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Militant, 3 civilians killed in Shopian gunfight; Army claims they were OGWs

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Mar 04: A militant and three civilians were killed in a ‘gunfight’ in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday evening. Army, however, claimed that the slain civilians were Over the Ground Workers (OGWs).
The army issued two statements in the evening. At 8:30 PM, half an hour after the encounter, as per army, took place, their spokesman said: “A joint Mobile Vehicle Check Post near Pohan (Shopian) was fired upon by militants at 2000hrs (8PM). In retaliatory operation, one militant was neutralised. Operation in progress.”
At the same time, the photo of the slain militant also went viral in which one could easily see the army men surrounding his body.
However, later at 9:40 PM, another statement from the army spokesman read: “A joint Mobile Vehicle Check Post near Pohan (Shopian) was fired upon by militants at 2000hrs (8 PM) from a vehicle. In retaliatory firing, one militant identified as Shahid Ahmad Dar S/o Mushtaq Ahmad Dar R/O Jamnagri, Shopian was killed and a weapon has been found with him. Also the three OGWs/ accomplices in the car who were accompanying the militant were found to be dead.”
It was not confirmed why army, who had killed the militant more than an hour ago, could not confirm about the rest of the deaths in their first press statement if all of them happened in the vehicle.
Reports contesting the claim of the army said the three killed in the incident were civilians and not associated with any militant ranks. Police, as per sources, reached the spot and had started legal formalities.
DC Shopian Mohammad Aijaz refused to comment on the killings while the concerned SSP Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar was not available for his comments.
The three civilians killed in the incident were identified as Suhail Khalil Wagay of Pinjoora, Mohammad Shahid Khan of Malikgund, and Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay of Trenz.
Meanwhile, soon after, the joint Hurriyat leadership called for a valley-wide shut-down on Monday against the civilian killings.


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Hizb commander among 3 militants killed in Tral

Militant recruitments have dropped considerably, says DGP

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Feb 19:  Security forces Wednesday killed three top militants including a Hizbul Mujahedeen commander in a fierce encounter at Sherabad area of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

The slain militants have been identified as Jahangir Rafiq Wani and Raja Maqbool residents of Tral, and Saddat Ahmad Thokar, a resident of Bijbhera.

Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said the slain militants were involved in civilian killings and damaging public property in south Kashmir.

 

“We have been continuing our anti-militancy operations.  Today we killed three Hizbul Mujahedeen militants in Sherabad. The slain militants included Jahangir Rafiq Wani who replaced the erstwhile HM commander Hammad Khan. Huge cache of arms and ammunition has been recovered from the site of encounter,” he said.

Singh said Jahangir along with Raja Maqbool were involved in the killing of two civilians, Mehraj ud din Zargar and Ghulam Nabi Mir, at Tral. After abrogation of Article 370, he set chemist’s shop and a truck on fire. “He was a dreaded militant who terrorized people and even set a mosque at Ameerabad on fire,” Singh added.

With the killing of these two militants, DGP said 23 militants have been killed so far in 10 “successful” anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

“In two encounters at Jammu, four militants were killed. In Kashmir, 19 militants have been killed so far. During these operations, no collateral damage took place,” he said.

The DGP said several militant modules were busted in 2020 and 40 Over Ground Workers (OGW) of militants were arrested.

“Youth joining militant ranks have dropped considerably, which is actually a good trend. Eight youth, who ran away from home to join militancy, have been reunited with their families. Right now, shops and traffic are functioning normally” he said.

On Umar Fayaz, who was injured during militant attack at Lawaypora, police chief said he has not been given a clean chit as yet.

“His condition is bad and he has been sent home for treatment. When he gets well, he will be taken into custody and interrogated,” he said.

Singh backed government’s decision to defer elections for vacant Panchayat seats in Jammu and Kashmir. “Right now operations are happening. The government’s decision must be based on solid grounds,” he said.

DGP said the launching pads of militants in Pakistan Administered Kashmir “remained full” with militants during winter season, who he said were looking for opportunity to sneak in towards India’s territory.

He these launching pads were active now and “desperately” waiting for opportunity.

“We don’t know the exact number of militants in these launching pads. These launching pads would getting empty earlier during snowfall but this winter the militants have not been withdrawn. Their activities are going on and waiting for opportunity to cross LoC,” he said.

Singh said the ceasefire violations this year so far have increased by Pakistan to push militants across the border.

He said some of their attempts of infiltration by militants have been successful.

“However, the forces there are giving befitting reply to the ceasefire violation and are also making their attempts unsuccessful. The militants who were killed in Jammu region had also infiltrated recently, which is being investigated. Pakistan wants to keep water warm on LoC,” he said.

DGP further informed that a drone from Pakistan crossed border in Kathua and returned after the BSF opened fire.”

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Tough measures against misuse of social media:DGP

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Feb 19: The Jammu and Kashmir Police said Wednesday that they will act against the misuse of social media networks, which were allegedly being used to stoke violence in the valley.

“We have evidence whereby social media was used through VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to tell militants to carry out attacks at certain places. On priority, we are targetting such misuse of social media,” DGP Dilbagh Singh told reporters here.

Singh said the Jammu and Kashmir administration had issued an order January 14 banning the use of social media but the police was only going after those who were misusing it.

 

“We are sharing information (through WhatsApp) with you which means we know that you are using it. We are keeping a vigil on the use of social media and will act against those who misuse it,” Singh said.

The DGP was responding to a question about the police spokesperson using WhatsApp to share press releases and send invitations for events including his press conference Wednesday in spite of the ban on the use of social media.

“There have been several instances of misuse. For example, the driver of the truck which was carrying militants at Nagrota sent a photograph to his handlers in Pakistan the moment his vehicle was intercepted at the naka,” Singh pointed out.

“We have to differentiate between use and misuse… when someone misuses the social media, there will be no room for leniency. You should be thankful that you are able to use it,” added the senior police official.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar dismissed reports in some sections of media that 200 persons have been booked for using VPN.

“We have registered a general FIR. The report that 200 persons have been booked is absolutely wrong,” Kumar said.

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LG calls for increasing surveillance along IB

Press Trust of India

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Jammu, Feb 19: Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu on Wednesday asked the BSF to intensify vigil along the International Border (IB) to ensure safety and security of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

This was conveyed by Murmu to L Mohanti, Inspector General of Border Security Force (headquarters Delhi), who called on the Lt Governor here at the Raj Bhavan, a statement issued said.

Murmu and Mohanti discussed wide-ranging issues related to the BSF’s operations and the current security situation in the union territory, it said. The Lt Governor lauded the role being played by the BSF in safeguarding the frontiers and advised heightened surveillance for ensuring safety and security of people.

 
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