First floor of residential house set afire with explosives
Budgam: A militant from Pampore area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district and affiliated with the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) was killed in a gunfight with government forces on Tuesday at Nowhar locality of Chrar-i-Sharif in Budgam district.
The gunfight, which concluded with Asif’s killing at about Tuesday noon, had begun on Monday at 6:20pm in Nowhar area after a joint team of army’s 53 RR, police and paramilitary CRPF launched searches in the area, local sources said.
They said that the government forces straightaway zeroed in on a specific house, where the militant was hiding.
As soon as news of the gunfight broke out, the authorities snapped internet services in the district to thwart any potential clashes with locals. Internet was restored in the district at about 4:30pm Tuesday.
While the two sides engaged in regular exchange of gunfire throughout the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, a heavy posse of government forces prevented locals from venturing outside, a local said.
He said that on Tuesday morning, the forces used explosives to burn down the first floor of the residential house from within which the militant was fighting. Later, the body of the slain militant was taken out by government forces along with a neighbour, the local person said.
A statement issued by police identified the slain as Asif Shah resident of Samboora Pulwama, affiliated with JeM.
It said that an Army personnel of 53RR received splinter injuries in the firefight and he was shifted to hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Local sources told Kashmir Reader that a cow belonging to the household adjacent to the house where the militant was killed was also killed during the gunfight while two of their washrooms and glass windowpanes were partially damaged.
It is believed that at least two more militants, who accompanied the slain militant, managed to flee from the encounter site, SSP Nagpure told a local news agency. He said that the “militants fired indiscriminately” at the forces, rather than referring to just one.
The SSP further said that a “few associates” of the slain militant were active in the area “and would be tracked soon”.
From the slain militant’s possession, “arms & ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter” as per police.
“The dead body of the killed militant shall be sent to Handwara for his last rites after conducting medico-legal formalities,” the statement informed.
“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitised and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” it added.