Two JeM militants killed in Mouchwa gunfight

Government forces during a search operation in Kashmir
Government forces during a search operation in Kashmir | Photo: Reshi Irshad

SRINAGAR — Two Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were killed in an overnight encounter that raged between government forces and militants in Mouchwa area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

Officials said that the gunfight broke out after a joint Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) was launched yesterday evening by Srinagar Police, Budgam Police, 50RR and CRPF on a specific input regarding the presence of militants in Mouchwa area of Budgam.

“During the search operation, as the presence of militants got ascertained, they were given opportunity to surrender, however, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” Police said.

In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and due to darkness the operation was suspended, however the whole area was put under strict cordon, Police said, adding that in the wee hours, search operation was resumed and bodies of both the killed militants were retrieved from the site of encounter.

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Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar said that today morning, two militants including a Pakistani militant Ilyas were killed. “Second slain has been identified as Javaid Ahmed from Pulwama,” he said.

The IGP said that the role of Ilyas in highway attacks can’t be ruled out and that police are investigating their involvement. “We gave full opportunity to militants who were trapped at Mouchwa to surrender. However, they refused. We give ample time to local boys who get trapped in encounters to lay their weapons. I once again appeal parents to urge their youth who have picked up arms to return back to the mainstream and live with their families again,” the IGP said.

Meanwhile, police in a statement said that one of the slain militants was identified as Javaid Ahmad Ganie of Pulwama and the other has been identified as Khalid @ Ilyas, a Pakistani national. “Both the militants were affiliated with Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM),” Police said.

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Police added that incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. “All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases,” Police said.

The bodies of the slain militants shall be sent to Handwara for burial after completion of all medico-legal formalities, police said, adding that the nearest family members of the identified slain local militant shall be allowed to participate in the last rites at Handwara.

In this connection, police said a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated.

Meanwhile, police urged people to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any.

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