In 24 hours, four encounters rock J&K: Five soldiers, 2 militants killed

SRINAGAR: Four encounters rocked Jammu and Kashmir in the past 24-hours that saw the death of five soldiers and two militants on Monday. In the northern district of Bandipora, one militant was killed while as in South Kashmir, another militant was killed in Anantnag district with one more encounter underway in the southern district of Shopian.

Police said a cop was also injured in the Anantnag gunfight who was treated and is out of danger.

A defence spokesman in Jammu told news agency—KNO that on the intervening night of October 10 and 11, an anti-militancy operation was launched by the army and police in Shahdara area near the boundary of Poonch-Rajouri district of J&K.

“During the operation, militants opened a heavy volume of fire on the troops leading to fatal injuries to one JCO and four soldiers. The injured were shifted to hospital but they succumbed,” the spokesman said. He identified the slain soldiers as Naib Subedar Jaswinder Singh, Naik Mandeep Singh, Sepoy Gajjan Singh, sepoy Saraj Singh and sepoy Vaisakh H.

The defence spokesman said that after the initial exchange of fire, the militants fled to nearby Bhangai village which falls in the Rajouri district. “The encounter is on,” he said. Defence sources said that the militants are heavily armed and are frequently changing their positions. “It is a dense forest and the troops are moving swiftly to avoid any further loss of life,” they said, the terrain is tough and the “operation is a deliberate one.”

LeT militants killed in Hajin: A local Lashkar-e-Tobia(TRF) militant, who according to police was involved in a recent civilian killing at Shahgund village of Hajin was killed in an encounter with security forces in the wee hours of Monday at Hajin in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that the killed militant has been identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar affiliated with proscribed militant outfit LeT (TRF). “He was involved in a recent civilian killing at Shahgund, ” the IGP said.

A police officer said that the encounter ensued when security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Hajin’s Gund-Jahangeer area after receiving information about the presence of militants there. “In the exchange of firing a local militant was killed and his body was recovered,” he added.

The encounter took place barely a day after IGP Kashmir said that they have solved the Shahgund, Bandipora killing conspiracy case by busting a module and arrested four OGWs LeT (TRF) involved in the killing of Muhammad Shafi Lone alias Sonu. “While killed militant Imtiyaz Ah Dar alias Kotru involved in the shooting was absconding and has joined militant ranks,” he said.

Unidentified militant killed in Anantnag: An unidentified militant was killed while a policeman was injured in an encounter at Khagund, Verinag area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday, police said.

“On specific information, the police went to pick up an overground worker. As soon as the police party approached the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon the police party leading to an encounter,” a top police officer told news agency—KNO. The police officer said that during the exchange of firing, one unidentified militant was killed, while as a cop identified as constable Javaid Ahmad also received a bullet wound in his hand. He was shifted to SDH Dooru for treatment. “A pistol and a grenade was recovered from the possession of slain militant” he informed.

A police spokesman in a statement to KNO said that during the intervening night of 10/11 October, on a specific input Bandipora Police conducted an anti-militancy operation while as one chance encounter also took place in Anantnag resulting in the killing of two militants (in two encounters). The slain militants in the Hajin, Bandipora encounter was identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar of LeT (TRF) who was involved in the recent killing of a sumo driver at Shahgund, police said.

“In the wee hours, based on specific input about the presence of militants in village Gund Jahangir area of Bandipora, a joint cordon and search operation with launched by Police, 13RR and 47Bn CRPF in the area. During the search operation, as the presence of militants got ascertained they were given the opportunity to surrender, however, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which retaliated leading to an encounter,” the police spokesman said. “In the ensuing encounter, one militant identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar affiliated with LeT (TRF) was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of encounter.”

The police spokesman said that Imtiyaz Ahmed Dar was the main accused in the killing of a civilian Mohd Shafi alias Sonu at Shahgund. “He had joined militancy after the Police unearthed the module involved in planning and executing Shafi’s killing and the other involved associates have already been arrested,” the police said.

About the Anantnag encounter, a police spokesman said that Anantnag Police had gone to arrest one militant associate namely Javid Ahmad Bhat son of Ali Mohammad Bhat resident of Khahgund, Dooru. “While the police party were laying cordon around the house, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon the police party which retaliated. In this chance encounter, one police personnel was injured while as one unidentified militant was also killed. The injured police personnel has been evacuated to the hospital for treatment where his condition is stated to be stable. The identification and affiliation of the killed terrorist is being ascertained.

Fourth Encounter Underway: A police officer said that an encounter broke out at Tulran, Imamsahab area of Shopain district. “Contact has been established and firing is going on,” the officer said

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