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Militants, involved in cop’s murder, killed in Kulgam

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Srinagar, Jul 22: Three militants, including a Pakistani, who police said were involved in the abduction and killing of a police constable were killed by government forces in an encounter in Kulgam district of south Kashmir today.

Constable Mohammad Saleem Shah, who was on leave,  was abducted by militants from his residence in Mutalhama area of Kulgam in south Kashmir on Friday.

His body was recovered from a nursery near village Redwani Payeen yesterday. The body bore severe torture marks indicating that he was “brutally tortured to death”, a police spokesman said.

The spokesman said a joint patrol of government forces launched searches at Redwani area in Kulgam district in south Kashmir this morning after receiving inputs about the presence of the militants in the area.

He said as the government forces advanced, hiding militants fired resulting in a brief encounter in which three militants were killed. “No collateral damage occurred during the encounter,” the police spokesman said.

“Concerted efforts of the security forces resulted in the elimination of the prime accused involved in yesterday's abduction and killing of Constable Saleem Shah at Kulgam,” the police spokesman said.

He said on the basis of the incriminating materials seized, the killed militants were identified as Abu Muawiya, a foreigner of Pakistani origin, Suhail Ahmad Dar, a resident of Redwani Balaa and Mudassar alias Rehaan of Katarsoo.

In a tweet, Director General of Police (DGP) S P Vaid said the militants were responsible for the killing of a police constable Mohammad Saleem of Kulgam whose body was recovered yesterday from Kulgam.

“All of them were involved in the killing of Constable Saleem. As per police records, the terrorists were affiliated with the proscribed terror outfit LeT (Lashkar-e-Toiba) and HM (Hizbul Mujahideen),” police spokesman said.

He said Muawiya's involvement was established in a number of civilian killings. Suhail, who was working as a labourer earlier after he had dropped out from school, had later joined a militant outfit.

“Police probe is on for ascertaining complicity of the other co-conspirators who assisted in the commission of the gruesome crime leading to the death of police person Saleem,” he said.

Some arms and ammunition including two AK 47 rifles and a carbine have also been recovered from the site of encounter, the spokesman said, adding police have registered a case and investigation has been initiated into the matter.

Meanwhile, thousands of people later participated in the last rites of two local militants.

Reports said that thousands of people assembled in Redwani and Katrasoo villages of the district to take part in the last rites of Suhail Ahmad and Mudassar Bhat.

They also said that three militants turned up at the funeral of Suhail Ahmad at Redwani and fired several shots in the air.

The militants, they said, also raised pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans.

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