5 militants killed in Shopian, Anantnag encounters

Anantnag, Apr 11: Five militants, including a teenager, were killed in two separate encounters in Shopian and Anantnag districts of south Kashmir on Sunday.Police said that three militants were killed in Chitragam Kalan village of Shopian and two militants in Simthen area of Bijbehara area in Anantnag district.An official said that militants killed in the Bijbehara encounter were involved in the killing of a territorial army soldier who was on leave at Bijbehara.Both encounters took place on Saturday evening when security forces led by army, CRPF and police launched a cordon and search operations in these areas.The search operations quickly turned into gunfights when hiding militants opened fire towards the security forces.In Shopian, one among three militants was a 16-year-old militant who had joined the militant ranks recently.Internet service remained suspended in both Shopian and Anantnag districts.Thirty six militants were killed in different encounters so far this year and among them 19 belong to the Shopian district alone.Police in a statement  said militants were given an opportunity to surrender, however they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the initial retaliatory firing, one militant was killed, but the operation was suspended to give the trapped militants another chance to surrender, the statement said.Police said despite repeated appeals by his family members and assurances by the security forces, the other militants didn’t allow him to surrender. Ultimately in the wee hours, during the fierce gunfight both the trapped militants were killed and bodies of all the three killed militants were recovered from the site of encounter,” the statement said.Police said that the slain were identified as Aasif Ahmad Ganai and Faisal Gulzar Ganai both the residents of Chitragam Kalan. However, the identity of the 3rd killed militant is being ascertained. As per police records, they were part of groups involved in many militancy-related cases and linked with Al-Badr outfit, the statement maintains.Police said arms and ammunition including 01 AK-56 rifle, two pistols and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter. On Bijbehara encounter, Police while searching the target house, militants hiding opened indiscriminate fire on search parties, which was retaliated.It said the operation was halted for the night.“The operation was resumed today morning and both the militants got killed in the exchange of fire. Two AK series rifles and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the possession of killed militants,” he said.The slain militants were identified as Towseef Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Ramzan resident of Takia Maqbool Shah Bijbehara and Aamir Hussain Ganie son of Ab Rashid resident of Goriwan Bijbehara, Anantnag. While Towseef was active since 2017 and Aamir had joined militant ranks in the year 2018,” he added.“The bodies after medico legal formalities have been sent for burial in presence of family members,” said police spokesman in a statement. IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that militants killed in Bijbehara encounter were involved in the killing of TA Soldier who was on leave at Bijbehara.Appeal children to shun militancy: IGP to parents Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir Vijay Kumar asked the parents of newly-recruited militants in the valley on Sunday to make continuous appeals to their children to shun the path of violence and not confine themselves to the last appeal.”Parents should make continuous appeals to the newly-recruited terrorists to return. The appeals should be made regularly. The parents should not confine themselves to the last appeal when their children are trapped in an encounter,” he said.The IGP’s remarks came after security forces made fervent appeals to militants trapped in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian district to surrender on Saturday. Three militants were killed in the encounter — one on Saturday and two on Sunday.A police official said the forces exercised maximum restraint and facilitated the presence of family members of a holed-up militant, Faisal Gulzar, at the encounter site so as to persuade him to surrender.However, despite repeated appeals by his family members and assurances by the security forces, the other militants did not allow him to surrender, the official said.Police sources said Gulzar was a minor and had recently joined the militant ranks. 

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