SRINAGAR: Two militants and equal number of civilians were killed and 4 persons including 3 security men were injured in two separate incidents in an overnight shootout and a blast in Kashmir today.
A police spokesman said here that two militants were killed in a fierce over night gun battle in South Kashmir village of Chinigam in district Kulgam today.
“The two militants who got killed in an encounter in Chinigam, Frisal Kulgam have been identified as Mohammad Abbas Malla @ Khatab son Ali Mohammad resident of Nowpora, Frisal and Manzoor-ul-Haq Malik @ Painter son of Mohammad Ramzan resident of Chinigam, Frisal.Both of them belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba”, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that one AK rifle and an Insas rifle has been recovered from the encounter site.
“Abbas Malla joined LeT ranks in 2013 and was involved in attack on a police party at Arwani in 2013 and the recent attack on CRPF at Lavdora Qazigund a few days back”, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that Manzoor Malik was involved in the killing of Nasir Mir in Shopian in May this year besides he was also involved in Lavdora attack with Abbas Malla. “Manzoor was an over ground worker of LeT Commander Aiyatullah Bhat @Abu Maaz before joining militant ranks”, he added.
The police spokesman said that on a specific information regarding the presence of armed militants in village Chinigam, Frisal, Kulgam Police, 1 RR of Army and 18 Battalion of CRPF launched a cordon and search operation, last evening. “The joint party was fired upon by militants triggering an encounter”, he added.
Police said that the encounter that started last evening and continued in the morning. “The troops shot dead both the militants and their bodies were recovered from the debris of the houses that were damaged”, police added.
“After the recovery of two bodies from the encounter site, firing again started in which two Army men, one CRPF man and a civilian got injured. They have been rushed to the hospital”, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that the injured civilian identified as Tariq Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Ismail resident of Nowbal Chinigam, succumbed to his injuries. “The condition of CRPF man and an Army man is stable, however, condition of one Army man is serious”, he added.
However, residents of the area disputed the police claim and said that the civilian was killed in security forces firing. And as the news of the killing of the civilian broke out there were protests in Bijbehera, Nowbal, Arwani, Frisal, Khudwani, Redwani and several other areas.
The protesters pelted stones on police and CRPF leading to clashes. Police and CRPF fired tear smoke shells, charged batons and fired in air to disperse the protesters. The area is tense and police and CRPF is deployed in full strength in the area.
An Army spokesman said here: “Based on specific intelligence about presence of terrorists in Chinigam village near Prisal area of Kulgam, a joint operation was launched by Rashtriya Rifles units of Army and the SOG resulting into killing of two terrorist. Bodies of two terrorists were recovered from the site along with one AK 47 and one INSAS Rifles, ammunition and other warlike stores.”
“Intelligence input about presence of two terrorists in a house in Chinigam village was received in the afternoon of November 13. Rashtriya Rifles units along with SOG launched the operations at 1400 hours. While the Army soldiers were in the process of establishing cordon, the terrorists holed up in the house, opened fire against the soldiers. The area around the house was effectively cordoned sealing the escape routes. As the noose was tightened, terrorists again opened up at 1630 hours. The Army soldiers engaged the terrorists and the intermittent exchange of fire continued”, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said: “The contact was re-established at about 0730 hours on November 14, and the fire fight ensued resulting into killing of the two terrorists. The identity of the terrorists is yet to be established. In the operation two Jawans of Army and one Jawan of CRPF were injured. They were evacuated from the site for treatment to 92 Base Hospital. Bodies of two terrorists were recovered from the site along with one AK 47 & one INSAS Rifles, ammunition and other warlike stores. The operation has been called off and bodies of the terrorists handed over to the Police. Successful joint operation will provide safe environment for elections to take place.”
In another incident one person was killed and another was injured in a mysterious blast in Kupwara district today.
An official said a blast took place at Lach Mawar, Handwara, in Kupwara, resulting in on-the-spot death of one Zahoor Ahmad Najar. “Two Army personnel were also injured in the blast who were hospitalised”, he said. Protests broke out in the area against the incident. Police have registered a case and are investigating the incident.
Reports said that all these three persons were on a motor cycle and they stopped at Lachi in Mawar village of the district. The three, who were on the motorcycle, were Zahoor Ahmad of Lachi in Mawar and two Army personnel. They stopped at Lachi at Mawar and were discussing something when all of a sudden a blast took place injuring all the three. However, Zahoor died on the spot and other two were injured and removed to hospital.