SRINAGAR: A Hizbul Mujahideen militant and a 'civilian' were killed, while some other militants managed to escape during a gunfight in south Kashmir's Shopian district on Sunday.
A police officer said acting on specific information about the presence of militants, the police, CRPF and armymen launched cordon and search operation in Khudpora area of Shopian district last evening to track down the militants hiding in the area.
The operation was launched while Shopian and other parts of the Kashmir were experiencing snowfall.
As the security men were conducting searches, they came under heavy fire from militants hiding in a residential area.
The officer said the troopers retaliated, and, in the ensuing gunfight, Mohammad Irfan Bhat, a Hizb militant, was killed.
Later, security forces, while conducting a search of the area, also recovered the body of another person named Shahid Mir.
The police spokesman said Shahid, as per police records, was part of case FIR 201/2004 under section 7/25 Arms Act of police station Shopian for a militancy-related incident.
"A couple of militants managed to escape from the scene of the firefight. Blood trails were spotted at the encounter site," he said.
Shahid is survived by his wife and a one-year-old child, besides his elderly parents.
Locals and family members of Shahid claimed he was a civilian and was shot dead by security forces after being detained during the operation.
His relatives said Shahid was caught by the armymen barely a few yards away from his house, while the troops were laying a siege on the area, and was bundled into a vehicle.
"A boy, who was also detained by army inside the vehicle and later let off, told us that he saw jawans bundling Shahid into their vehicle," a relative said.
They said the armymen killed Shahid after detaining him.
"He was killed brutally. There were bullet marks on his chest, back and head," the relative said.
His family members also termed the police claim that he was arrested for militancy incident in 2004, in an FIR filed against him, as vague.
"He was released 25 days after his arrest and was never picked up again by any security agency. He was living a normal life and was a contractor," they said.