SRINAGAR: Mobile phone services were suspended in parts of Kashmir on Thursday as a fierce gunfight raged between militants and security forces in the southern district of Anantnag.
Though there was no official order on the suspension of telephone service in Anantnag but knowlegdeable sources told Media Sources that the step was meant to check rumours.
Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abu Dujana, one of the most wanted militants, was suspected to be among the gunmen holed up in a house in Arwani village of Anantnag, some 40 km south of here.
Dujana was said to have had appeared at a protest rally days after the killing of Hizul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
Wani’s killing on July 8 triggered a wave of violent protests that left nearly 100 people, mostly civilians, dead in firing by security forces.
Loud sounds of explosions were heard in and around Arwani village, which lies close to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s ancestral Bijbehara town.
A police officer said the “gunfight intensified” in the morning, hours after the security forces laid a cordon around the village following a tip off on Wednesday night.
“As the security forces tightened the cordon, some gunshots were heard. But after that, there was no exchange of fire. With the first light today (Thursday), militants started firing at the security forces.”
Asked if the LeT commander was among the holed up militants, the officer said: “We can confirm nothing until the encounter gets over.”