Three local militants and an army man were killed and two paramilitary CRPF men were injured in two separate gunfights in volatile south Kashmir on Tuesday.
A police official the joint forces belonging to Army’s 1st RR, CRPF and Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K police laid siege around Redwani Bala area of Kulgam district in the evening.
He said the encounter started in the early morning after militants fired on the search party.
“In the ensuing gunfight, during which militants also fired grenades using Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL), two Lashkar-e-Toib militants and an army were killed and two CRPF men injured,” he said.
The house, where from militants were firing on troops, was completely gutted during the encounter.
The deceased militants were identified as Ajaz Ahmad Makroo son of Late Ghulam Rasool Makroo of Qaimoh, Kulgam and Waris Ahmad Malik son of Bashir Ahmad of Arwani, Anantnag.
The deceased army man was identified as Prakash Yadav.
As the encounter started, authorities suspended mobile internet services in the twin districts of Anantnag and Kulgam.
The area also witnessed clashed between the youth and force personnel. The clashes started in the middle of the night while troops were laying siege to the area.
The troops fired tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse the stone pelting youth.
At least 25 youth sustained pellet injuries and were referred to different hospitals.
The bodies of deceased militants were later handed over to their families for funeral.
Thousands of people offered the funeral prayers of the deceased militants at their respective places amidst chanting of pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
A police spokesman said one of the deceased militant Ajaz Makroo was active since 2017. “He was a close associate of LeT commanders Naveed Jat and Azad Dada. Several militant cases were registered against him”.
Meanwhile, a militant commander of Zakir Musa-led Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) was killed in a gunfight with forces at Reshipora village of Tral in Pulwama district today.
A police official said a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) was launched jointly by 42 RR, 180 bn CRPF and SOG of J&K police at Reshipora village of Tral at around 7 am after receiving specific inputs about presence of militants there.
“As searches were going on, militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated, triggering a gunfight. In the ensuing gunfight, a militant identified as Shakir Ahmad Dar son of Ghulam Hassan Dar of Rathsuna Tral was killed,” he said.
The deceased militant was affiliated with Zakir Musa led AGH.
Local residents said three houses suffered damage during the encounter.
Shakir, who was a category A militant, had joined militant ranks on April 14, 2015 along with Sabzar Ahmad Bhat after the duo snatched a weapon from a paramilitary cop at Tral town.
Locals said Shakir had dropped out of school at 9th standard before joining militancy.
For around two years, Shakir was said to have stayed in close association with Burhan Wani.
After Zakir Musa snapped ties with Hizb on “ideological grounds” and floated his own militant group, AGH, Shakir too switched allegiance to AGH.
Youngest of his siblings, Shakir is survived by two sisters and two brothers besides parents.
Thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of deceased militant at Rathsuna village amid pro-freedom and anti-Indian slogans.
Locals said four rounds of funeral prayers were held for Shakir.
They said some militants also appeared at his funeral and offered gun salute to him before he was laid to rest in a village graveyard.