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2016-06-18 05:16:20

2 militants die in Sopore gunfight

Two HizbulMujahideen militants were killed in brief gunfight in Bomai area of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday, police and witnesses said.

Acting on a specific input, Army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles, Special Operations Group of J&K Police, and CRPF personnel jointly condoned off ChaanMohalla at Bomai, a police official said.

“We had information about presence of two militants in a house in ChaanMohalla,” Superintendent of Police Sopore, Harmeet Singh, told Greater Kashmir.

He said as soon the forces zeroed in on the house where the militants were hiding, they came under fire, triggering an encounter. 

“Heavy exchange of fire continued till 12:30 pm. In the afternoon, forces launched the final assault and killed the first militant which followed by killing of another militant,” he said. “Both the slain militants are locals and belong to HizbulMujahideen outfit.”

Army’s Srinagar-based spokesman Lt Colonel N N Joshi said it was a “clean operation which started in the morning and ended in the afternoon.”

“It is for the police to identify the militants and deal with the law and order situation at the encounter site. We did our job and left,” he said.

Police sources said the two slain militants were identified as Altaf Ahmed son of Abdur Rashid of BrathKalanSopore, and Imtiyaz Ahmed Lone son of Abdul Khalid of Vislankhoi, Sumbal.

“The two militants were active for the past two years and involved in a series of anti-forces activities,” they said.

The forces, however, faced terrible law and order situation during the encounter as scores of youth and women staged protests while the gunfight was on.  Youth hurled stones at the police and other forces to divert their attention and help the hiding militants flee.

Witnesses said police resorted to firing tear-gas shells and pellets. Some reports said the cops also resorted to intense aerial firing in bid to break up the protests.

“Three civilians including two women were injured in the police action. One of the injured youth received serious pellet injuries on his head and was shifted to SKIMS, Soura where he is being treated,” police sources said.

The two injured women were identified as RaziaBano and Haseena Begum while the youth was identified as Azhar Ahmed Mir.

Police later handed over the body slain militant Altaf Ahmad Mir to his family. Witnesses said thousands of people attended his funeral at his native village BrathKalan.  

At 9 pm, sources said, militants arrived at the grave of Altaf at BrathKalan and offered the three-volley salute.

The second militant Imtiyaz, according to sources, was taken to Wusan via Palhallan where scores of people were waiting on roads. He was later laid to rest at martyrs’ graveyard Wusan.

Witnesses said hundreds of people offered his funeral prayers amid pro-freedom slogans.

Youth at Palhallan also hurled stones at Army’s 29 RR camp at Wusan while carrying the body of Imtiyaz.

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