Srinagar, June 07: Four Jaish-e-Mohammad militants including two SPOs, who deserted police along with their service rifle from District Police Lines (DPL) few days back, were killed in an overnight fierce gunfight at Panjran area of Lassipora Litter in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Reports reaching GNS said that a joint team of 44 RR, SOG and CRPF laid a siege at Panjran area of Lassipora on Thursday late afternoon.
As the joint team intensified the searches, the hiding militants opened fire, triggering off a gunfight which continued intermittently throughout the night and ended on Friday.
The joint team on wee hours of Friday blasted the house where the militants were holed up and razed it to the ground, they said. According to locals two houses— both 3-storeyed houses belonging to two brothers Mohammad Yasin and Ghulam Mohammad Ganai were damaged completely and had an estimated loss of about Rs 1.5 cores.
While confirming the gunfight, a senior police officer said that the operation was launched following credible inputs about the presence of some militants. “Today morning, the joint team of forces while searching the area retrieved four bodies along with arms and ammunition and other incriminating material”.
Among the slain, two were listed militants while as two others namely Mohammad Salman Khan of Uthmulla Shopian and Shabir Ahmad Dar of Tujan Pulwama were SPOs who had recently deserted and become members of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, a police spokesman said in a statement.
Police identified the other slain as JeM militants— Ashiq Hussain Ganaie of Panjran Pulwama and Imran Ahmad Bhat of Arihal Pulwama.
“According to the police records, Ashiq Hussain had a history of militant-related crimes and was part of a group involved in planning and executing a series of militant attacks in the area,” the spokesman said.
Similarly, Imran Bhat was also involved in several militant attacks on security establishments in the area, he said. Many crime cases have been registered against the duo, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, after conducting all legal medico formalities, the bodies of the slain were handed over to their respective families for last rites. Reports and eyewitnesses said that thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of all the slain at their respective native places.
At Tujan, a group of militants appeared and fired aerial gunshots as a mark of gun salute to their fallen associate Shabir Ahmad Dar.
Later, all the four slain were laid to rest amid pro-freedom slogans and a spontaneous shutdown in their native villages and other adjoining areas including main town Pulwama. The stone pelting clashes also erupted near the encounter site and other places adjacent to it including main town Pulwama. The forces deployed in the area used tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse them.
In wake of the encounter, the mobile internet services remained suspended since Thursday evening in the southern district. (With Inputs from GNS)
Militant, Army officer killed in Anantnag gunfight
Srinagar, Jun 17: An Army officer and a militant were killed and three other soldiers including a Major injured in a gunfight in south Kashmir Anantnag district on Monday, police said.
Police sources said the officer was shot at during the firing exchange between the holed-up militants and security forces in Bidoora village in Achabal area of the district.
The slain militant was believed to be a foreigner.
SSP Anantnag, Altaf Khan said that the operation was launched following specific inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.
He said that as the joint team intensified the searches, the militants, hiding in the area, opened fire which was retaliated, triggering off a gunfight.
Initially, sources said, the joint team of forces and militants exchanged gunfire for some time during which the house, in which the militants were hiding, was damaged. Later there was a lull for about an hour even as Army rushed more reinforcements and the joint team started searches to find out the militants.
Soon the militants rose from the debris and opened indiscriminate fire on the forces, resulting in the on-spot death of Major Keetan Sharma and injuries to three others including another Army Major Rahul Verma, sources said.
They added the joint team of forces retailed the fire, leading to the fresh gunfight in an open field. While one militant was killed and the search operation is underway to find if there is any more militant hiding in the area.
The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is being ascertained, sources said.
Meanwhile, youth took to streets and pelted stones at the security forces. The police and paramilitary CRPF deployed in the area used tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse them.
In wake of the operation, the authorities snapped internet service in the southern district.
IED blast in Pulwama, 6 soldiers, 2 civilians injured
Srinagar, Jun 17: Militants on Monday attempted to blow off an Army vehicle in a village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
A police official said that an armoured vehicle of Army came under an IED attack in Hargam Arihal village of Pulwama. He added that after the blast militants also fired some gunshots towards the vehicle.
Local residents informed that they heard huge blast followed by gunshots.
Reports said that six soldiers and two civilians were injured in the blast. The soldiers were shifted to Army’s 92 base hospital at Badamibagh, Srinagar for treatment.
The area was soon cordoned off, officials said.
Earlier, reports said that militants exploded an IED under a Casper vehicle, extensively damaging it, as an army convoy passed through Arihal. However, the army clarified that the damaged vehicle was not a Casper, but an Ashok Leyland Stallion truck.
Three of them who were travelling in the cabin of the vehicle are stated to be serious, the news agency reported.
The blast was triggered by militants using a car laden with explosives, GNS reported attributing the same to “initial investigations by police.”
“A police officer that the explosives were fitted inside a car and investigators are probing the owner of the vehicle. Asked, which type of vehicle was used, the officer said that it is a matter of investigation,” the news agency reported.
“Samples have been collected and further probe is underway,” the officer was quoted saying.
In a statement, the Army called the attack a “failed attempt” by militants. The troops are safe, barring a few minor injuries, it said, adding, “The area has been cordoned and search operations are in progress”.
The blast comes days after Pakistan had reportedly shared information with India and America regarding the possibility of major militant attack in the south Kashmir district. (With inputs from GNS)
Emotional scenes at slain SHO’s wreath-laying ceremony
Srinagar, Jun 17: Emotional scenes were Monday witnessed at District Police Lines (DPL) Srinagar as top cops and bureaucrats attended the wreath-laying ceremony of the slain police officer Arshad Khan, who had sustained critical injuries in a militant attack in Anantnag last week and later succumbed to his injuries at AIIMS, Delhi on Sunday.
J&K Police chief Dilbagh Singh, Advisors to Governor K Vijay Kumar and KK Sharma, Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra, Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmed Khan, ADGP Muneer Khan, and SSP Srinagar Dr Haseeb Mughal, among other civil and police officers were present on the occasion.
J&K Police shared two heart wrenching photos of Dr Mughal carrying the deceased’s son in his arms during the wreath-laying ceremony.
In the photos, a teary-eyed Haseeb is seen carrying slain Arshad Khan’s son while paying tributes to his colleague.
On the occasion, Advisor Kumar said that more than 1600 J&K Police personnel have lost their lives in the line of duty.
On June 12, around 4:50 pm, five paramilitary troopers and a militant were killed and four other security forces personnel including Arshad sustained injuries after militants attacked a joint party of CRPF and police at bus stand Anantnag.
Arshad was immediately evacuated to a nearby hospital and then to Srinagar’ SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura. After being treated there for a few days, he was flown to Delhi’s AIIMS hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.
According to police, Arshad was inducted into police services in the year 2002 and was presently posted as SHO Anantnag. Khan is survived by father and mother, wife Neelofar, 5-year-old son Abuhan Khan, Danim 2, and a brother.