Anantnag: A day after claiming to have killed all three militants holed up in a house in Pulwama district, government forces said that only one body was retrieved from the debris of the blown-up house early Saturday morning; the two other militants had not died but fled.
The slain militant was identified as Sajad Ahmad Shah, son of Ali Muhammad Shah, resident of Gund, Chogul in Handwara area of north Kashmir.
A Class 9 student, son of a doctor posted at District Hospital Pulwama, was also killed on Friday as government forces opened fire at people trying to move towards the site of the encounter, in a bid to save the trapped militants. He was shot in his heart.
Seven others were injured in forces’ action – two of them with bullets.
Police, however, attributed the civilian killing and the injuries to “cross fire.”
The encounter raged at about 2:30 PM Friday afternoon, half an hour after a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) was launched by the government forces in Thaman village of Chatpora area.
The gunfight continued amid violent protests. Later in the evening, at about 8 PM, the Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid said, “All the three militants have been killed.”
This morning, the police announced that they were able to find only one body from the debris at the site of the encounter.
“The gunfight was over by 10:00 PM and then the sanitisation process continued till about 4:00 AM. Only one body could be found from the debris,” Pulwama SSP Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam told Kashmir Reader.
He said that initial reports suggested presence of 3 militants.
“But it looks like the other two might have escaped some time during the course of the encounter,” Aslam said.
A police spokesperson alleged that the slain militant, Shah, was involved in a number of attacks on security establishments and in “civilian atrocities”.
“A rifle and ammunition was also retrieved from the site of the encounter,” he said.
Late Saturday morning, after completion of medico legal formalities, the body of Shah was handed over to his family for last rites. The body was taken to his home in Handwara.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama district against the militant and civilian’s killing.
Shops and other commercial establishments remained closed and traffic too was very thin across the district. There were, however, no reports of any clashes anywhere in the district.