Five militants, minor boy killed in separate encounters
Protests staged in Sopore, Pulwama and Shopian: dozens injured
Jehangeer Ganaie/ Bilal Ahmad
Srinagar: At least five militants, including two Pakistanis, and a minor boy held hostage by the ultras were killed in separate encounters with security forces on Friday in Bandipora, Baramulla and Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
Two militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed in an overnight gun battle in Hajin area of Bandipora district, officials said.
The operation against the militants was started on Thursday but the security forces had to proceed with caution as the ultras had taken two civilians hostage, the officials said.
While one civilian was rescued Thursday evening, the other hostage — a 12-year-old boy — was killed during the operation, the officials said.
“Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed in the Hajin encounter. From incriminating material, both the militants were identified as Pakistani nationals, Ali and Hubaib,” a police spokesman said.
He said while one hostage — Abdul Hameed was rescued Thursday evening, the second hostage — minor boy Aatif Ahmad — “could not be saved and was killed.”
Two militants were killed in an encounter that raged between forces and militants in Gadhapora area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Sources said that encounter broke out at around 02:30 am on Friday and firing continued for about half an hour.
They said after lull for about five hours, the exchange of fire between forces and militants started again at around 07:30 am, adding that two militants were killed in the gunfight.
The bodies of two unidentified militants were recovered from the site, but forces however had inputs about the presence of three militants following which the search to recover the body of third militant continued for several hours but the forces could not locate it.
A senior police official confirmed that two dead bodies have been recovered whose identification is being ascertained.
Among the two bodies one is completely charred while as other is half charred, sources said.
Local sources said that at least six structures including houses and cowsheds suffered massive damage during the gunfight.
Pertinently, gunfight broke out in the area after a joint team of forces including 34 RR and SOG of Jammu and Kashmir police launched a search operation there following specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area.
On intensifying search operation towards the suspected spot, hiding militants fired upon the forces, which was retaliated, triggering an encounter.
Besides, soon after news about encounter spread in the area, youth assembled near encounter site and started pelting stones with forces during which they used teargas canisters and pellet firing.
At least 15 youth received injuries during the clashes among them most were treated within district while as some were shifted to Srinagar for advanced treatment.
Reports of clashes were also reported from NewaPulwama, main town Pulwama and Main town Shopian.
Furthermore, a complete shutdown was observed in many parts of Shopian districts.
Meanwhile, in wake of the gunfight, the mobile internet services were snapped in Shopian while in other parts of South Kashmir, it has been reduced to 2G.
Meanwhile, another gun battle broke out between militants and security personnel in Sopore area of north Kashmir Baramulla district in which one militant was killed, the official said.
Two militants were killed in the operation, the official said, adding the identity and group affiliation of the slain ultras was being ascertained.
Two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed in an encounter with security forces at Kalantara in Baramulla district on Thursday, while three security force personnel including an officer sustained injuries during the operation.
A police spokesman said while one of the slain militants was Amir Rasool, a local from Sopore, the other slain ultra was a Pakistani national.
A police official said that one among slain militant is a local who has been identified as AamirRasoolKaboo of AramporaSopore. His body has been handed to his family for last rites. He identified the second slain militant as a Pak national SabirBhai.
The officer said that both the militants were affiliated with Jaish e Muhammad (JeM) militant outfit.
Later thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of slain Jaish-e-Muhammad militant, AamirRasoolKaboo.
Reports said that thousands of people from Sopore and its adjoining localities assembled at slain Aamir’s residence at AramporaSopore on Friday morning.
The body of slain militant was brought to the home late last night.
Amid pro-freedom and anti-government forces slogans, a large number of people carried the body of slain Aamir in a procession to martyrs’ graveyard in Sopore for burial.
AamirRasoolKaboo, son of GhulamRasool of AramporaSopore and his non local associate SabirBhai were killed in a fierce encounter in KalantraKandi area of KreeriBaramulla on Thursday. Both killed militants are affiliated with JeM.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Sopore town and its adjacent area’s on Friday.
All the shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments remained closed while as traffic was also off the roads.