M A I N   N E W S

Militants holed up inside BSNL office
Two Army officers injured in operation
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, November 19
The encounter between security forces and militants holed up inside a building, which began here last evening, continued till late this evening, leading to heavy damage to the building that rendered the Indira Nagar telephone exchange non-functional. A CRPF jawan was killed and five others, including two Army officers, were injured in the operation.

The Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir Range, Mr K. Rajendra Kumar, who supervised the operation, told The Tribune that search of the debris was on. The fate of the militants was yet unknown, while no resistance was offered by them after the building was blown up in the action by the security forces. The operation was still in progress, he said.

A spokesman of BSNL confirmed heavy damage to the Indira Nagar telephone exchange, which was rendered non-functional at 11 am today. He said a BSNL official, Mr Kuldeep Chand, was missing, adding that the militants had been holed up inside the building since last night. Telephonic contact between Indira Nagar and its adjoining areas, including the highly guarded Badami Bagh Cantonment, where the 15 Corps of the Army is located, was disrupted.

Three Army personnel, including two officers, one of them a Lieut-Col, and a civilian, were injured when the militants hurled a grenade and followed it by firing after the security forces attempted to enter the building early this morning, a police spokesman said here.

According to PTI, four Army personnel, including three officers, were injured. Two of them were identified as Col P.C. Roy and Lieut-Col Raghu Nair.

All appeals made to the militants to surrender did not yield any result and there was heavy exchange of fire between the two sides. The security forces also fired rockets towards the building to neutralise the militants, sources said.

Al-Mansoorian, a militant outfit, has informed certain local news agencies that two of its “mujahideen” had undertaken the attack on the CRPF camp.

Giving details of the incident, the police spokesman said that militants had fired upon CRPF personnel, causing injuries to a constable at Indira Nagar last evening. The fire was returned and the militants entered the nearby building housing the BSNL exchange. During the exchange of fire, two more jawans sustained injuries. The three injured jawans were shifted to a hospital, where one of them, constable Shiv Kumar, succumbed to his injuries.

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