M A I N   N E W S

Holed-up militants shot
*Encounter ends *7 securitymen, civilian killed
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 5
With the killing of two unidentified militants of the Al-Mansoorian outfit, the 24-hour encounter in the central Budshah Chowk area ended here today.

Eight others killed in the encounter included five police personnel, one of them an ASI, two CRPF men and a civilian, while 18 persons were injured. Damage was caused to the interiors of New Standard Hotel in which the militants took positions after the initial attack yesterday.

Traffic that remained suspended on the MA Road to Jehangir Chowk via Budshah Bridge was restored this afternoon.

Director-General of the Jammu and Kashmir Police Gopal Sharma said one militant was killed this morning while trying to break the cordon. Another militant was killed in the subsequent gunbattle. “We have two bodies of unidentified militants,” he said when asked about the Al-Mansoorian claim of three militants being engaged in the attack.

He did not rule out the possibility of the third unarmed militant having escaped after the initial attack.

Wreaths were laid on the bodies of three police personnel and a CRPF jawan at the police control room by the DGP and other senior police, CRPF and civil administration officials. The bodies were wrapped in the Tricolour.

The DGP said, “It was not a fidayeen (suicide) attack.” He said the militants hurled grenades and opened indiscriminate fire on the CRPF personnel and entered the nearby New Standard Hotel where they got holed up for the night.

He lauded the role of the police in killing militants without causing any loss to civilian lives and property. He said the overall situation in the state had improved as compared to that of last year even as “militants sometimes attempted to make their presence felt”.

He said the police continued its successful anti-militant operations, which led to the killing of six militants during the past three days elsewhere.

He said utmost restraint was maintained to ensure safety of the hotel guests, customers and shopkeepers. The police and the CRPF rescued stranded people while keeping the militants engaged. There was no collateral damage to any establishment of the highly commercial area, he said.

The police personnel killed in the encounter included ASI Nazir Ahmad, Head Constable Showkat Ahmad, Constables Randhir Singh, Mohammad Amin and Bashir Ahmad.

The CRPF personnel killed were Constable Jaswant Singh of 131 Battalion, posted at the Dashnama Akhara complex that came under attack, and Constable Jetinder Singh of 1st Battalion.

The civilian killed in the incident was later identified as Fayaz Ahmad.

Those injured included four police personnel, eight CRPF men, seven of them of the 131 Battalion and six civilians.

Meanwhile a UNI report said the security forces had killed two foreign militants and arrested a Hizbul Mujahideen militant in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening. Arms and ammunition were also seized, an official spokesman said.

An encounter took place between militants and the security forces at Serigam, Lolab, in the frontier district of Kupwara late last night. One foreign militant was killed in the hour-long encounter. An AK rifle, three magazines, 128 rounds of ammunition and a wireless set were seized from the encounter site.

In another encounter, the security forces shot dead a militant, Abu Zahid, a resident of Karachi in Pakistan, at Golan Top Bazipora village in north Kashmir’s Baramula district late last night.

An AK rifle, four magazines and a wireless set were seized from the slain militant. The security forces arrested a Hizb militant during a search operation at Keller in south Kashmir district of Pulwama last evening.

Militants entered the house of Mohammad Sharief at Gool in Udhampur district late last night and fired at the house owner, resulting in injuries to him. He was taken to a hospital.

A 20-year-old boy, Muzaffar Amin, was wounded while fiddling with a detonator of a hand grenade at Hotel Sharma near Rajouri bus stand last evening. Amin was shifted to a hospital. A hand grenade was seized from the hotel room.

During questioning, he revealed that the grenade was given to him by militants two months ago for hurling it upon the security forces and he had checked in the hotel on a fake identity as Anzer of Poonch.

The security forces also busted a militant hideout at Marsary forests and seized an AK rifle, four magazines, 210 rounds of ammunition and a wireless set while in another operation at Pathushahi Lolab, six improvised explosive devices and 37 rounds of ammunition were seized.



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