Third militant surrendered: Police
Anantnag: A Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander was killed along with a Pakistani militant in an encounter with government forces in Chidder village of Kulgam district on Sunday. A civilian youth died of bullet injuries that police said were sustained in “cross-fire” but locals said were due to government forces opening fire on protestors at a spot far away from the encounter site. Seven injured persons were brought to Qaimoh sub-district hospital during the day. One of them had pellet injuries in his eye and was referred to a Srinagar hospital for treatment.
A third militant “surrendered” during the gunfight, police said.
The slain local militant, as per a senior police official from the area, has been identified as Shakoor Dar, son of Muhammad Munawar Dar, a resident of Sopat Tangpora village in Kulgam district.
Active since 2016, Shakoor was described by the government forces as a category A++ militant. His name featured in the list of 21 “most wanted” militants released earlier this week by government forces.
The gunfight began in Chidder village at about 2:30 in the afternoon.
“We had specific inputs regarding presence of militants in the area,” the police official said. “While our men were zeroing in on the house they were hiding in, the militants tried to flee while using indiscriminate fire as cover.”
The police official said the fire was duly retaliated and two militants were killed.
“A third militant was persuaded to lay down his arms,” the official said, identifying the surrendered militant as Shakir Ahmad Ganaie, a resident of Khodweni in Kulgam district.
He said that the surrendered militant had been active for the past one to two months.
Locals and sources in the police, however, maintained that the militant was caught hold of after he ran out of ammunition.
“He did not surrender,” the sources said.
Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid said that the militant had surrendered. “Two terrorists have been killed. They are reportedly Shakoor Dar, divisional commander of the LeT, and a foreign terrorist. A third one surrendered to security forces along with arms and ammunition,” Vaid said.
A police spokesperson said that a civilian was killed in “cross-fire” near the site of the encounter.
As per local sources, clashes erupted around the site of the encounter and some other parts of Qaimoh when hundreds tried to march towards the gunfight site, in a bid to save the militants.
The government forces used live ammunition and pellets to disperse the protestors, local sources said.
An official at Anantnag district hospital told Kashmir Reader, “We received a bullet-wounded person. He had been shot in the chest and was declared dead after attempts to revive him failed.”
The slain civilian was identified as 24-year-old Yawar Ahmad Mir, a resident of Gassipora in Wanpoh area of Kulgam district.
Local sources told Kashmir Reader that Mir was an auto driver by profession. “He was not injured at the site of the encounter. He was injured during clashes in Thokerpora Qaimoh, some two kilometers from the site of the encounter,” they said.
A youth was hit by pellets in his right eye and has been shifted to Srinagar after preliminary treatment at sub-district hospital (SDH) Qaimoh.
“We also received six other injured. They were treated here at the hospital,” a health official at SDH Qaimoh said.
As this report was being filed, the body of Shakoor Dar was handed over to the family. Hundreds of people had already assembled at his house and more were joining in.