Gunfight in Kashmir
Government forces lay siege during a gunfight in Kashmir (Photo Credit: Reshi Irshad)

SRINAGAR — A Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) commander was among four militants killed while one more was arrested in overnight gunfights in Kashmir valley, officials said on Saturday.

“During the past 12 hours, Police along with security forces neutralised four (militants) including a Pakistani JeM commander in three successful operations in the Valley. Besides, an active (militant) was also arrested during another operation in Pulwama,” a police spokesman said in a statement to GNS.

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In Pulwama, he said, acting on specific information generated regarding the presence of militants in village Chewakalan, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, Army’s 50RR and 182 battalion CRPF.

“As the search party moved towards local Darul Uloom, (militant) hiding inside fired indiscriminately upon the search party in which one civilian identified as Zahoor Ahmad Shergojri son of Mohammad Abdullah of Chewakalan received gunshot injury who was later shifted to hospital where his condition is said to be stable,” he said.

The joint party retaliated against the fire, leading to an encounter, he said. “Keeping the sanctity of the institution into mind, the operation was carried out with all due precautions and deliberations,” he said, adding, “In the ensuing encounter, two (militants) were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter.”

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The militants were identified as Kamaal Bhai alias Jatt of Pakistan and Aqib Mushtaq alias Usman Hyder, militant commander, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Karimabad Pulwama, both affiliated with JeM.

Kamaal Bhai, he said, was active since 2018 in Shopian-Pulwama areas.

“Meanwhile, Pulwama Police along with 50RR, 183Bn CRPF arrested an active (militant) during another operation carried out in village Wahibugh area. He has been identified as Rouf Ahmad Mir son of Mohammad Yousuf Mir of Parigam Pulwama,” the spokesperson said, adding, “Incriminating material, arms and ammunition including a pistol, two magazines, 26 rounds, three grenades and a pouch were recovered from his possession.”

Two more anti-militancy operations were launched in village Nechama Rajwar area of Handwara in Kupwara district by Police, Army’s 21RR and 09 Para and Serch area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal by Police, Army’s 24RR and 115 CRPF.

“As the joint search parties approached towards suspected spots, the hiding (militants) started firing indiscriminately on the search parties which was retaliated, leading to encounters at both the places,” he said, adding, “In the ensuing encounters at Handwara and Ganderbal, one (militant) each, affiliated with LeT were killed.”

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The militant killed at Handwara has been identified as Suhail Ahmad Ganie son of Gulzar Ahmad of Terigam Kulgam. The killed militant at Ganderbal has been identified as Adil Ahmad Khan son of Abdul Ahad of Badarkund Ganderbal.

He said, “As per police records, the killed (militants) were categorized (militants) and part of a group involved in several cases including attacks on Police/SFs and civilians.”

“Adil Khan was involved in the attack on vice-president of BJP of district Ganderbal on October 6, 2020, civilian killings in Srinagar, besides facilitated grenade attack at Towheed Chowk and Chappargund, Ganderbal,” the spokesman said, adding, “He was also involved in motivating youth to join (militant) folds.”

From the three encounter sites, police said two AK-56 rifles, one AK short-barrel rifle, one Pistol, nine AK-magazines, one Grenade, eight Pistol rounds and 32 AK rounds have been recovered.

“IGP Kashmir termed the elimination of wanted Pakistani (militant) as a big success and congratulated the joint forces for conducting successful operations without any collateral damage,” the spokesperson said, adding, “Besides, he stressed on the officers to speed up the anti-(militancy) operations so as to make the valley (militancy) free.”

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