CRPF officer among 4 cops martyred, civilian killed in clashes

Troops during search operation at Handwara in Kupwara district on Friday. (Inset) Two policemen martyred in the attack. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Troops during search operation at Handwara in Kupwara district on Friday. (Inset) Two policemen martyred in the attack. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

3 militants trapped in cordon

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1:A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Inspector was among four cops martyred and eight others including a Commandant of the paramilitary forces injured in the gun battle at Babagund Langate area of Handwara in the frontier Kupwara district today. A youth was killed in the clashes near the encounter site.
An operation was launched last night by Army, police and CRPF in Babgund village after specific input about presence of a group of militants hiding in the village including a Lashkar-e-Toiba commander.
The militants fired on the troops during the searches leading to clashes in which a house suffered major damage. As the firing stopped this afternoon, the troops zeroed in towards the damaged house during which the militants fired at them indiscriminately, leading to martyrdom of four security force personnel while around seven others were injured.
The martyred include CRPF Inspector of 92 bn CRPF and the policeman of SOG Handwara Naseer Ahmad.
The firing stopped this evening and the security forces put the operation on hold for the night and will resume it in the morning. Sources said that there are around 3 militants hiding in the area.
The encounter broke out during midnight after the joint team of Army’s 22 RR, 92 Battalion CRPF and SOG launched a cordon-and-search operation at Khanan Babagund in Langate.
Clashes broke out near the encounter site between security forces and youth. In forces action, at least four youth were injured, three of them have suffered pellet injuries while one received injuries in his foot. A youth Waseem Ahmad Mir, 21, son of Mohammad Akbar Mir of Zaloora suffered critical bullet wounds in his abdomen and head. He later succumbed to his injuries.
A police spokesman said that based on a credible input about the presence of terrorists in Baba Gund area of Kralgund in Handwara, a cordon and search operation was launched today jointly by police and security forces in the area.
As the searches were going on, the hiding terrorists fired indiscriminately on the search party. ” In the process, two police personnel, two CRPF personnel and one individual sustained critical injuries and succumbed. The two police personnel who attained martyrdom have been identified as SgCt Naseer Ahmad Kholi and SgCt Ghulam Mustafa Barah and two CRPF personnel have been identified as Inspector Pintu and Ct Vinod . In the nearby area one individual identified as Waseem Ahmad Mir also sustained bullet injury and consequently succumbed at the hospital “, he said.
“Citizens are requested not to venture inside encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any”, police said.
The spokesman said that based on a credible input regarding movement of a suspected person near Bone and Joint Hospital Barzulla, a special team of Srinagar Police apprehended a person. “On his questioning he disclosed his identity as Showket Ahmed Khan S/o Abdul Hamid Khan R/o Aarth-Narbal Budgam, affiliated with a proscribed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba.His code name is Aumer”, he said.
“It is pertinent to mention here that said person is involved in case FIR No.73/2018 U/S 392 RPC, 7/25 Arms Act, 3 PEPO Act registered at P/S Rajbagh, Srinagar. Further questioning of the arrested accused is going on so as to advance the investigation in the case”, he said.