SRINAGAR: There has been a spurt in encounters in Kashmir after an NIA court on May 25 awarded life sentence to senior separatist leader Mohammad Yasin Malik in a terror-funding case. Eight encounters have taken place between militants and security forces in the Valley in the five days since Malik’s sentencing.
Of the eight encounters, four have taken place in south Kashmir, three in north Kashmir and one in Srinagar.
On Monday alone, two encounters took place in south Kashmir. In the first gunfight, at Gundipora of Pulwama district, two local Jaish-e-Mohammad militants Abid Hussain Shah and Saqib Azad Sofi were shot dead by security forces.
Police said one of the slain militants Abid was involved in killing off-duty policeman Reyaz Ahmad on May 13. The second encounter of the day occurred at Rajpora of the same district. The gunfight was going on when reports last poured in.
In the encounters since Malik’s sentencing, 14 militants, including six Pakistani nationals and eight locals, have been killed. Besides, a policeman and an army porter were killed in the two encounters in north Kashmir.
Prior to the sentencing of the JKLF chairman, eight encounters had taken place in the Valley in 24 days. In the eight encounters, nine militants and two civilians had been killed. Five of these encounters had taken place in south Kashmir and three in north Kashmir.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar on Monday said the police were working on a multi-dimensional front to prevent local youth from joining militant ranks.
Meanwhile, security forces shot dead two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants in an overnight encounter in Pulwama district, police said on Monday.
One of the slain terrorists was involved in the killing of police constable Reyaz Ahmad earlier this month, a police spokesman said.
He said that on a specific input generated by the Kulgam police regarding the presence of terrorists in village Gundipora of Pulwama, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by security forces.
"During the search operation, as the joint search party approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists in the residential house of Nazir Ahmad Mir fired indiscriminately upon the search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter," he said.
The spokesman said that to avoid any collateral damage due to darkness, the operation was suspended during the night hours and was resumed in the wee hours.
"In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists, identified as Abid Hussain Shah and Saqib Azad Sofi, were killed. They were affiliated with proscribed terror outfit JeM," he added.
According to police records, the spokesman said both the slain men were categorized terrorists and part of groups involved in several terror crime cases, including attacks on police and civilian atrocities.
"Pertinently, the killed terrorist Abid Shah was involved in the recent killing of unarmed policeman Constable Reyaz Ahmad at his residential house at Gadoora area of Pulwama on 13th May 2022," he added.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) of Kashmir Vijay Kumar congratulated the forces for carrying out the anti-terrorist operation in a professional manner without any collateral damage.
He also appreciated the joint team for tracking and neutralising the terrorists involved in the recent killing of policemen in Pulwama.
While interacting with the media, Kumar said that police have succeeded to a large extent to prevent the youth from taking up the arms and are working on multi-dimensional fronts to prevent local terrorist recruitment, those who motivate and lure young boys towards terrorism are being booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
"We are also tracking new recruits through technical surveillance and bringing them back," the IGP said.
(With PTI Inputs)