SRINAGAR: Three militants owing alliance to pro-Pakistan militant group Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in an encounter with security forces in South Kashmir’s Tral area in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday while army foiled an infiltration bid along Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector of North Kashmir killing a militant.
A police official said acting on specific information about presence of militants, police, CRPF and army’s 42 Rashtria Rifles personnel launched a joint operation in Mir Mohalla of Dadasara village, Tral in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district last evening. “At around 6.45 pm, the security men laid siege around the village and zeroed-in on a residential house, where the militants were hiding. They (militants) were asked to surrender and lay down weapons.
However, they turned down the offer and fired from automatic weapons towards the search party,” he said. The official said the security men returned the fire and the fierce firefight between the two sides continued till early morning today.
“Three Hizbul militants were killed in the gunfight,” he said adding three AK-47 rifles and some ammunition was recovered from the encounter site. The deceased militants were identified as Ashiq Hussain Bhat, Mohammad Isaac Parray alias Newton and Asif Ahmad Mir alias Chotu, all residents of Pulwama district. An army official said one of the slain militant Ashiq had provided shelter to the two Pakistani militants, who attacked a BSF convoy in Udhampur area on Srinagar-Jammu national highway on August 5 last year.
Two BSF men were killed and about a dozen others were injured in the militant attack on the BSF convoy. In the retaliatory firing one of the Pakistani militant Noman was killed while another Mohammad Naved was arrested.
According to police sources, Issac alias Newton was an associate of 21-year- old Hizb commander Burhan Wani, who has emerged as new poster boy of militancy in the Valley. Isaac, according to locals of his native village, was a brilliant student and had joined militancy last year. They said Isaac was called “'Newton” for his meritorious academic record. “He had scored 98.4 percent marks in Class 10 and 85 percent in Class 12”.
Infiltration bid foiled Defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel N N Joshi told Express that army foiled an infiltration bid along Keran sector in North Kashmir early this morning. He said a militant was killed in the gunfight with the army men. “We have recovered body of a militant. We also recovered an AK-47 rifle from his possession”.
Joshi said two soldiers were injured in the gunfight. “Both have been evacuated to army hospital for specialized treatment”. Asked whether only one militant was involved infiltration bid, he said the combing operation is going on. “After the end of the operation, we will be able to say whether only one militant was involved in the infiltration bid or more”.
Police have arrested a police constable, who had deserted the force and decamped with 4 AK-47 rifles on January 16 this year.
A police official said Constable Shakoor Ahmad Parray was arrested from Bihibagh area of Kulgam district in South Kashmir. “A pistol and two hand grenades were recovered from his possession”. Three of his childhood friends had also gone missing after his disappearance. However, the trio was arrested in the last week of January from different areas of Shopian. Three AK-47 rifles were recovered from them.
Police is questioning Parray to ascertain what prompted him to desert police force and decamp with 4 AK-47 rifles. One of militant killed in EDI encounter identified One of the three militants killed in three-day long encounter with security forces in J&K Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) building at Sempora, Pampore recently has been identified as a Pakistani national. Police sources identified the slain militant as Abdul Manan son of Zia-ur-Rehman of Wazirabad Punjab, Pakistan.
They said identity of two other militants killed in the EDI encounter is being ascertained. Two army captains, Lance Naik, two CRPF men and a civilian besides three heavily armed militants, believed to be members of Lashkar-e-Toiba’s suicide squad, were killed in three-day long encounter in EDI building at Sempora, Pampore on February 23. The encounter had started on February 21 after the militants attacked a CRPF vehicle outside the EDI building and stormed the four-storeyed concrete building.
The EDI encounter was one of the longest encounters in the Valley.