Shoot-outs in Baramulla, Shopian; militants flee

Man injured in LoC firing succumbs, OGW held
Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Mar 20: Militants today fired at a security forces search party in Kandi area of Baramulla district while militants escaped from a cordon during search operations in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Militants today fired at a joint party of the police and Army in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district after they launched an operation in the area following inputs about presence of militants in the forest area.
The search party of Army and the police was fired upon by militants in Nambalnar Kandi of Baramulla this evening. The militants fled after opening fire at the security forces. The entire area has been cordoned off and a search operation is underway in the area.
Sources said that security forces busted a militant hideout in the area and recovered one Ak-47 rifle, gas cylinder, uniform and warlike stores. Sources said that four militants are still hiding in the area and security forces have tightened the cordon.
Militants today escaped from a security cordon at Heff in Shopian district of South Kashmir. Army’s 44 RR, Police and CRPF cordoned off Heff village after reports of militants hiding in the village. Militants fired on the troops, leading to a brief gun battle but the militants escaped.
And the normal life was disrupted in Kashmir valley today due to a protest shutdown called by the separatists against the custodial death of a school teacher yesterday.
Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar to prevent any violence. Police and para-military security forces were heavily deployed in Old City and they had erected barricades to restrict movement of people and vehicles in the area.
Shops and other commercial establishments remained closed in Srinagar city. The schools and colleges also remained closed in the city.
The public transport was also off the roads but the private transport was plying in some areas. Shutdown was also observed in other districts as well.
Adequate security forces were also deployed in sensitive areas to thwart any protests in view of shutdown call issued by separatists.
Mobile Internet services have also been snapped in southern Kashmir and the speed reduced to 2G in Srinagar and Budgam districts in central Kashmir.
The shutdown was called against death of 29-year-old Rizwan Assad Pandith in police custody at CARGO camp in Srinagar.
Pandith was picked up by the police from his home few days ago. “In pursuance of a militancy case investigation, a suspect Rizwan Pandith of Awantipora was in police custody. The person died in police custody. In this matter, while following the procedure laid down in section 176 of CrPC, a magisterial inquiry is underway,” a police spokesman said.
His death triggered a fresh wave of anger across Kashmir, even as the administration ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident that evoked widespread condemnation from the mainstream and separatist circles in the Valley.
In the meantime, a civilian who was critically injured in Pakistani mortar shelling on March 10 at Kamalkote Uri belt in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS today.
He has been identified as Riyaz Ahmad Khatania, son of Sadar din Khatania resident of Shahdara Kamalkote Uri Baramulla along Line of Control. After battling for his life for about 10 days, the youth succumbed at hospital today.
Police today arrested an Over Ground Worker of militants Ishfaq Ahmad Rah son of Abdul Rashid Rah of Kulgam, who had escaped from police custody yesterday at District Court Srinagar.
He was arrested this evening by Kulgam Police. Ishfaq was earlier in custody for case FIR No. 73/ 2018 of police station Qazigund. He is involved in many other cases including case FIR No 37/2018 registered in district Kulgam.