Mir Zeeshan

4 JeM militants killed in encounter in Pulwama

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Photo/Javed Khan

Pulwama, Jun 07: Four Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, including two special police officers who had deserted the force recently, were Friday killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, police said.

After receiving a credible input, a cordon and search operation was launched by the joint columns of 44RR, CRPF and SOG of police at Panjran in Litter area of south Kashmir district, a police spokesperson said.

He said during the search operation the hiding militants fired at the search party of the forces.

The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter in which the two listed militants and two special police officers (SPOs), who had recently deserted the police force and became members of the proscribed outfit JeM, were killed, the spokesperson said.

He said the listed militants have been identified as Ashiq Hussain Ganaie, son Abdul Khalil Ganaie, resident of Panjran village and Imran Ahmad Bhat, son of Mohammad Yousuf, resident of Arihal Pulwama.

The two SPOs were identified as Mohammad Salman Khan, son of Bashir Ahmad Khan, resident of Uthmulla village of Shopian district, and Shabir Ahmad Dar, son of Mohammad Hashim Dar, resident of Tujan village of Pulwama district, the spokesperson said.

Police had Thursday initiated investigation after the two SPOs failed to report back at District Police Lines in Pulwama district.

There have been several instances in the past as well when security forces personnel, including SPOs, have deserted to join militant ranks.

"After medico-legal formalities, the bodies of the slain militants were handed over to their families for last rites" spokesperson said.

Giving details about the listed militants, the spokesperson said as per police records, Ganaie had a history of involvement in militancy and was part of a group involved in planning and executing a series of attacks in the area.

Similarly, Bhat was also involved in several attacks on security establishments in the area and several cases were registered against the duo, he said.

The spokesperson said incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of the encounter.

All these material were taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases, he added while urging the people to avoid going into the encounter site.

"People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials, if any, "added the police spokesperson.

Meanwhile, a police official said that according to police records slain Imran Yousuf Bhat alias Abu Qasim had joined JeM militant group in January 2019, and was a "C" category militant while Ashiq Husain Ganaie alias Talha had joined JeM ranks in May, 2019.

Reports also said multiple rounds of funeral prayers were offered to all the four slain militants.

According to an eye-witness, few militants also appeared in funeral prayers of slain Shabir and offered gun salute to their associate.

In the wake of gunfight Internet service was suspended in police district Pulwama while a complete shutdown was also observed in the town.

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