Srinagar: Hours after the security forces gunned down four Al-Barq Mujahedin militants and captured a fifth one in Jammu and Kashmir’s southern Shopian district on Friday evening, a similar fire fight occurred in neighbouring Pulwama leaving three more militants dead.
One Army jawan was also killed in the second clash, the officials said here.
A spokesman of J&K police said on Saturday that its counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) together with the Army’s 50 Rashtriya Rifles and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)’s 182 and 183 Battalions launched a cordon-and-search operation in Pulwama Zadoora village overnight.
“During the search operation, as the presence of terrorists got ascertained they were given the opportunity to surrender. However, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the spokesman said.
He added that the three Hizb-ul-Mujahideen cadres killed in the clash have been identified as Adil Hafiz, Arshid Ahmed Dar and Rouf Ahmed Mir- all residents of Pulwama.
In the encounter, Army jawan Prashant Sharma received critical injuries. He was evacuated to Srinagar’s 92-Base Army Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries later.
Defence spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, said Sepoy Sharma “was in the lead element of his party when it came into contact with the terrorists during a specific search operation launched in village Zadoora.”
He said that, in the ensuing firefight, the Army jawan suffered multiple gunshot wounds on his chest and that “despite being grievously injured, he continued to fight”.
Sepoy Sharma, 23, who had joined the 26 Mechanised Infantry Battalion of the Army in November 2016 was a resident of village Khanjapur of Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh and is survived by his parents, the Army said.
On Friday evening, the security forces had killed Al-Badr’s district commander Shakoor Parray and his close associates Suhail Bhat, Zubair Nengroo and Shakir-ul-Jabbar in a fire fight in Shopian’s Kilora village. Their associate Shoab Ahmed Bhat, a resident of Awantipora in Pulwama district, was, however, captured alive.
The Army said that he “surrendered” before the security forces. In a purported video clip circulated by the security forces through social media, Bhat says that he would now pursue his medical education and “bring glory to India.”
Kashmir’s Inspector General of Police, Vijay Kumar, had said on Friday that Parray was engaged in the J&K police as a Special Police Officer (SPO) in 2014 and subsequently for “operational grounds” elevated to the post of constable and adjusted in the police district Awantipora.
Later on, he was transferred from Anantnag district where he took away four rifles from the other officials and joined the militant outfit and continued to be on the spree of snatching service weapons from his former colleagues in the police department.
The police claimed that Shakoor and Suhail were involved in the recent abduction and subsequent killing of a Panchayat functionary Nisar Ahmed Bhat whose mortal remains were earlier during the day on Friday found buried haphazardly in an orchard in Shopian’s Dangam village.