3 militants, soldier killed in Kashmir

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Aug 3: Three militants and a soldier were killed and a policeman injured in two separate encounters  in Kashmir today while militants looted a bank and snatched rifle from its guard.
Army’s 22 RR and Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police last night launched searches at Dursoo area in Dangiwacha, Sopore after inputs about the presence of militants in the area.
As the searches were going on, police made efforts to persuade the hiding militants to surrender but they refused and fired on the search party leading to an encounter. Two militants were killed in the encounter and they have been identified as Riyaz Ahmed Dar son of Mohammad Akbar, resident of Naseer Abad Chinkipora, Sopore and Khursheed Ahmed Malik son of Ghulam Nabi, resident of Aarihal, Pulwama. They were affiliated with LeT.
Two security force personnel were also injured during the encounter in militant firing. They were shifted to the hospital for medical treatment. However, one of the injured Army man sepoy Sawar Vijay Kumar succumbed to his injuries.
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Arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police has registered a case and investigation has been initiated in the instant matter.
Mobile Internet service was suspended while all educational institutional were closed in Sopore area. There were reports of minor stone-pelting in Sopore town following which the market got closed.
Sector Commander 5 sector of RR, Brigadier V Hari Haran told repoters that operation was launched after inputs about the presence of two militants in a particular village. “When we heard about their parents willing to help them in surrendering them, we gave them chance to surrender not only once but four times. They did not surrender and opened fire on us. The operation continued after that and we killed both the militants but lost one of our soldier in the operation”, he said.
DIG North Kashmir, Dr Sunil Gupta said that there were inputs about presence of militants in the village. “All the security forces including RR, Police and CRPF together laid the cordon and we got success by eliminating two terrorists. One of them belonged to Sopore and another Pulwama. It was a tough operation in which we lost one Army personnel. We will wipe out the militants and we will be getting more and more information from the public. I praise my team, all the security forces and public who helped a lot in this operation”, he said.
He said that the militants were involved in weapon snatching few days ago. “They snatched an INSAS rifle from one police constable and within 48 hours we were being able to eliminate them. It was a wonderful operation without any collateral damage in Kupwara as well”, he added.
“There are hardly locals militants not more than 15-20. Lot of foreign militants are there and sometimes they come to Central Kashmir and South Kashmir. Overall, the situation in North Kashmir is very peaceful, people are peace loving”, he added.
In the meantime, an encounter broke out between militants and security forces this evening in Kilora village of South  Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Army’s 44 RR, 14 battalion of CRPF and SOG launched a search and cordon operation at Kiloora village following specific information about the presence of some militants.
As the securiy forces reached near the suspected spot, they fired some probing shots and the hiding militants opened fire, triggering an encounter.
One militant was killed and his body has been recovered along with weapon. The firing has stopped but the operation continued and reinforcements have been sent to strengthen the cordon.
The militant has been identified as Umer Nazir Malik alias Umer Malik of Malikgund, Shopian. He was affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen and was active since August 2017.
And Army’s Sector Commander of 8 Kilo Force Brigadier Mohit Trivedi said the militants – Zahoor Ahmad Mir and Bilal Ahmad Shah – killed in Kupwara yesterday were making grounds and recruiting new youth in militant ranks.
“They were backbone of Hizbul Mujahideen group and were expanding more support and ground for the outfit. They were active for a long time now; both belonged to Lolab side and were well aware about the geographical map of this area,” the Army Commander said.
Trivedi said the slain militants were involved in rifle snatching incident that took place on Tuesday afternoon in the native village of one of the slain militants Bilal Ahmad Shah.
“Manan Wani, one of the main assets of HM from Lolab is active, but the two main members of the outfit have been eliminated,” Trivedi told reporters and termed the killing of both militants as a “huge success”.
“Being a local, it invokes more youth to join,” he said.
And militants today barged inside a branch of JK Bank in Shopian district and looted cash.
Militants this afternoon barged inside a JK Bank branch at Kapran area of District Shopian and looted some cash. They also snatched a 12 bore rifle from the private security guard employed at the branch.
Police reached the spot and the investigation in the instant matter has been initiated.
Militants this evening fired at the security guards of National Conference leader and former legislator Abdul Majeed Mir at Acchal, Anantnag. They had come for weapon snatching but alert guards repulsed the attack. Massive search operation has been launched in the area by security forces.