Five mil­i­tants killed in Kash­mir in gun­fight with se­cu­rity forces

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

The en­counter con­tin­ued for about eight hours. They did not pay heed and opened fire af­ter which we re­tal­i­ated. Five mil­i­tants were killed and five AK-47 ri­fles re­cov­ered from them. The house in which they were hid­ing was also dam­aged. HARMEET SINGH ME­HTA, SSP, Kul­gam

SRI­NA­GAR: Five mil­i­tants of the Hizbul Mu­jahideen and Lashkar-e-taiba were killed in a gun­fight with se­cu­rity forces in south Kash­mir’s Kul­gam dis­trict, the po­lice said on Sun­day, hours af­ter this year’s dead­li­est in­ci­dent of vi­o­lence in the Val­ley.

A joint party of the army, po­lice, and the Cen­tral Re­serve Po­lice Force (CRPF) launched a cor­don and search op­er­a­tion early on Sun­day af­ter in­for­ma­tion about the pres­ence of mil­i­tants in Kel­lam area.

Kul­gam se­nior su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice Harmeet Singh Me­hta said forces had in­for­ma­tion that the mil­i­tants were hid­ing in a house, which was cor­doned off be­fore sun­rise and the mil­i­tants were asked to sur­ren­der.

“They did not pay heed and opened fire af­ter which we re­tal­i­ated,” said Me­hta.

“The en­counter con­tin­ued for about eight hours. Five mil­i­tants were killed and five AK-47 ri­fles and other am­mu­ni­tion were re­cov­ered from them. The house in which they were hid­ing was also dam­aged,” Kul­gam se­nior su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice Harmeet Singh Me­hta said. Army spokesper­son Col Ra­jesh Kalia said the forces re­cov­ered weapons and war­like stores from the en­counter site.

A po­lice spokesper­son said all mil­i­tants were lo­cal res­i­dents and part of a com­bined group of the home­grown Hizbul Mu­jahideen and the Pak­istan-based Lashkar-e-taiba.

They were iden­ti­fied as Waseem Ahmad Rather, Aqib Nazir Mir, Par­vaiz Ahmad Bhat, Idrees Ahmad Bhat and Zahid Ahmad Par­ray.

The spokesper­son said Waseem, Aqib and Par­vaiz were in­volved in the killings of a civil­ian and a lo­cal army­man.

“This group of ter­ror­ists was also in­volved in var­i­ous grenade at­tack in­ci­dents across Anant­nag and Kul­gam dis­tricts for which cases stand reg­is­tered in con­cerned Po­lice Sta­tions,” the spokesman said.

Clashes broke out near the en­counter site af­ter lo­cal people al­legedly pelted stones at the forces.

Au­thor­i­ties stopped in­ter­net ser­vices in the area to stop fur­ther es­ca­la­tion of ten­sion.

Rafi Ahmad Salati, Kul­gam’s block med­i­cal of­fi­cer, said about 20 people were in­jured by pel­lets.

“While eight were treated at the dis­trict hospi­tal, six each were taken to Anant­nag hospi­tal and Ke­lam health cen­tres. The in­jured are sta­ble,” Rafi Ahmad Salati, Kul­gam’s block med­i­cal of­fi­cer, said.

The po­lice asked people not to

PTI

Army per­son­nel out­side the house in south Kash­mir’s Kul­gam dis­trict where the mil­i­tants were hid­ing. The house was cor­doned off by se­cu­rity forces be­fore the gun battle.

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