Anantnag: Four militants were killed in two gunfights between militants and government forces in South Kashmir on Thursday.
According police, a search and cordon operation was laid in the Mishipora, Yaripora area of Kulgam district on the evening of June 14, and following an initial exchange of fire, guns had fallen silent in the area.
“Apart from a couple of gunshots on the morning of June 15, there was no sign of militant presence in the area,” the police official said, “However inputs did point towards militant presence and that is why we persisted with a search operation for this long.”
He said that fresh contact was established Thursday evening and in a brief gunfight two militants were killed. “The bodies of the slain have been retrieved and will be sent to an undisclosed location later for burial,” the official said.
Two militants of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed and one among them was identified as Zubair Sofi of Mohanpora Kulgam while the identity of his associate couldn’t be ascertained, police said.
The police official said slain Sofi was involved in killing of woman teacher Rajni Bala on May 31 at Kulgam.
The authorities have refused to hand over bodies of slain militants to their families, citing Covid protocol, since April 2020. The practice of burying militants at undisclosed locations in presence of a few family members has continued ever since. This has prevented people from holding massive funeral prayers for slain militants, wherein tens of thousands of people would normally participate.
Meanwhile, another gunfight broke out in Hangalgund area of Kokernag in the Anantnag district on Thursday.
A police spokesperson said that two militants were killed so far while the searches were underway.
The anti-militancy operations have been intensified across the Kashmir valley, leading to the killing of 15 militants in the first fortnight of June. It is in continuation to the quite bloody last week of May and an overall violent 2022.
The police have said that over 100 militants have been killed in the first less than six months of 2022. Also, attacks on minorities, non-locals, policemen, and politically affiliated locals have been carried out frequently – leaving over 20 such people dead.
Police have been maintaining that the militants behind such attacks have mostly been neutralised.