Two Hizbul militants, policeman killed in 15-hr-long gunfight in Kashmir
By Fayaz Wani | Express News Service | Published: 05th March 2017 07:57 PM |
Last Updated: 05th March 2017 08:00 PM | A+A A- |
SRINAGAR: Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants including a commander and associate of slain Burhan Wani and a policeman were killed in a 15-hour-long encounter at Tral area in South Kashmir on Sunday. Three security personnel including an Army Major were injured in the gunfight.
J&K Director General of Police S P Vaid said J&K police’s Special Operations Group, paramilitary CRPF and army men launched a joint combing and search operation in Hafoo Nazneenpora village of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district last evening.
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Tral is hometown of slain Burhan Wani.
“The combing operation was launched after receiving information that a group of Hizbul Mujahideen militants including some top commanders of the outfit were hiding in the area,” DGP said.
As the security personnel were laying siege around the area, the locals of the village took to roads and engaged the security men in clashes by pelting stones on them. The security personnel had to fire tear smoke shells to disperse the agitating people.
During the clashes, the mob snatched Insas rifle of a CRPF jawan.
In the meantime, the security men also laid siege around a residential house, where the militants were hiding.
The militants fired from automatic weapons and lobbed hand grenades towards the security personnel. The fire was returned by the soldiers and the encounter continued for nearly 15 hours and ended this morning, a police officer said.
He said in the ensuing gunfight, two Hizbul militants and a policeman Manzoor Ahmad were killed.
An Army officer Major Reshi, a policeman and a paramilitary CRPF man sustained injuries, he said.
Sources said the Army Major had sustained bullet injuries in head and his condition is stated to be critical.
The slain cop is survived by an aged father, sister, brother, wife and a 4 years old son.
DGP Vaid said one of the two slain militants is a foreigner and another a local, who was commander of the outfit.
The deceased local militant has been identified as Aquib Molvi, who was an associate of slain Hizb commander, Burhan Wani. Burhan was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8 last year triggering over five month long unrest in the Valley.
Sources said some militants including top Deputy Chief of Hizb Sabzar Ahmad managed to escape from the area during the course of gunfight.
“It is being suspected that they might have escaped when security personnel were engaged in tackling with law and order situation in the area during protests last evening,” they said.
The locals of the area tried to march towards the encounter site during the day amidst chanting of anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. However, they were dispersed by the security personnel, who fired tear pellets and tear smoke shells.
DGP Vaid told reporters at wreath laying ceremony of the slain policeman in Srinagar that anti-militant operations would continue till killing of last militant.
“We will continue to conduct anti-militancy operations till the time every militant is killed and peace is restored in the valley,” he said.
Asked about stone pelting on security men during the anti-militancy operations, Vaid said the situation was improving as only a minor stone pelting incident occurred near the encounter site in Tral last evening.
“Over all, the situation remained peaceful with a minor stone pelting incident last evening. I think the good sense is prevailing and things are improving,” he added.