Four militants including two district commanders affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and a soldier were killed in two separate encounters in South Kashmir’s Shopian and Kulgam districts on Wednesday.
A senior police official told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that on Wednesday on specific information about the presence of militants a joint team of forces including Police, 44 RR and CRPF launched a search operation in the Dragad area of Shopian.
He said that after the presence of militants got ascertained, they were given repeated surrender offers but hiding militants fired upon forces which retaliated leading to an encounter.
“During exchange of fire two local militants including a district commander of LeT Aadil Ahmad Wani of Shirmal Shopian and Shakir Ahmad Wani of Litter Pulwama were killed,” he said.
He said that during exchange of fire three soldiers received injuries among them one namely Sepoy Karanveer Singh succumbed to his injuries.
The official said that slain were involved in the killing of a non-local carpenter Sageer Ahmad from Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh on October 16.
Officials said that 128 militants have been killed in Kashmir so far this year which includes the militants killed on LoC.
A police spokesperson in a statement to KNO said that on a specific input regarding presence of militants in Dragad area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 44RR and 178Bn CRPF in the area.
“During the search operation, as the presence of militants got ascertained, they were given repeated opportunities to surrender; instead they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which retaliated leading to an encounter,” the police spokesman said.
“In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter. They have been identified as Adil Hussain Wani son of Ghulam Hussain Wani resident of Shirmal, District Commander Shopian of proscribed outfit LeT (TRF) and Shakir Ahmad Wani son of Ghulam Qadir Wani resident of Litter Pulwama.”
“During the exchange of fire three Army Jawans also sustained bullet injuries and were shifted to nearby hospital for the treatment, however, one among them namely Sepoy Karanveer Singh succumbed to his injuries,” the police spokesman said.
He said that as per police records, both the killed militants were involved in several crime cases including civilian atrocities.
“Adil Ahmad was active since July-2020 and was involved in several terror crime cases including the recent killing of one poor carpenter Sageer Ahmad Ansari of Saharanpur UP at Litter Pulwama on 16/10/2021,” the police spokesman said.
“One of the killers of a carpenter, was a resident of the same village and got active recently after joining militancy folds. Reportedly, after committing the crime both militants shifted from Litter to Dragad-Shopian.”
The police spokesman said that IGP Kashmir congratulated the joint teams for carrying out today’s anti-militant operation successfully and also congratulated Police and Security Forces for working with great synergy and coordination on the ground that lead to 10 successful anti-militant operations post recent civilian killings.
“It is pertinent to mention that, during the past two weeks 15 militants were eliminated in the said operations and most of them were involved in recent civilian killings,” the police statement said.
Slain Militant’s Family Contest Police claim: The family members of one of the slain militants in Shopian encounter refuted police claim that their son was a militant stating that he left his home at 9:30 in the morning to appear before a court in a royalty related case.
Muhammad Rafiq brother of slain Shakir while talking with KNO said that his brother, aged 22, was working as a driver. “My brother left his home at 9:30 am, to appear before a court in a case related to geology and mining department,” said Rafiq.
“At 12 in the noon, they called him but no body received phone and later it went switch off.” He said the killing of his brother in an encounter should be investigated.
However, a top police official said that slain was a C-category militant who was involved in the killing of non-local carpenter Sagir Ahmad from UP. “Since last few years Shakir was working as OGW and was also detained in 2019 for some time in a militancy related case,” the police official said.
Hours after the Dragad encounter in Shopian, two militants including a district commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba for Kulgam district were killed in a brief encounter.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that police and army killed LeT district commander Gulzar Ahmed Reshi of Kulgam and another militant whose identity is being ascertained.
“The slain were involved in killing of two non-local labourers in Wanpoh on October 17,” he said.
Defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel Emron Musavi in statement to KNO said that a joint operation was launched in the evening at Shopkat area of Kulgam on the basis of inputs provided by the police about the movement of two militants along the Ashumji-Devsar road.
‘Area was cordoned and contact established at about 7:40 pm. Repeated surrender appeals were turned down by the militants. They opened fire and security forces retaliated. In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed,” he said, adding that one AK-47 rifle and other warlike sores were recovered. “The operation in the area is still in progress,” he said. (KNO)