Police say slain were not listed militants but two among them were ‘OGWs’ while the third ‘might’ have joined recently
Srinagar: Three militants were killed in an encounter in Lawaypora area in Srinagar outskirts on Wednesday, police said while launching a probe after families of the trio claimed the slain were innocent.
The slain were identified as Ajaz Maqbool Ganie, Ather Mushtaq belonging to Pulwama district while the third identified as Zubair Lone is a resident of Shopian in south Kashmir.
Families of the trio contested the police claim saying their wards were not militants. However, police refused to accept it. The trio, police said, were not in their list of militants but two of them were hardcore associates of militants (OGWs).
“One of the two is a relative of top HM commander Rayees Kachroo who was killed in 2017. Reportedly, third might have joined very recently,” it said in a detailed statement.
Police said they are investigating the case and will come to a conclusion after the probe.
On Tuesday evening, police said that the encounter broke out after a specific input about presence of militants in the area. During searches, militants hurled grenade and fired on forces.
Following the firefight, police along with the CRPF team rushed to the spot which eventually turned into an encounter.
“Search party of 02 RR was heavily fired upon by the militants hiding inside the building which was retaliated,” said the handout.
Despite repeated announcements urging the militants to surrender, they fired continuously upon the search party.
Due to darkness, police said, the operation was suspended while the cordon remained in force throughout the night. “On the morning of December 30, repeated announcements were again made to hiding militants to surrender but they fired indiscriminately on security forces which was retaliated again resulting in the killing of militants”.
The encounter ended at 11:30 am on Tuesday with the killing of all three militants, police said.
“Upon their search, arms (One AK 47 rifle & two pistols) & ammunition and other incriminating material along with some documents were recovered,” it said.
The police said that some families from south Kashmir came to Police Control Room Srinagar (PCR) and claimed the slain to be their wards. “They have been sent to Ganderbal for further identification and participation in last rites in the presence of a Magistrate”.
Police said that a few militant attacks have occurred in the area recently and reportedly these militants had come from south Kashmir to target a convoy of forces.
“Generally parents don’t have an idea about the activities of their wards. Several OGWs after throwing grenades and pistol shooting etc stay normally with their family. For instance, one student from Pulwama who was taking coaching in Srinagar was caught for lobbying a grenade with the help of CCTV’s footage. His parents were totally unaware about his militant activities,” police said.
“It is pertinent to mention here that the trio killed in today’s encounter were given ample opportunity to surrender both yesterday evening and today morning but they didn’t surrender and instead fired and lobbed grenades on the search party”, they added.
Meanwhile, IGP Kashmir has requested the parents to keep close watch of their wards and keep strict vigil about their day to day activities to ensure they didn’t indulge in any such activities.