Four Jaish-e-Mohammad militants, an army man and police constable were killed in a fierce gunfight in upper reaches of Tral area in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday.
Police sources said 42 Rashtriya Rifles, 180 bn CRPF and Special Operations Group personnel of Jammu and Kashmir police started searches in Gutengo Suinaad forest area of Tral at around 7:30 am after receiving inputs about presence of militants there.
“Militants hiding in the forest area were intercepted and a contact was established with them. In the initial exchange of fire, an army man and a police constable sustained critical injuries,” a police official said.
He said the injured identified as Sepoy Ajay Kumar of 42 Rashtriya Rifles and police constable Lateef Gojri S/o Ghulam Hassan R/o Tral were evacuated to 92 base hospital in Srinagar where they succumbed to injuries.
There was a lull for some time and firing resumed again after militants were cornered towards the interior of the forest area.
The security personnel had sealed all the routes leading to the gunfight site to prevent the civilians from moving towards the area to pave way for militants to escape from there.
Sources said army choppers also hovered over the area and para-commandos were air-dropped in the area to take on the militants.
They said the gunfight continued till the evening in which four Jaish militants were killed.
The deceased militants were identified as Umar Khalid, Ishfaq Ahmad Khan and Abid Ahmad Bhat
“Umar was a foreigner. Another militant killed in the gunfight was foreigner. Ishfaq hails from Handura, Tral and Abid from Khanigund, Tral,” a police official said.
He said large cache of arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.
A spontaneous shutdown was observed in the town after the news of encounter spread in the area.
Meanwhile, a wreath laying ceremony was held for the slain police constable at District Police Lines Awantipora. IGP Kashmir S P Pani, DIG south Kashmir Amit Kumar and other top police officials attended the wreath-laying ceremony to pay homage to the deceased policeman.