LeT comdr, associate, cop among 4 killed in Srinagar encounter

Kamal Kishore, cop killed in encounter.
Kamal Kishore, cop killed in encounter.

20 injured in clashes in old city, grenade attacks in N Kashmir
Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Oct 17: Top commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and his associate were among four persons including a police man killed in an encounter in Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar today.
The Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) last night cordoned off Mohalla Syed Ali Akbar of Fateh Kadal amid inputs about presence of militants in the area.
As the security forces were conducting searches they were fired at from the house where militants were hiding. In the initial exchange of gunfire, one cop of SOG identified as Kamal Kishore was killed. During the encounter, three residential houses and several cars parked in the locality were damaged.
The gun battle continued for over an hour in which two LeT militants including their commander was killed. They were identified them as Mehraj-ud-Din Bangroo and Fahad Mushtaq Waza. A civilian identified as Rayees Ahmad Sofi was also killed in the security forces firing. Police, however, maintained he was an Over Ground Worker of LeT.
The killing of the militants and civilian sparked off violent protests in the Old City of Srinagar and led to a spontaneous shutdown.
Youth took to streets in Fateh Kadal, Karfali Mohalla, Safa Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Eidgah and other parts of the city and clashed with the security forces. Security forces fired tear gas and pellets to disperse the stone pelting protesters. At least 20 people were injured in the clashes.
Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, while sharing the details of the operation in Srinagar said: “As we approached near the target house, militants opened fire on us. During firing one of our jawan, Kamal Kishor, lost his life. After conducting the searches of the area, three bodies were recovered. Two have already been identified while as the identity of the third who was their accomplice is being ascertained. He, however, was their active member and was present at the spot along with them.”
“Huge quantity of arms and ammunition have been recovered. One of the militants Mehraj Bangroo was involved in many militancy related incidents like firing, killings, weapon snatching”, he said.
A police spokesman said that one policeman was killed and two CRPF personnel were injured in the initial exchange of gunfire with militants hiding in a residential house.
“During the encounter, the two terrorists and their active accomplice refused to come out of the house and in turn fired upon the search party. Consequently, they were killed in the encounter. The eliminated (militants) and the active accomplice have been identified as Mehraj-ud-Din Bangroo, Fahad Mushtaq Waza and Rayees Ahmad,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that Mehraj-ud-Din Bangroo alias Asif alias Piya son of Sonaullah Bangroo resident of Narparistan Fateh Kadal had a long history of criminal records pertaining to militancy related activities. “He was involved in case FIR No. 146/2002 U/S 7/25 I. A. Act P/S M.R. Gunj, FIR No. 32/2007 U/S 307 RPC 7/27 I.A. Act P/S M.R. Gunj, FIR No 27/2016 U/S 302 RPC, 7/27 IA Act of PS Zadibal related to killing of two police personnel at Bagh-e-Ali Mardan Khan near Zadibal, FIR No 69/2016 U/S 302, 392 RPC 7/27 IA Act. of PS Batamaloo pertaining to killing of one police personnel and snatching of his weapon at Tengpora Batamaloo. He was also involved in several terror attack cases including of series of grenade attacks”, he said.
The spokesman said that Faid Mushtaq Waza son of Mushtaq Ahmad Waza resident of Akilmir Khanyar was also involved in several terror related incidents. Many cases were registered against him including FIR No. 45/2016 U/S 148, 149, 336, 332, 427 RPC and FIR No. 28/2017 U/S 147, 148, 149, 336, 152, 353 RPC at Police Station Khanyar. “The complicity of Rayees Ahmad who was part of the group in providing shelter and logistics to the terrorists is being investigated”, he said.
The spokesman said that incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police has registered a case in this regard and investigation has been initiated.
Police also issued an advisory to the people living around Fateh Kadal encounter site as the area was being sanitized and cleared by Bomb Disposal (BD) squad. Meanwhile, thousands of people attended the funeral of the militants at Eidgah.
And three policemen including an officer were injured after the militants travelling in a vehicle lobbed a hand grenade on a naka party when it was signalled to stop.
“Based on credible inputs that some militants are travelling on Baramulla-Srinagar highway, a police naka party deployed at Baba Teng Pattan were checking the vehicles,” police said.
The injured have been identified as DySP Zaffar Mehdi and two other policemen Shabir Ahmad and Ashiq Hussain, who were injured and evacuated to hospital.
The militants while trying to flee from the scene of the crime were chased and one of them was later apprehended. The arrested militant has been identified as Faizan Majeed Bhat son of Abdul Majeed Bhat resident of Naibug Tral who was recruited into militant ranks recently. He along with other militant Showkat Ahmad Bhat resident of Awantipora, who managed to escape had joined Tehreekul Mujahideen militant outfit.
An Army personnel and a civilian were injured in separate grenade attacks at Rafiabad and Watergam in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Militants carried out the first grenade attack on Army’s 32 RR camp at Tragpora, Rafiabad in Sopore. A civilian Mohammad Ashoor Mir was injured in the attack.
In another incident at Watergam, militants lobbed a grenade on the Army unit of 32 RR resulting in injuries to one soldier.
Militants also detonated an IED on Dooru-Sopore road this morning. However, there was no damage.
Many photo and video journalists were roughed by security forces at the encounter site. The media persons said that the security forces thrashed them. Various journalist associations including Kashmir Editors Guild and Press Club Kashmir condemned the thrashing of journalists.
Separatist leaders have called for shutdown in Kashmir tomorrow against the killings.