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Three militants killed in Qazigund gunfight

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Six injured during blast at encounter site

Srinagar: Three militants were killed in a gunfight with government forces at Lower Munda area of Qazigund in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Monday. Bodies of all the militants have been recovered, officials said. Meanwhile, six people were injured in a blast at the encounter site after the firefight ended.
The gunfight ensued after a joint team of Police, CRPF and army’s 19 Rashtriya Rifles launched a cordon-and-search-operation in the area amid specific inputs about the presence of the militants.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kulgam, Gurinderpal Singh (IPS) said that the operation has ended with the killing of three militants.
“Bodies of all three militants were recovered during the searches at the encounter site,” the SSP said.
Meanwhile, sources said that the bodies were taken to PCR Kashmir and as per the recent trend, the corpses would be buried in Baramulla or Ganderbal after their funeral to be participated by few members of the family in presence of a magistrate.
In case of the unidentified militants, the police hands over the body to local Auqaf of the area where the bodies are buried and they perform their funeral by complying with the norms amid pandemic.
Meanwhile, only one ‘militant associate’, and not four militants as claimed by the government forces earlier, was killed at Guddar in the Devsar area of the south Kashmir district. The slain, Aqib Mushtaq Lone who had completed engineering recently from a college in Chandigarh, is a son of a police officer posted in Srinagar, sources said.
“There were four to six militants but only one militant was killed at Guddar area,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kulgam, Gurinder Pal added.
Asked whether the slain was an Over Ground Worker of militants or a militant himself, the police officer said: “He hurled grenades and fired from a pistol.” However, a police spokesman said that he was a militant associate.
To a question about the deleting of tweets by police regarding the encounter, first claiming two militants were killed and later followed it with as many more militants killed at Guddar, the SSP said: “Please see the twitter handles. It was not done by me.”
A resident of Shuch Kulgam, Aqib according to his uncle Bashir Ahmad had completed engineering from a college in Chandigarh. Some reports suggest that he had completed B.Tech.
“I saw him around 6:30 doing ablution. I told why you was doing ablution early there was still time for (Magrib) Nimaz. He told me it was better to be ready early,” the uncle of the slain said over phone. At around 6:45 p.m., he said, someone called him and he left.
“We called him at around 7:12 p.m., his phone was ringing but he did not answer. There was firing and I told them (family) he is killed.”
Bashir Ahmad said that body has been taken to Srinagar. “Mushtaq Ahmad (father of slain) is in Srinagar,” he added.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman said that in view of inputs regarding militants planning to abduct and murder police personnel, exhaustive domination was being carried out by joint forces of Kulgam Police, RR and CRPF from the last few days.
“On Sunday, 26 April 2020 at about 2000 hours one of such patrolling party of joint forces was attacked by militants numbering 4 to 6 in between villages Chehlan and Asthal,” the spokesman said.
“In the exchange of firing that ensued, one army officer received firearm injuries.”
The attack was followed by an exchange of firing between forces and militants in which forces confirmed having hit 2 to 4 militants. “The exchange of firing stopped around 2200 hrs. Due to expansive area of search, undulating terrain and total darkness, it was decided to carry out a search of the area after first light,” the spokesman said, adding, “When search started in the morning, the body of an unknown militant associate along with a pistol and a grenade was recovered.”
He said besides six SIM cards were also recovered from his pocket. “While a trail of blood was found leading out of the search area which proved that apart from the militant associate killed, one or more militants were injured. The search for injured militants(s) continues.” An FIR under relevant sections has been registered in police station Kulgam, the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, four children were among six persons injured in a blast near encounter site at Lower Munda. While one of them was referred to SMHS Srinagar hospital three others require “surgical intervention.”
Official sources said that the blast occurred soon after government forces withdrew from the encounter site.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kulgam, Gurinderpal Singh (IPS) said that the area was sanitized of the explosives while the announcement was made, urging people not to venture into the prohibited area.
“We have also erected banners there, asking people not to go near the spot. While we sanitized the area, it seems that some explosive had been left unnoticed which these persons fiddled with, leading to the blast,” he said, adding that five persons were injured and have been hospitalized.
Sources said that five of the injured were shifted to SDH Dooru and one critically wounded, 15-year-old Obaid Beigh son of Bashir Ahmad Beigh of Lower Munda, to emergency hospital Qazigund.
Dr Asima Nazir, Medical Superintendent of emergency hospital Qazigund said that one injured was administered first aid and later shifted to SMHS hospital Srinagar for specialized treatment.
Dr Rafiq Salathia, Medical Superintendent of Sub District Hospital Duroo said that three of the five injured were referred to GMC Anantnag as “they needed surgical intervention.” Two others have been admitted and given required treatment, he added.
The five injured have been identified as Aakash Ayoub Rather son of Mohammad Ayoub Rather of Badermuna, Sameer Ahmad Beigh son of Mohammad Sidiq Beigh, Mehran Showket son of Showket Ahmad Ganie, Zubair Ahmad Shah son of Syed Abdul Ali and Khurshid Ahmad, all residents of Lower Munda. (GNS)

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