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Three militants killed in Anantnag shootout

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Srinagar: People offering funeral prayers of B.Tech student turned militant Esha Fazli of Soura,who was killed along with top other commanders in Anantnag encounter,at Soura in Srinagar on Monday. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie

Srinagar, Mar 12: Three militants were killed in an encounter with government forces in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday night.
The valley woke up to the news and its fallout in the shape of restrictions, closed educational institutes and eventually a spontaneous shutdown.
A police spokesman said that the encounter took place while they were “pursuing credible leads” of the presence of militants in Hakoora area of Anantnag district.
“While the search was going on the hiding militants fired upon the search party. The fire was retaliated by the security forces ensuring an encounter. In the encounter, three militants were killed,” the spokesman said.
He identified the slain militants as Eisa Fazili of Srinagar and Syed Owais of Kokernag.
“The identity of the third militant is being ascertained,” added the spokesman.
An emailed statement from Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen however claimed that the third militant was Sabzar Ahmad Sofi of Anantnag, although the same could not be confirmed during the day.
A police official said that one of the slain militants was involved in a recent attack at a police guard post in Soura area of Srinagar leaving one cop dead.
Police claimed recovering arms and ammunition from the militants.
“AK 47 rifles, pistols, and hand grenades were recovered from the encounter site,” the spokesman said.
While the police claimed that “no collateral damage” had taken place during the gunfight, the statement revealed by TeM read that “several CRPF personnel were injured and many vehicles of forces damaged”.
Authorities had imposed restrictions in most parts of the old city along with Soura, considering that Eisa, one of the slain militants belonged to the area.
The restrictions, however, could hardly deter thousands assembling to offer the funeral prayers of the slain militant, who had joined the militancy in August last year.
In Anantnag’s Hakoora, similar scenes were witnessed as people thronged to attend the funeral.
Eyewitnesses said that multiple rounds of funeral prayers were held for the local militant Syed Owais at his ancestral graveyard amidst slogans.
Post-funeral, the youth of the area had also assembled near the slain militant’s residence shouting anti-government slogans.
Authorities, early Monday morning, had announced shutting of all educational institutes.
They also snapped the high-speed internet across in Srinagar and Anantnag.
A heavy contingent of government forces was deployed outside the resident of Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, putting him under house arrest.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, too, was arrested from his Maisuma residence and lodged at Kothi Bagh police station.
Clashes were reported in various places in Anantnag’s Kakernag village, Pulwama’s Rajpora Chowk and Murran Chowk, several Downtown and Soura areas in Srinagar. Forces were seen retaliating by firing tear gas smoke shells on the protestors.