Militant killed in Pulwama, 2 flee

Protests in Barzulla, several injured

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, June 30: A day after police and Lashkar-e-Toiba said that top LeT commander and three militants were killed in an encounter in Pulwama district of South Kashmir yesterday, only one militant body was recovered from the debris while two others had fled away.
A police spokesman today said that only one militant body was recovered from the debris of the house in which they were trapped after security forces operation.
“Pursuing credible leads regarding the presence of terrorists in Thamuna village of district Pulwama, a joint patrol of the security forces yesterday launched searches in the afternoon inside the village. As the searches were in progress and security forces advanced towards the suspected house, terrorists hiding inside fired upon the joint patrol of security forces thereby establishing contact with the terrorists leading to an encounter”, said a police spokesman.
He added that one militant was killed during the encounter while two others managed to escape. “During the encounter, the terrorists initially took few civilians hostage inside the house who were, however, safely evacuated by the security forces. Initial information suggested the presence of three terrorists inside the house but as the final search was carried out, a lone body of a terrorist was recovered. Apparently the other hiding terrorists managed to escape from the spot after making indiscriminate fire around the site of encounter”, he said.
“In the incident five civilians got injured in the cross firing and were evacuated to the hospital for medical treatment where unfortunately one succumbed to his injuries though others are stated to be stable now”, he said.
The spokesman said: “In the encounter, the killed terrorist was   identified as Sajad Ahmad Shah son of Ali Mohammad Shah, a resident of Gund, Chogul district Handwara. He was affiliated with proscribed terror outfit LeT. He was involved in number of attacks on the security establishments and civilian atrocities. Rifle and ammunition were also seized from the site of encounter”.
It may be mentioned here that both Director General of Police SP Vaid and LeT spokesman had last evening said that three militants including LeT commander were killed in the gunfight.
In the meantime, police fired tear smoke shells and pellet to disperse protesters at Barzulla here today as they were seeking the body of the local militant who was killed in Kupwara yesterday.
Army claimed to have killed an unidentified militant in an encounter at Tunga Top forest area of Kachama. The family said that anonymous caller told them that the youth killed in Tunga Top forest area of Kachama in Kupwara was their kin Mudasir Ahmad, 31. Mudasir went missing in 2016 and the family feigned ignorance about him joining the militant ranks.
The militant was buried at NK Gali area of Jumgund forests along the Line of Control (LoC) on Friday night. As soon as the news spread in the Barzulla locality, scores of youth took to streets and staged protests, seeking his body.
Police rushed to the spot to restore the traffic which was blocked by the protesters. Police fired teargas to disperse the protesting youth. They also fired pellets leading to injuries to some of the protesting youths.
And amid inclement weather and protests, thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of a militant and a civilian in Handwara and Pulwama areas today.
People from the neighbouring villages reached Gund Chogal in Handwara area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district where they participated in the funeral of the slain militant Sajad Ahmad Shah son of Ali Mohammad Shah.
A spontaneous shutdown was observed in Handwara and Kupwara areas. All business establishments were closed while as transport remained off the roads. In wake of the killing of a militant, all schools and colleges remained closed in Handwara and Kupwara areas.
Meanwhile, thousands of mourners participated in the funeral prayers of the slain civilian, Faizan Ahmad Poswal son of Dr Abdul Gani Poswal at his native Gosain-nad, Ladhoo village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Two rounds of funeral prayers were held at local Eidgah since Friday night while the third one was offered at District Hospital Pulwama.
Faizan, a class 10 student, had gone to the gunfight site at Chatapora where he along with hundreds of youth joined the stone pelting protests. Dozens of youth sustained bullet, pellet and tear smoke shell injuries during the clashes and were shifted to Pulwama hospital for treatment but Faizan was hit by a bullet in the chest and lost the battle for his life on way to the hospital.