5 mil­i­tants shot dead in Kul­gam en­counter

The Asian Age - - Front Page - YUSUF JAMEEL

The se­cu­rity forces on Satur­day gunned down five mil­i­tants in Jammu and Kash­mir’s south­ern Kul­gam district. A lo­cal youth was also killed when hit by a bul­let in the neck dur­ing clashes in Chowgam vil­lage.

The slain mil­i­tants be­longed to pro­scribed Lashkar- e- Tayyaba ( LeT) and Hizbul Mu­jahideen out­fits.

Their ring­leader Gulzar Ahmed Pad­dar alias Saif fig­ured in the list of most wanted mil­i­tants for his in­volve­ment in a num­ber of ter­ror acts, in­clud­ing the May 1, 2017, at­tack on a cash van of the J& K Bank at Pom­bai vil­lage of Kul­gam in which five po­lice­men and two bank guards were killed, a po­lice state­ment said.

The other slain mil­i­tants have been iden­ti­fied as Faisal Ahmed Rather alias Da­wood, Zahid Ahmed Mir alias Hashim, Mas­roor Molvi alias Abu Darda and Za­hoor Ahmed Lone alias Rehman Bhai — all lo­cal Kash­miris.

In what was termed by of­fi­cials as ‘ yet an­other break­through’ in their fight against ter­ror the se­cu­rity forces on Satur­day gunned down five mil­i­tants in Jammu and Kash­mir’s south­ern Kul­gam district. A lo­cal youth was also killed when hit by a bul­let in the neck dur­ing the streets clashes in the area.

The slain men, the J& K po­lice and the Army said, be­longed to pro­scribed Lashkar- e- Tayyaba ( LeT) and Hizb- ul- Mu­jahideen ( HM) out­fits.

Their ring­leader Gulzar Ahmed Pad­dar alias Saif fig­ured in the list of most wanted mil­i­tants for his in­volve­ment in a num­ber of ter­ror acts in­clud­ing the May 1, 2017 at­tack on a cash van of the J& K bank at Pom­bai vil­lage of Kul­gam in which five po­lice­men and two bank guards were killed, a po­lice state­ment said.

De­fence spokesman Colonel Ra­jesh Kalia said that the en­counter took place in Chowgam vil­lage of Kul­gam where the se­cu­rity forces in­clud­ing the Army and J& K po­lice’s coun­terin­sur­gency Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Group ( SOG) had launched a cor­don- and­search oper­a­tion on Fri­day night af­ter learn­ing about the pres­ence of mil­i­tants.

“Dur­ing the search oper­a­tion, the mil­i­tants hid­ing in a pri­vate house opened fire at the se­cu­rity forces trig­ger­ing the en­counter which con­tin­ued through Satur­day and ended with the killing of all the five holed up mil­i­tants,” a po­lice of­fi­cial here said.

The po­lice claimed, “Ini­tially, the civil­ians were moved away from the site of the en­counter to safer lo­ca­tions.”

“The se­cu­rity forces then en­gaged the ter­ror­ists in an en­counter. the po­lice added.

The other three slain mil­i­tants have been iden­ti­fied as Faisal Ahmed Rather alias Da­wood, Zahid Ahmed Mir alias Hashim, Mas­roor Molvi alias Abu Darda and Za­hoor Ahmed Lone alias Rehman Bhai- all lo­cal Kash­miris. Gulzar Pad­dar, the po­lice said, was a close as­so­ciate of the HM com­man­der Altaf Ahmed Dar alias Altaf Kachroo killed along with an­other mil­i­tant in a fire fight in Anantnag district last month.

◗ The slain men, be­longed to pro­scribed Lashkar- eTayyaba and HizbulMu­jahideen out­fits, as per se­cu­rity forces’ of­fi­cials

— AP

Kash­miri vil­lagers watch the fu­neral pro­ces­sion of top rebel com­man­der Gulzar Ahmed Pad­droo in Aridgeen, about 75 kilo­me­ters south of Srinagar, on Satur­day.

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