Government forces during a gunfight in south Kashmir
Government forces during a gunfight in south Kashmir

KULGAM — The gunfight in south Kashmir’s Kulgam hamlet ended on Friday with the killing of two militants including one who was active from past five years and was responsible for recruiting several youth into the militant ranks.

Srinagar-based Defence spokesperson Colonel Emron Musavi, while divulging information about the Kulgam gunfight, said that on Thursday input was received from SSP Kulgam about the presence of two unidentified militants in the general area of village Chansar near Chawalgam. A cordon and search operation was launched by Indian Army, Jammu Kashmir Police and CRPF.

He said swift reaction by the security forces ensured that the militants were quickly isolated in a house in the village, while other civilians were evacuated out of harm’s way.

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“Appeal for surrender was made by the security forces, which went unheeded. Intermittent exchange of fire between the militants and security forces ensued throughout the night,” he added.

He said at first light on Friday, security forces launched a deliberate operation to flush out the militants and by 8:30 AM, both militants were neutralized. “One AK-47, one pistol and other war-like stores were recovered from the encounter site.”

The Defence spokesperson said that as per Jammu & Kashmir Police reports, one of the militants killed in the operation today was identified as Sheeraz Ahmad Lone alias Maulvi, who was a native of Souch, Kulgam and had run away from home and joined Hizbul Mujahideen on September 30, 2016. “He later proclaimed himself as district commander in Kulgam.”

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The spokesperson said that the slain militant was responsible for radicalizing and recruitment of youth in the district while he himself ensured self-survival. “Reports indicate that in the last five years, he had recruited many youth as militants out of which majority have been neutralized by the security forces.”

The second slain militant identified as Yawar Ahmed Bhat was a resident of Ponipora and had joined Hizbul Mujahideen on March 26 this year.

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