Srinagar, Dec 22: At least six militants affiliated with Zakir Moosa led group were killed on Saturday morning in a gunfight that raged between forces and militants in Arampora village of Tral in Awantipora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Police said that a joint cordon and search operation was launched in Arampora village of Tral by forces in the wee hours of Saturday morning following the credible inputs about the presence of militants.
“The militants holed up in the area fired upon the search party, which was retaliated, thus leading to an encounter,” police said, adding that six militants affiliated with Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind were killed in the gunfight.
Police also said that no collateral damage took place during the gunfight.
The slain militants as per police have been identified as Soliha Mohammad Akhoon, son of Ghulam Mohammad Akhoon of Arampora Tral, Faisal of Amlar, Nadeem Ahmad Sofi, son of Muzzafar Ahmad Sofi of Batagund Tral, Rasiq Mir, son of Ghulam Qadir Mir of Mir Mohalla Dadsara Tral, Rouf and Umar both residents of Dadsara Tral.
Soliha is believed the Deputy of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.
“All the six militants were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. This group was part of Zakir Mousa faction and was active in district Pulwama,” police said in a statement.
“As per Police records, Rasiq had a long history of crime records since last five years. Several cases were registered against him including case FIR number 170/2016 under section 13, 18, 18E, 20 ULAP Act. Soliha as per police records also had a long history of crimes since 2015 and was involved in several attacks on security establishments and many other civilian atrocities in the area,” police spokesman said.
“Similarly, Nadeem and Umar were also involved in several crimes. Also Rouf and Faisal were involved in planning and executing many attacks in the area,” he added.
Police added that the bodies of all the six militants after completion of medico legal formalities were handed over to their legal heirs.
“Arms and ammunition including rifles were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other cases,” he said.
Police further appealed people not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials,” police said.
Meanwhile, soon after the news about the militant killings spread, people mostly youth to the streets and staged protest against the killings.
The protesting youth raised slogans in favour of freedom during the protest.
Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of slain militants.
Reports said that four militants – Raski Mir, Rouf Mir, Nadeem Sofi and Umer Ramzan – were laid to rest at a single graveyard in Dadsara village of Tral.
Two other slain militants – Soliha Mohammad Akhoon and Faisal Khanday – were respectively laid to rest at Arampora and Amlar area of the district.
Reports said that ten rounds of funeral prayers were held to accommodate thousands of mourners who had marched to Dadsara, Arampora and Amlar areas.
Meanwhile, the mobile internet services in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district was suspended following the encounter in Tral village.
The mobile internet service in other districts of South Kashmir was reduced to 2G
Moreover, the train services from Baramulla to Banihal as also suspended for today in view of ‘security measure’.
5 CRPF men injured in Bijbehara blast
Srinagar, Dec 22: Five paramilitary CRPF men were injured in a grenade explosion at Arwani area of Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Saturday evening.
Official sources said that some suspected militants lobbed a grenade towards the CRPF party in Arwani.
In the blast, five CRPF men of 90 bn, sustained splinter injuries and were taken to army’s nearby health hospital for treatment, they said.
A police spokesman in a statement said that today evening from a crowd in Arwani, Bijbehara, militants lobbed a grenade towards security forces.
“In the incident, five security force personnel sustained injuries. They were evacuated to hospital for medical treatment. After administering them with first aid, all the five security forces personnel were discharged from the hospital and are stated to be stable,” the spokesman said.
Police have registered a case and the investigation in the matter is underway, the spokesman added.
Hajin gunfight ends, 12-year old killed by militants:Police
Srinagar, Mar 22: Two militants, one of them a top commander of Lashker-e-Taiba, and a 12 minor boy were killed in a gunfight in north Kashmir’s Hajin area of Bandipora district on Friday.
Reports said a joint team of Army’s 13RR, CRPF and SOG launched a cordon and search operation (CASO) at Mir Mohalla of Hajin on Thursday afternoon.
It soon turned into a gunfight which ended Friday morning with the death of two militants.
A 12-year-old boy, Atif Mir, who, the government forces claimed, was made “hostage” by the militants was also killed during the encounter.
Addressing a joint press conference called by army, police, and CRPF, SSP Bandipora, Rahul Malik said they had inputs about presence of militants in the Hajin area for some time and launched several cordon and search operations.
He said this was the third CASO in which a “chance encounter” ensued. He claimed the police rescued the six civilians in the first two hours of gunfight.
“After that we came to know that two more civilians were trapped inside who were taken hostage by the two militants. Among the measures we took was to make announcements through megaphones, we also used local Auqaf committees, and family for releasing of hostages,” the SSP said.
The SSP said that police also involved a team specialized in room to room intervention.
“By the time they reached the third floor, fire came out. We also tried to send the mother, who went inside to make appeals but again militants opened fire at them. In this situation, we were able to rescue one hostage: the old uncle of the trapped boy,” Rahul said.
The SSP claimed they also called the Magistrate at the spot who appealed that the boy should be released.
There are also few videos apparently recorded by government forces in which old parents of the minor are seen pleading before the trapped militants, asking them to release their son.
“Unfortunately, those efforts didn’t materialize. When the firing from the other end intensified, we also retaliated. In this process, two militants with pseudonyms, Ali and Hubaib got killed. In this process, we received information from the rescued civilian. He told us that the minor boy was being held hostage by Ali. The militant didn’t allow the boy to go out, and killed him before our team stormed the building,” he claimed.
Reports said the house belonging to one Abdul Hamid Mir was razed to rubble during the gunfight and all the three bodied were completely charred. Police and army also recovered two Ak-47 rifles.
The government forces, the SSP said, tried to adopt various methods to rescue the boy. The SSP claimed that one of the militants Ali wanted to marry a girl from the family whose members were held hostage.
“The family members of the girl had sent her to some other place. Ali demanded that girl should be brought back and then only he would allow the hostages to go out. This is what had been transpiring in their house. By the time we received the input, the cordon and encounter had already started,” he said.
The police said both the slain were foreign militants and affiliated with LeT.
“Ali has been involved in many civilian killings. He had a trademark of keeping a long knife which we have also recovered. Besides, foreign militants don’t operate from one area. They keep on moving from one district to another. For the last five to six months, their presence has increased in this area. They keep on changing their name, identity and area of operation,” he said.
He claimed that Ali had been operating for the last two years. “We can’t say how many foreign militants are active presently but whosoever is there we are behind them,” he added.
SOPORE RESIDENT AMONG TWO MILITANTS SLAIN IN BARAMULLA: Thousands of people on Friday attended the funeral prayers of Aamir Rasool Kaboo who was among two militants slain in a gunfight with the government forces in Kalantra Kandi Kreeri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla Thursday night.
Witnesses said that thousands of people assembled at Aamir’s home at Arampora Friday morning to take part in his last rites. Amir’s body was handed over to the family shortly before midnight.
The mourners raised pro-freedom slogans as they marched with his body to the martyrs’ graveyard where he was laid to rest.
Amir and his associate, believed to be a non-local, were killed in a gunfight with the forces in Kalantra on Thursday. Three soldiers, including an officer, were wounded in the firefight.
A complete shutdown was also observed across the Sopore town and its adjacent areas.
Two JeM militants killed in Shopian gunfight it
Srinagar, Mar 22: Two Jaish militants, including a former SPO who had joined the outfit in 2018, were killed in an encounter in Ratnipora area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Friday.
Reports said that a joint team of army’s 34 RR, SOG and CRPF laid a cordon and search operation in Ratnipora village late last night.
Quoting a police officer, news agency GNS said that the CASO was launched following inputs about the presence of some militants.
“The joint team in the meantime fired some warning shots towards the suspected spot which was responded by militants and it was retaliated, triggering off a gunfight”.
“During the course of gunfight, two militants have been killed and their bodies along with two weapons were recovered from the site late this afternoon,” the officer said, adding that both the slain militants were affiliated with JeM outfit.
SSP Shopian Sandeep Choudhary identified the slain militants as Showkat Ahmad of Heramain and Yasir Ahmad Shah of Aarhama.
The SSP added that Showkat was an SPO-turned-militant and had joined the militant outfit last year.
Meanwhile, massive protest erupted near encounter site and its adjoining villages including Gadapora as protesters tried to march closer to the gunfight spot. The forces used pellets and tear smoke shells to disperse the protesting youth. The stone pelting clashes amid a shutdown was also received from neighbouring Pulwama district
At least fifteen youth were injured in the clashes near encounter site. Among the fifteen injured, ten of them were taken to district hospital Shopian for treatment. A policeman namely Tariq Ahmad also sustained serious head injuries after being hit by a stone during clashes in adjoining Ratnipora village of the district, the official sources said.
A doctor who operated upon them said that five youth suffered pellet injuries in their eyes while one of them had been shot in the neck.
“All the ten injured were later referred to different hospitals in Srinagar for advanced treatment,” he said.
Meanwhile, in wake of the gunfight, the internet services were suspended in Shopian for precautionary measures. (With inputs from GNS)
Centre bans JKLF under ‘anti-terror’ law
New Delhi, Mar 22: The Yasin Malik-led Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) was banned by the Centre under ‘anti-terror’ law on Friday, officials said.
The outfit has been banned for alleged promotion of secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.
They said the organisation has been banned under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Its chief Yasin Malik is under arrest and at present lodged in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.
This is the second organisation in Jammu and Kashmir which has been banned this month. Earlier, the Centre had banned the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir.
Reacting to banning of JKLF, PDP president and former J&K CM, Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “Yasin Malik renounced violence as a way of resolving J&K issue a long time ago. He was treated as a stakeholder in a dialogue initiated by then PM Vajpayee ji. What will a ban on his organisation achieve? Detrimental steps like these will only turn Kashmir into an open air prison.”
National Conference Vice President and another former CM of the state, Omar Abdullah, too expressed his thoughts over the decision.
“For 4 1/2 years (four and a half years) Yasin Malik isn’t a threat, Jamaat Islami isn’t a threat, Pakistan National Day is a function that must be attended. Now suddenly once an election is announced an immediate u-turn is executed,” he wrote on Twitter.
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