They were involved in abducted cop’s killing: Police
Civilian injured as militants give gun salute at funeral
BJP leader’s residence attacked in Pulwama
Three militants were killed in an overnight gunfight at Wani Mohalla locality in Khudwani area of Kulgam district.
The slain militants were identified as Muawiya, a Pakistani militant, Suhail Ahmad Dar of Redwani Bala and Mudasir alias Rehan of Shalipora Katrasoo area, both from Kulgam district.
The government forces, on a specific tip off, raided the Wani Mohalla locality Saturday night while the contact with the holed up militants was established in the wee hours on Sunday, a Police official said.
“The forces arrived in our locality at around 11:30 pm on Saturday and instantly cordoned off the entire area around the target house. They sent their search team, including the son of the owner of the house and a neighbour thrice to check the exact location of the hiding militants. The inmates who included the children of Lateef Ahmed Wani, the house owner, who is currently out of Kashmir for Hajj pilgrimage, were allowed to come out of the house at around 3:15 am. Even after that there was no exchange of fire between the militants and the government forces. The first shot was fired exactly at 6 am and the government forces fired mortar shells toward the house. The fierce exchange of gunfire and intermittent blasts went on till 8:05 am with militants rushing out of the burning house, who were killed in the lawn of the house. By 9:30 am, the government forces called off the operation after retrieving all three bodies of the militants,” a local said.
The house lies adjacent to the house of Ghulam Ahmed Lone, which was destroyed in a gunfight on April 11 when four civilians were killed in the firing by government forces while an Army man also lost his life as three militants, including Suhail Ahmad Dar who died in today’s encounter, were able to survive in a 16-hour-long gunfight.
“The government forces set ablaze the adjacent cow shed as militants had managed to hide themselves besides it last time. Even the fire tenders did not arrive at the spot today and it was the youth who drew water from adjacent rivulet to extinguish the massive fire using water pumps. The timely action of the youth saved this congested locality from being turned into ash and rubble even though two structures caught fire,” another local said.
Police, in a statement, said the slain militants were involved in the killing of a policeman, Muhammad Saleem on Saturday.
“In a significant breakthrough, concerted efforts of the forces resulted in the killing of the prime accused involved in the Saturday’s abduction and killing of the constable Muhammad Saleem of JKP at Kulgam. A joint patrol of the forces in the wee hours today launched searches at Redwani area in district Kulgam after it received credible inputs about the presence of militants in a cluster of houses. As the forces advanced, hiding militants fired, resulting in a brief gunfight in which three militants were killed. No collateral damage occurred during the gunfight,” Police said.
It also claimed recovering ammunition from the bodies of the slain gunmen.
“As per Police records, the militants were affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. Mauwiya’s involvement was established in a number of civilian killings. Suhail, who was working as a labourer earlier after he had dropped out from school, had later joined a militant outfit. Police probe is on for ascertaining complicity of the other co-conspirators who assisted in the commission of the gruesome crime leading to the death of police personnel Saleem. Some arms and ammunition including but not limited to two AK 47 rifles and a carbine have also been recovered from the site of the gunfight. Police has registered a case and investigation has been initiated into the matter,” Police said.
Meanwhile, five funeral prayers were offered for Suhail while three funerals were also held for Mudasir which were attended by thousands of people amid intense-pro freedom, pro-Pakistan and pro-Militant sloganeering.
Armed militants, who appeared at the funerals, gave a gun salute to both the slain militants while a civilian was injured as one of militants lost control of his gun as people jostled to hug them, eyewitness said.
A Police official said the injured civilian was identified as Fayaz Ahmed of Shiganpora, Kulgam and that he had received a bullet injury in his leg due to a misfire from the weapon of a militant while giving a gun salute to the slain militants.
He was immediately hospitalized and is in a stable condition now.
Meanwhile, suspected militants Sunday evening attacked a residential house of Gulzar Ahmed Nengroo, the General Secretary BJP in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Official sources said the suspected militants fired toward the house of Nengroo, in Prichoo, Pulwama.
PSOs of Nengroo retaliated firing some gun shots.