Srinagar gunfight leaves four dead

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Srinagar: Two militants, civilian and a policeman were killed in Fateh Kadal area of Kashmir capital Srinagar on Wednesday morning.

The causalities occurred after government forces received inputs about the presence of militants in the area. The area was cordoned off and during search operation, the hiding militants opened fire on government forces that led to intense gun battle.

The house in which militants were present was completely damaged in the fire fight.

During the gun battle, Rayees Ahmed, the son of house owner was also killed. The locals said that Rayees Ahmed was innocent and had no links with militancy. Police said that they are investigating the role of Rayees Ahmed.

Two militants who were killed in the gunfight were identified as Mehrajuddin Bangroo of Fateh Kadal and Fahad Mushtaq of Khanyar. An SOG man from Reasi whom police identified as Kamal Kishore was also killed in the gunfight.

Locals alleged that during the gunfight, government forces damaged parked vehicles and other property, an allegation refuted by police.

Locals said that government forces thrashed young and old who were on roads in the surroundings of encounter site.

Journalists who were covering the fire fight were also thrashed by police. The video showing policemen thrashing journalists went viral and was shared extensively by netizens.

Clashes erupted in parts of old Srinagar city after the eruption of encounter. Forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters at Khanyar and Fateh Kadal.

Authorities suspended internet service across Srinagar city to choke free flow of information. The gun fight sparked spontaneous shutdown in city centre Lal Chowk.

Police issued a statement about the Fateh Kadal gunfight saying that on a specific input regarding the presence of militants in Syed Ali Akbar area of Fateh Kadal, a cordon and search operation was laid by a joint team of police and CRPF personnel.

“During cordon and search operation, civilians were evacuated. While search operation was going on at the target location, militants made indiscriminate firing from inside,” the spokesman in a statement said.

“In the ensuing gunfight, constable Kamal Kishore of JKP was killed while two JKP and CRPF personnel also received injuries,” he said.

“During the encounter, all the two militants and their active accomplice refused to come out of the house and in turn fired upon the search party. Consequently, they were killed in the encounter. The eliminated militants and the active accomplice have been identified as Mehraj-ud-Din Bangroo, Fahad Mushtaq Waza and Rayees Ahmad,” the spokesman said.

“Mehraj-ud-Din Bangroo @Asif @Piya son of Sona-ul-Lah Bangroo resident of Narparistan Fateh Kadal had a long history of criminal records pertaining to militant-related activities. He was involved in case FIR No. 146/2002 U/S 7/25 I.A. Act P/S M.R. Gunj, FIR No. 32/2007 U/S 307 RPC 7/27 I.A. Act P/S M.R. Gunj, FIR No 27/2016 U/S 302 RPC, 7/27 I.A. Act of PS Zadibal related to killing of two police personnel at Bagh-e-Ali Mardan Khan near Zadibal, FIR No 69/2016 U/S 302, 392 RPC 7/27 I.A. Act. of PS Batamaloo pertaining to killing of one police personnel and snatching of his weapon at Tengpora Batamaloo. He was also involved in several militant attack cases including of series of grenade attacks,” he in a statement said.

“Faid Mushtaq Waza son of Mushtaq Ahmad Waza resident of Akilmir Khanyar was also involved in several militant-related incidents. Many cases were registered against him including FIR No. 45/2016 U/S 148, 149, 336, 332, 427 RPC, FIR No. 28/2017 U/S 147, 148, 149, 336, 152, 353 RPC at Police Station Khanyar. The complicity of Rayees Ahmad who was part of the group in providing shelter and logistics to the militants is being investigated,” said police spokesman.

“Incriminating materials including arms & ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police has registered a case in this regard and investigation has been initiated,” the spokesman in a statement said. (CNS)

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