Three militants of Hizbul Mujahedeen and Jaish-e Mohammad (JeM) were killed and three army men injured in a gunfight in upper reaches of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.
A police spokesperson said a joint party of 42 Rashtriya Rifles, 180 bn CRPF and SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a cordon and search operation in Gulshanpora area of Tral after receiving inputs about presence of some militants there.
He said as searches were launched at a suspected spot in an orchid, the search party came under militant fire.
“The fire was returned by troops, triggering a gunfight. In the ensuing gunfight, three militants were killed,” he said.
The deceased militants were identified as Zubair Ahmad Bhat alias Abu Huraira son of Bashir Ahmad Bhat of Charsoo Awantipora, Shakoor Ahmad of Laribal Tral and Tawseef Ahmad Thoker alias Abu Talha son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-deen Thoker of Charsoo Bunpora Awantipora.
A police official said in the gunfight three army men were injured, who were evacuated to 92 base army hospital in Srinagar for specialised treatment.
Later, one of the critically injured army man was airlifted to army’s command hospital Udhampur for advanced treatment.
As the gunfight started, youth from many areas in Tral including main town Tral, Bhatagund and Gulshanpora hit the streets and started pelting stones on forces to disrupt the anti militant operation and march towards the encounter site.
The forces fired teargas smoke shells, pellets and resorted to aerial firing to disperse the youth.
The locals said about a dozen youth were injured in forces action. Doctors at Sub District Hospital Tral said they received eight pellet injured youth.
“Three were referred to Srinagar hospital while others were managed at the hospital,” they said.
One of the deceased militants Tawseef Ahmad Thoker had done Masters in Mathematics besides BEd and had joined Hizb on May 14, 2014.
Zubair had joined militant ranks on May 11, 2018 and was affiliated with Jaish. He was working in his bat manufacturing unit before joining militant ranks.