3 top militants killed in Anantnag

Youth collect stones from a tipper for pelting on para-military and police personnel in Pulwama town on Monday.
Youth collect stones from a tipper for pelting on para-military and police personnel in Pulwama town on Monday.

Schools to remain open today

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Mar 12: Three top militants were killed in an encounter at Hakoora area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district early today and authorities imposed curfew like restrictions in parts of Srinagar and closed Educational Institutions today as a precautionary measure to prevent any violence.
The Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Army, and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) cordoned off Hakoora village at around 12:30 am.
The operation was launched on the basis of the specific inputs about the presence of militants inside a residential house in the village.

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As the searches were conducted some warning shots were fired towards the house where the militants were hiding. Three militants tried to break the cordon and opened fire upon the security forces. Security forces retaliated triggering a brief gun battle in which three militants were killed.
Three AK-47 rifles were recovered from the deceased militants, who belonged to Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen and Hizbul Mujahideen outfits.
Two of the militants have been identified Mohammad Esha Fazili alias Esha Roohula of Soura area of Srinagar and Syed Owais Shafi of Voiloo, Kokernag. The identity of the third militant is being ascertained, However, Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TeM) identified him as Sabzar Ahmad Sofi.
Esha Fazili  was student of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU), where he was doing B Tech. He left the studies last year and joined militancy. Syed Owais Shafi had completed B Tech from the same University and joined the militancy in November last year.
A police spokesman said that pursuing credible leads on presence of militants, security forces started search in Hakoora area of Anantnag district today.
“While the search was going on, the hiding militants fired upon the search party. The fire was retaliated by the security forces ensuing an encounter. In the encounter, 3 militants were killed which include Esha Fazili of Srinagar,  Syed Owais of Kokernag and a third militant whose identity is being ascertained”, the spokesman said.
The spokesman added: “In the process arms and ammunition which include AK 47 rifles, pistols, hand grenades etc were recovered from the encounter site. Further in the incident, no collateral damage has taken place”.
“It is pertinent to mention here that among the killed militants, one was involved in a recent attack on a police guard post at Soura in which one police constable had attained martyrdom. In this connection, a case has been registered and investigation has been started under the relevant provisions of the law by the police”, the spokesman said.
Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar including old city this morning after killing of Esha Fazili, one of the militants who belonged to Soura area of Srinagar.
Apprehending law and order problems in the old city, restrictions were imposed in the Police Station areas of Maharajgunj, Safakadal, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Khanyar and Soura as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order. All the educational institutions including schools and colleges in Srinagar were closed for the day.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Bashir Ahmad Khan today said that schools, higher secondary institutions and colleges across Kashmir will remain open tomorrow.
He said that the schools will remain open from Tuesday. “In a review meeting, we decided that all Government schools, higher secondary institutions and colleges in the Valley will remain open tomorrow,”  he said. He added that there will be no restrictions tomorrow.
And despite restrictions, large numbers of people participated in the funeral prayers of Mohammad Esha Fazili and Owais Shafi at their native places this afternoon.
Large number of people reached at Ahmad Nagar, Soura soon after news about Esha’s killing spread.
When the body was taken to the funeral, scores of youth attacked CRPF camp with stones following which deployments of police and paramilitary forces fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters. The ding-dong battles continued for several hours.
Earlier, clashes erupted in many parts of Srinagar where most of the shops remained closed throughout the day. Commercial hub Lal Chowk also wore a deserted look.
Large number of people participated in the funeral of Syed Owais Shafi. There was spontaneous shutdown in parts of South Kashmir including Anantnag, Kokernag, Pulwama and Shopian.
Clashes also erupted at main town Shopian, Larnow, Kokernag, Khanabal, Anantnag, Qoimoh, Kulgam, Lazibal and Bijbehra. Several youths, according to reports, suffered minor injuries in the clashes.
Kashmir University, JK Board of School Education (JKBOSE) and Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) Awantipora postponed all the exams scheduled for Monday. Kashmir University also suspended class work and postponed interview of contractual lecturers.
“The interviews for contractual lecturers (Kargil Campus) in the subjects of Integrated Botany, Zoology, which was scheduled to be held at the University of Kashmir on March 12, 2018, are postponed,” PRO, in a statement issued here, said.
Authorities also snapped internet in Srinagar and parts of South Kashmir. In Shopian district, it remained snapped for eight consecutive days.
An official of the Railway said that the train which started from Baramulla was stopped in Awantipora. Similarly, the official said, that the train which started from Banihal was stopped at Anantnag.
The step, he said, was taken as a precautionary measure in wake of the apprehension of the law and order following the killing of three militants.
And police arrested three boys and father instead of his son in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district in separate night raids.
Police arrested 3 teenage boys and father of a boy during 11:30 pm at Manchowa locality last night.
The arrested boys were identified as Adnan Farooq, 17, son of Farooq Ahmad Wani, a 12th class, Ashraf Ahmad, 18,  of Ramban, a 12th class student of SP Higher Secondary and Suhail Ahmad, 13, a resident of Kupwara and 8th class student of prime public school Baghat. Wani and Suhail are putting up in Bag-e-Mehtab on rent.
Police also arrested Mushtaq Ahmad Magray, father of a youth in absence of his son Muntazir of Magraypora Manchowa. A group of protesters blocked Alamdar Srinagar Chrar-e-Sharief road near Railway Bridge Bagh-e-Mehtab in protest against these arrests. The traffic halted for some time but later resumed peacefully.
Earlier, police also arrested wanted stone-pelter known as Maya, a resident of Manochow along with another youth two days ago in separate raids.
In the meantime, a shepherd was killed in a mysterious blast in Awantipora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district today.
The shepherd identified as Ashiq Hussain Chopan son of Ghulam Mohammad of Gutroo, Tral suffered serious injuries in the explosion at upper reaches of Awantipora forests near Barsoo adjacent to Army’s Victor Force headquarter.
The shepherd was immediately shifted to a nearby hospital in the unconscious state where doctors declared him as brought dead.