Identity of five militants killed in Sumlar not clear yet
Bandipora: A complete shutdown was observed for the fourth consecutive day in Bandipora over the killing of five militants in a gunfight near Shogbaba village of Sumlar.
Shops and business establishments remained closed while traffic on the roads was very thin.
Though some news portals quoted the killed militants as affiliated with Lashkar-Toiba, the police and army, here, however, didn’t come clean about the identity or affiliation of the militants, but said that they were probably of foreign origin.
The militants were buried in the graveyard at Baramulla’s Uri on Saturday Midnight, where normally foreign militants are buried.
The uncertainty about the militant identity ran high among the locals from day one, with apprehensions that local militants were killed.
The mutilated body of one of the militants beyond recognition further infuriated the locals who blamed government forces of carrying out a “fishy operation.”
Though the authorities kept internet (mobile) shut for three consecutive days, the killing and the uncertainty, triggered spontaneous shutdowns following massive stone throwing clashes wherein the government forces had to use tear gas to disperse the angry protesters.
The internet services were restored Sunday evening.
The encounter took place at Shogbab village of Sumlar area in Bandipora on Friday after government forces cordoned off the area in search of militants. According to the police, the encounter broke after the militants hiding in a cowshed fired upon government forces.
The cowshed was later blown up with improvised explosive devices.
On Saturday evening the police claimed killing of two unknown militants in the encounter and the operation went on for the second day wherein the government forces claimed the killing of three more militants and of concluding the operation.
On Sunday the LeT in a statement to a news agency said that all limits were crossed and that chemical weapons were used on militants and bodies were further damaged by weapons, calling it the worst kind of human rights violation. The outfit didn’t, however, own the militants or identify them.
Further substantiating the apprehensions the Hizbul Mujahideen in a statement on Monday claimed that all the five militants killed in the gunfight were locals.
Operational Spokesperson Burhanuddin told news agency that those killed in the gunfight were locals. “It was a group comprising five members who got trapped in Sumlar area and were killed in a long gunfight,” Burhanuddin said.
According to him, those killed in Sumlar gunfight were Hyder Ali from Brazul Kulgam, Muhammad Umar from Shopian, Muhammad Sidiq from Bandipora, Mawiya from Kangan and Usman from Lolab.
No family in Bandipora had came forward to own the named militant in the statement by Monday evening when this report was filed.