SRINAGAR: Just a few days ahead of Independence Day celebrations, an encounter broke out between terrorists and security forces at Batamaloo area in the heart of Srinagar on Sunday in which a policeman was killed and four other security men were injured.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Law and Order Munir Khan told reporters that police and paramilitary personnel laid siege around Banapora in Batamaloo in the wee hours of Sunday after receiving specific information about the presence of militants there.
He said as the security personnel were conducting house to house searches in the congested area, militants hiding in a house opened fired on them and lobbed grenades on the search party.
Khan said the fire was returned by the troops, however, three policemen and two CRPF personnel sustained injuries in the initial attack.
The injured security men were evacuated to a nearby hospital, where one of the critically injured policeman identified as Parvaiz Ahmad, died. The other injured security men are undergoing treatment and doctors have termed their condition as “stable”.
After the initial attack, additional police and paramilitary personnel and armoured vehicles were rushed to the area to tighten the siege and prevent the terrorists from escaping.
Sources said the militants had escaped from the area during the initial early morning gunfight.
However, DIG central Kashmir VK Birdi told TNIE, “We have information the militants sustained injuries in the gunfight and we are conducting searches to nab them.”
The DIG said two accomplices of the insurgents were arrested during the search operation. “The arrested persons are being interrogated. We are ascertaining the motive behind the presence of militants in Srinagar.”
The encounter in Srinagar and the escape of the terrorists from the scene of the gunfight is a cause of worry for security agencies as the incident has taken place three days before Independence Day. The security arrangements across the Valley, especially in Srinagar, had been tightened ahead of Independence Day celebrations.
The Sunday’s encounter is the second militancy-related incident in Batamaloo and on both occasions the militants have managed to escape. Earlier, on July 24, a CRPF man was killed and another was injured in a militant attack near the Fire and Emergency Services headquarters at Batamaloo.