Two LeT militants surrender in gunfight following appeals by family, forces: Police

Two LeT militants surrender in gunfight following appeals by family, forces: Police

Anantnag: Two newly recruited militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba laid down their arms amid a gunfight with government forces in Kulgam district of south Kashmir, police said on Wednesday.
The militants are locals and have been identified as Nadeem Abbas Bhat, and Kafeel Mir, both residents of Qaimoh area in Kulgam district.
“They are being questioned now,” a police source from Kulgam district said.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP), Vijay Kumar, has said that the forces exercised immense restraint in the process of trying to motivate the youth to lay down their arms.
“The two militants kept firing but the fire was not retaliated as we came to know that they were newly recruited militants and their families desperately wanted them not to indulge in such activities,” Kumar said.
He said that many lives can be saved if every parent, whose sons have joined the militant ranks, appeal them to shun the path of violence.
“Two precious lives were saved today and we can save many more lives if parents of such youth come forward and make appeals,” Kumar added.
The encounter took place in Hatigam village of Kulgam district, where a cordon and search operation was launched by forces soon after midnight on July 5.
“The militants started to fire soon after the area was cordoned and their location was surrounded by the forces,” a senior official of the police from Kulgam said.
He said that the forces did not however retaliate the fire after coming to know that the militants were recruited recently.
“Their families were brought in and appeals were made by both the families and the senior officials of police, asking them to lay down their arms,” the official said.
He said that hours of hectic deliberations were followed by both the militants laying their arms down and surrendering.

“War like stores, arms and ammunition, and some incriminating material has been retrieved from their possession,” the police official said.

The official said that the duo was, for now, being questioned and were in custody.

The incident is a rare one as most of the militants do not pay heed to such appeals, by families or the forces. Despite such appeals, dozens of gunfights this year have led to the killing of more than 120 militants across the Kashmir valley.

“32 of the slain militants were Pakistani nationals and the rest of them were locals,” the police have maintained.

This was the second gunfight in Kashmir valley, since the commencement of the annual Amarnath Yatra on June 29.

The first gunfight also took place in Kulgam district, wherein two militants were killed at a location very close to NH-44, the route of the Yatra movement.

Authorities have been emphasizing an imminent threat to the conduct of Yatra by militants. Elaborate and unprecedented security arrangements have been put in place to ensure a smooth conduct of the Yatra.

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