SHOPIAN: Four militants from Shopian district who joined Hizbul Mujahideen this year were killed, along with an army soldier, in an encounter at Nadigam village in Shopian on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.
Three army men were injured during the exchange of gunfire with militants, while in street clashes near the encounter site, three civilians including two teenage girls were injured by bullets fired by government forces.
The slain militants were identified as Basharat Ahmad Nengroo, son of Abdul Rashid Nengroo, resident of Chotigam, who joined militant ranks on 1/8/2018; Mehraj ud Din, son of Abdul Ahad Najar, resident of Drawani village, who joined militant ranks on 21/5/2018; Abid Nazir Chopan, son of Nazir Ahmad Chopan, resident of Padderpora village, who joined militant ranks on 18/4/2018; and Anam ul Haq, son of Mubarak Hussain, resident of Motijun village, who joined militant ranks on 23/5/2018.
All these villages belong to district Shopian. The slain militants, according to their joining date given out by police, had been active for less than seven months.
Today’s encounter was the fourth overnight encounter in the past twenty days in Shopian district. The toll of militants killed in these encounters has reached 9. A civilian was also killed during the encounter on November 3.
Doctors posted in different hospitals of Shopian district said that a total of ten injured were received during the day. They said that four of them, including two teenage girls, had sustained firearm injuries. The two girls were referred to Srinagar hospitals and the other two were treated in local hospitals. Doctors said that among those injured with pellets, four were referred to SMHS for specialised treatment.
The residential house in which the four militants were trapped was razed to ground with explosives by government forces. Villagers in Nadigam told Kashmir Reader that they heard massive firing at about 4am and speculated that an encounter was going on in the village. They said that the whole area was in deep slumber when the firing started.
A police officer told Kashmir Reader that on a tip about presence of some militants in the village, a joint team of forces including 23 para of army, CRPF and SOG of police launched a cordon and search operation in the village. He said that militants hiding in a house fired upon the search party, resulting in a gunfight.
Police said that four militants were killed in the operation which lasted for almost five hours. Police also said that arms and ammunition were recovered from the site.
A massive throng of people bid farewell to the slain militants at their respective villages in Shopian. Witnesses said that the mourners raised pro-freedom, anti-India and pro-militant slogans during multiple rounds of funeral prayers offered for the slain militants.