra said at the presser.