His associate arrested: Police
Chadoora: A four-day-old militant was on Friday afternoon caught alive after engaging in a brief gunfight with government forces in Chadoora area of Budgam district while a special police officer (SPO) who had decamped with two AK-47 rifles on Oct 13 managed to escape, police said.
The gunfight took place in Chadoora outskirts at about 10am after government forces comprising police, army’s 53 Rashtriya Rifles and 181Bn CRPF laid a cordon and search operation based on specific inputs about the presence of militants there, police said.
As the forces approached the suspected spot, militants opened fire at the forces, triggering a gunfight, a senior police officer said.
A militant identified as Jahangir Ahmad Bhat, a local youth from Chadoora, was later apprehended along with an AK-47, police said. It could not be known which militant outfit Jahangir had joined.
According to a police officer, Jahangir had joined militant ranks on October 13, the same day that Special Police Officer (SPO) Altaf Hassan Bhat of Qazipora decamped with two AK-47 rifles from SOG camp Chadoora.
The rifle recovered from Jahangir’s possession is one of the two Altaf had decamped with, a police spokesperson added.
The army also said that a lone militant, who had fired at the forces, was held at the gunfight site.
“During the search at a joint Mobile Vehicle Check Post at Chadoora today morning a militant fired at the SF. Area was cordoned. Extensive search was carried out & the militant was apprehended with one AK. Joint op concluded,” army’s Chinar Corps tweeted on Friday afternoon.
A police handout, however, maintained that when forces approached the suspected spot, the hiding deserted SPO along with his associate fired indiscriminately upon forces, leading to a brief gunfight. “During the ensuing gunfight, the SPO managed to escape from the spot, however, his associate was captured alive. The captured associate has been identified as Jahangir Ahmad Bhat, an OGW and a notorious stone pelter,” the police statement said.
A police officer posted in Budgam said that Jahangir and the missing SPO are likely to have joined militant ranks together as suggested by their simultaneous disappearance and the recovery of one of the AK-47 rifles from Jahangir’s possession.
Efforts to contact SSP Budgam Amod Ashok Nagpure could not prove successful.