Two army personnel, policeman injured; army loses sniffer dog
Anantnag: An unidentified militant was killed and three security forces personnel, two of them army men and the third a policeman, were injured in a gunfight between militants and government forces here in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, the police said on Saturday.
“We are trying to ascertain the identity of the slain militant,” a senior police official from the area said, adding that the injured forces’ personnel have been evacuated to the hospital where their condition is stated to be stable.
The gunfight took place in Wanigam Bala area of Baramulla district, early Saturday morning. Police said that they acted on specific inputs regarding the presence of militants in the area.
“Soon after the hiding militant was zeroed in on, he started indiscriminate firing,” SSP Baramulla Rayees Muhammad Bhat said, adding that the fire was retaliated, triggering a gunfight.
Bhat said that the militant was killed in the gunfight. “Even as a policeman and two personnel of the army were injured in the firing,” he said, adding, “A sniffer dig of the army was also lost during the gunfight.”
Bhat told reporters after the gunfight that an AK-47 rifle and several rounds of ammunition were retrieved from the site of the gunfight. “Efforts are on to ascertain the identity of the slain militant,” he said.
A police source said that medico-legal formalities were being completed following which the militant will be buried at an undisclosed location in presence of a few family members, “if his identity is ascertained and he turns out to be a local”.
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.
Today’s killing is the first militant killing in more than a fortnight in an otherwise bloody year thus far. More than 120 militants have been killed this year, thus far, 32 of them Pakistani nationals and the rest locals.
In the “peaceful” fortnight, the militants attacked and killed two ASIs, one from the police in Srinagar and another from the CRPF in the Pulwama district of South Kashmir.
Recently, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh blamed Pakistani agencies for “poisoning” young minds of Kashmiris through social media and leading them to a path of destruction and crime.