Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday said three ‘militants’ were killed in the gunfight in Hokersar area of Lawaypora on Srinagar outskirts while maintaining that they were not mentioned in its list of militants.
In a statement, police said, on Tuesday, at about 5:30 pm, troops of 02RR, acting upon a specific input, launched a cordon-and-search-operation near Hokersar.
The militants there, police said, hurled a grenade on the searching party and fired indiscriminately on troops while laying cordon. On receipt of this information, Srinagar Police along with Police Component Srinagar and Valley QAT CRPF rushed to the spot.
Police said the search party of 02 RR was heavily fired upon by the militants hiding inside the building which was retaliated.
“Repeated announcements were made to the hiding terrorists to lay down their illegal weapons and surrender, instead the hiding terrorists fired continuously upon the searching party,” the statement reads.
Due to darkness, the operation was suspended. However, the cordon remained intact throughout the night, police said.
They said, on Wednesday morning, repeated announcements were made again to the hiding militants to surrender but they fired indiscriminately on government forces, which was retaliated again, resulting in the killing of the three militants.
“The operation ended over at 11:30hrs in which all the 3 hiding [militants] were killed. Upon their search, arms (One AK 47 rifle & two pistols) and ammunition and other incriminating material along with some documents were recovered,” the statement reads.
From the recoveries, their identity has been established as Ajaz Maqbool Ganie, Ather Mushtaq — both residents of Pulwama — and Zubair Lone, a resident of Shopian, police said.
“Some families from South Kashmir came to PCR [Police Control Room] and claimed them to be their wards. They have been sent to Ganderbal for further identification and participation in last rites in the presence of Magistrate.”
“In this connection, a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated.
“It is pertinent to mention that a few terror incidents have occurred in this area recently and reportedly these terrorists have also come from South Kashmir to target convoy of security forces.
“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any.
“Although the three killed terrorists in today’s encounter were not mentioned in our list of terrorists, yet two of them are hardcore associates of terrorists (OGWs). Pertinently, one of the two is relative of top HM commander Rayees Kachroo who was killed in 2017. Reportedly, third might have joined very recently.
“Generally parents don’t have idea about the activities of their wards. Several OGWs after committing terror crimes like grenade throwing & pistol shooting etc stay normally with their family. For instance, one student from Pulwama who was taking coaching in Srinagar was caught for lobbying a grenade with the help of CCTV’s footage. His parents were totally unaware about his terrorist activities.
Police said they are investigating the case and, after a thorough investigation, will come to the conclusion soon on merits.
“It is pertinent to mention here that the trio killed in today’s encounter were given ample opportunity to surrender both yesterday evening and today morning but they didn’t surrender and instead fired and lobbed grenades on the search party,” police said.
“IGP Kashmir has requested the parents to keep close watch of their wards and keep strict vigil about their day to day activities to ensure that they may not indulge in any subversive or terrorist activities,” the statement reads.