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Two Jaish militants killed in Shopian gunfight

Slain involved in killing of SPO Khushboo, gutting Panchayat buildings: Police

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Srinagar, Apr 13: Two militants were killed in a brief gunfight with government forces in Gehand area in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday.

Reports said that a joint of army’s 34RR and SOG launched a cordon and search operation in an orchard at Gehand.

An official said that the cordon and search operation was launched following credible input about the presence of some militants in the area.

 

He said that soon after the joint team of forces arrived in the area, the militant opened indiscriminate fire, which was retaliated leading to a brief shootout.

During the gunfight, two militants were killed. The slain were identified as Abid Wagay resident of Rawalpora Shopian and Shahjahan Mir resident of Amshepora Shopian.

According to the police records, both the killed militants were affiliated with outfit JeM.

A police spokesperson claimed that the slain militants were involved in the killing of Special Police Officer (SPO) Khushboo Jan earlier this year.

The spokesperson in a statement also added that both of them were also involved in various abductions or killings and gutting Panchayat Ghars.

“They were involved in the killing of the lady Khusboo Jan at Vehil Shopian earlier this year,” the spokesperson said.

On March 16, Khushboo was fired at from a close range near her house around 2:40 p.m. She breathed her last on the way to the nearby hospital.

“Both the militants were responsible for either killing or adduction of the following people across south Kashmir in last few months: civilians Firdous Ahmad of Batgund, Nissar Ahmad of Kapran, Huzaif Ashraf Kuttay resident of Manzgam, D.H Pora and Tanveer Ahmad of Bemnipora; policeman Balwant Singh of Batgund in 2018, and Saqib Mohi-ud-Din,” the spokesperson said.

He said that both of them were also involved in arson and setting ablaze of Panchayat Ghars at Kanjiullar and Ramnagar.

The spokesman claimed that Shahjahan was also involved in snatching of weapons and killing of four police personnel near petrol pump at Arhama Shopian last year in 2018.

“Several militant crime cases were registered against both of them for planning and executing militant attacks on security establishments and killing of civilians in the area,” the spokesman said.

The encounter triggered massive clashes between forces and the youth in which at least 20 protesters sustained injuries, many of them with pellets. They were shifted to nearby medical facility.

Meanwhile, thousands of people assembled at native village of slain militants participate in the funeral while as a group of militants also offered gun salute as well.


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Jaish almost wiped out, no one willing to head it: Army

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Army on Wednesday claimed the government forces have “severely targeted” the militants for the last few months and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant outfit was “almost wiped out with no one willing to take over it”.

Addressing a press conference here, GOC 15 Corps, KJS Dhillon, who was accompanied by Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh, IGP Kashmir SP Pani, and IG CRPF Zulfikar Hassan, said that 69 militants have been killed and 12 of them arrested so far this year.

“Post Pulwama incident, 41 militants have been killed and out of them 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, 13 of them were Pakistanis while 13 were A+ category,” Dhillon said.

 

The GOC 15 Corps claimed that they have targeted JeM leadership.

“The situation now is so that no one is coming forward to take over the leadership of JeM in the valley,” he said.

“Even after Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress JeM. The operations against the militants will continue with full vigour and we will not let militancy rise up,” he said, while appealing the local militants to surrender.

“Recruitment of local militants has gone down. In addition, those who surrender, we will take care of their security,” he said.

Dhillon also advised civilians not to rush to the encounter sites.

Asked about the bi-weekly restrictions on civilian traffic on the Highway, he replied, “This is just a temporary measure. There are now relaxations on the civilian traffic.”

On the occasion, the DGP said 272 militants were killed in the state during 2018 and a “large number was apprehended.”

He too claimed that the local recruitment in militant outfits had declined.

“2018 was generally a successful year. There has been less ‘law and order’ problem. We brought many youth (who had joined militancy) back to their homes,” the DGP claimed.

“Elections have been conducted peacefully in the state because of a well-planned security grid. Voter turnover at 13 percent in Anantnag district is not less. People voted despite threats, no one can be forced to vote,” he said.

Asked there were reports that 11 youth had gone missing in south Kashmir during the last one month, the IGP Kashmir said, “Few had gone missing but returned. They had gone missing for other reasons, not to join militancy.”

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Held Pak militant paraded before media

‘Chota Dujana was active in Srinagar for over a year’

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Police on Wednesday presented a Pakistani militant Mohammad Waqar, alias Chota Dujana before the media, who, they claimed, was arrested from Pattan area in Baramulla on Monday.

During a press conference here, the militant was briefly allowed to respond to media.

“My name is Mohammad Waqar, resident of Miana Mohalla Punjab in Pakistan. I underwent a four-month militant training there,” he said.

 

 “I was told that Kashmiris are harassed, women are assaulted and Muslims are not allowed to offer prayers in Masjids. But I did not find any such thing here,” he replied when asked why had he picked up arms.

The militant was soon moved away.

SSP Baramulla, Abdul Wahid, said Waqar was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and had arrived in Kashmir in July 2017.

“He was operating in Srinagar for over a year now,” the officer said.

He added that the militant was travelling in a vehicle along with a Kashmiri when they were intercepted by the police near Mirgund, Pattan.

“They were chased and arrested near Chainabal Pattan,” he said.

The SSP said that as per their preliminary investigations, the militant was given shelter in old city as well as uptown areas of Srinagar.

“His plan was to resurrect militancy in Baramulla,” Wahid said.

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Malik sent to judicial custody till May 24

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New Delhi, Apr 24: A Delhi court Wednesday sent the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, arrested in connection with the alleged funding case, to judicial custody till May 24.

The Tihar jail authorities have also moved an application seeking direction to produce Malik through video conferencing due to security concerns.

The family of Yasin Malik, said on Saturday, that the JKLF chief had fallen ill and was shifted to a Delhi hospital after he went on a hunger strike to protest against his “illegal” detention.

 

Earlier this month, Malik was brought to Delhi from Jammu and was later arrested by NIA in connection with an alleged case related to the funding of militant and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. He was produced in a special court which remanded him in NIA’s custody till April 22.

Malik was shifted to Delhi’s Tihar Jail after NIA secured his production remand.  The JKLF chief was taken into preventive custody in February by the J&K police and lodged in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.

Malik organisation JKLF was banned last month by the Centre.

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