Four militants, non-local labourer killed in two separate encounters
Army man also succumbed to injuries
Srinagar: Four militants, including a commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), were killed in two separate encounters with security forces in Baramulla and Shopian districts of in the last 36 hours, police said on Saturday.
While two militants were killed in Sopore township of Baramulla district of north Kashmir, two others were killed in Shopian district of south Kashmir in an operation which began on Friday, a police official said.
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Warpora area of Sopore on Saturday and two JeM militants were killed in an encounter, he said.
One of the two was identified as Umer Shahbaz Wani, a resident of Kharpora Bandipora, while another was not yet identified, the official added.
Both of them were involved in a series of militant activities, he said, adding that Wani had joined the militant ranks in June and was active within Sopore with other operatives of the JeM.
Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the encounter site, he said.
In another operation which began in Pandushan area of Shopian on Friday, the official said security forces killed Manzoor Bhat. He was associated with Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) outfit.
On Friday, JeM militant Zeenat ul Islam Naikoo, a resident of Memandar area of Shopian, was killed in the gunfight, the official said.
He said Naikoo, was the JeM’s district commander in Shopian.
Both the militants were involved in militancy related crimes, including atrocities on civilians.
“Naikoo has a long history of militancy crimes and several cases were registered against him including relating to attack on police station Shopian, abduction of a civilian Shakoor Ahmad, killing of four policemen in Shopian and abduction and killing of civilian Tanveer Ahmad,” he said.
Notably, a cordon was laid by joint team of forces including 34 RR, SOG and CRPF in the area on Thursday night after receiving specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area, an official said.
After searching for more than five hours, contact was established with militants at around 1 am and exchange for fire last for few minutes, he said adding that later operation was suspended till Friday morning.
During initial exchange of fire an army man was injured who was shifted to army hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
A dead body of a non-local labourer identified as Mujeeb a resident of Bihar was also recovered from the spot, police said. Mujeeb is a native of Bihar.
Meanwhile Zeenat’s body was handed over to family on Friday evening and he was laid to rest on Saturday.
Eyewitnesses said that he was laid to rest after multiple rounds of funeral prayers in presence of thousands of people amid pro freedom and pro militant slogans.
Meanwhile during clashes on Friday and Saturday near encounter site several youth received injuries, sources said.
The second slain militant killed in the Shopian gunfight has been identified as Manzoor Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Razak Bhat resident of Watchi Shopian.
Manzoor according to his family had joined militant ranks in March this year.
He was welder by profession before joining the militant ranks and was never arrested before, they said.
Belonging to a poor family, Manzoor is survived by three brothers and four sisters, besides his parents.
Three houses belonging to Mohammad Yousuf Mantoo, Fayaz Ahmad Itoo and Bashir Ahmad Itoo got completely damaged during the encounter, witnesses said.
Besides three houses, five cow sheds were also damaged, they said adding around one dozen domestic animals were charred to death.
Meanwhile in wake of gunfights internet services continue to remain suspended in Shopian district from the last 3 days.