Top HM comdr slips out of cordon, several injured

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR Aug 5: Top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Riyaz Naikoo, today escaped from a security force cordon in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district while over a dozen protesters were injured in the clashes that took place in the area.
As the security forces cordoned off Khur Batpora village of Damhal Hanjipora in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district today and conducted searches, militants fired at them leading to a brief encounter.
Sources said that Riyaz Naikoo and his associates who were trapped inside the cordon managed to give slip to the security forces.
As soon as the cordon was laid, people of the area came out in large numbers and pelted stones at them leading to clashes. Security forces fired tear smoke and pellets to quell the protests in which at least a dozen protesters were injured. The operation was later called off.
And police said that they have arrested a recently recruited militant along with arms and ammunition from Lolab area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district today.
A joint team of Kupwara police and Army’s 18 RR arrested the militant during a search operation at Andernar forest area of Gagel in Lolab this afternoon. “Some arms and ammunition was also recovered from his possession,” he claimed. He has been identified as Tawseef Ahmad Shah son of Maqsood Shah of Shatmuqam.
“Tawseef was part of the militant group who snatched an INSAS rifle from a cop on Tuesday last at Kandhar area of Maidanpora Lolab and had gone missing on the same day and subsequently joined the Hizb,” police said.
Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants Zahoor Ahmad Mir and Bilal Ahmad Shah of Lolab were killed in a brief shootout in Khumriyal area on Thursday. Police had said that the third militant who was driving the car fled from the spot and a hunt has been launched to nab him.
After search operation was launched at multiple places to trace out the fleeing militant, he was arrested along with the snatched rifle.