Srinagar, Apr 1: A group of four militants affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were on Monday killed while three Army soldiers and a cop sustained injuries in an encounter that raged between forces and militants in Lassipora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Officials said that the gunfight broke out in Lassipora after a search operation was launched in the village following specific inputs about the presence of militants.
They said that the hiding militants fired upon the search party, which was retaliated, thus leading to an encounter, adding that in the initial exchange of fire, three army men and one policeman were wounded who were evacuated to a health facility for treatment.
Police said that the condition of injured is stated to be stable, adding that four militants who were affiliated with Hizb and LeT were also killed in the gunfight.
The slain militants were identified as Zaffar Paul, son of Mohammad Ahsan of Dangerpora Shopian, Tauseef Ahmad Yattoo, son of Abdul Aziz of Gudbug Pulwama, Aqib Ahmad Kumar, son of Bashir Ahmad of Hellow Shopian and Mohammad Shafi Bhat, son of Ghulam Mohammad of Sedow Shopian.
According to the police records, “it was a combined group of HM and LeT, adding that all the slain militants were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of acts including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities.”
Police said that Tauseef had a long history of crime records and several cases were registered against him including FIR No. 281/2016, 509/2016, 19/2018 registered in P/S Pulwama and 33/2018 registered at P/S Litter, adding that he was involved in conspiring and executing many attacks in the area.
“Similarly, Zaffar was involved in many cases which include FIR No. 290/2017, 307/2018, 13/2019, which were registered against him in Police Station Shopian. Aqib Ahmad and Mohammad Shafi were also involved in crimes in the area,” police said.
Police spokesman said incriminating materials including arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter.
“All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases,” he said.
Meanwhile, police urged people not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials, saying “people are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any.”
Mobile internet was suspended in the twin districts of Pulwama and Shopian soon after the gunfight broke out.