Srinagar: Five militants — two from Hizbul Mujahideen and three from Lashkar-e-Toiba — were killed in two separate encounters in Pulwama and Shopian districts of South Kashmir in the last 24 hours.
The first encounter broke out at Melhoora Shopian on Monday evening. A senior police officer told Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that two militants were killed in the overnight encounter.
He added that one militant was killed on Monday evening while another one was killed on Tuesday. “Bodies of both militants along with ammunition were recovered,” he said.
“On Monday evening, the operation was halted due to darkness, however, the cordon was tightened to ensure that no trapped militant can flee and operation resumed on today morning,” the officer said.
He identified the slain militants as Umar Thoker from Shirpora Frisal Kulgam and Tanveer Ahmad Khanday from Yaripora Kulgam. Both were associated with Hizb.
A police spokesman said that incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain militants.
“Keeping in view the prevailing pandemic due to COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of people from the inherent risk of contracting the infection, the bodies of slain militants shall be sent to Baramulla for burial,” the statement said, adding that the nearest family members of the slain militants shall be allowed to participate in last rites.
Another encounter broke out at Harkipora Kakapora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. A police officer said that three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed in the gunfight.
A senior police official in Pulwama told KNO that acting on a specific input about the presence of militants, a cordon-and-search-operation was launched in Hakripora area of Kakapora belt in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
He said that as a joint team of forces including 50 RR, CRPF and Pulwama Police approached the suspected spot, hiding militants fired upon forces which was retaliated, triggering an encounter.
“During the initial exchange of fire, two militants were killed,” he said, adding that the third one was repeatedly asked to surrender which he refused and fired upon forces which was retaliated and he too got killed.
“Bodies of three slain militants along with weapons have been recovered and their identification is being ascertained,” the official said, adding that the militants were given a chance to surrender but they refused.
A police spokesman in a statement said that the identification of the killed militants is being ascertained. “However as per reliable sources and technical input, they were affiliated with LeT outfit and were involved in the attack on CRPF at Pulwama yesterday,” the statement said.
“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes,” the statement read.
“The bodies of the killed terrorists shall be sent to Handwara for burial after completion of all medico-legal formalities. In case any family claims the slain militants to be their kith or kin, they can come forward for their identification at PCR Kashmir, Srinagar.”
“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” the statement added. KNO