Majid Kapra

3 militants, woman killed in Batamaloo encounter

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Locals protest killing of woman

Srinagar: Three local militants and a woman were killed, while two CRPF personnel, including an officer, sustained injuries in a predawn gunbattle on Thursday in the Batamaloo area of the city here, officials said.

Giving details of the encounter, police said security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Firdousabad locality in Batamaloo area at around 2.30 am following information about the presence of militants there.

They said the search operation turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire on security forces.

A woman, identified as Kaunsar Riyaz (45), wife of Riyaz Ahmad Sofi, was killed in the firing, while two CRPF personnel, including Deputy Commandant Rahul Mathur, were injured, the officials said.

The injured personnel were taken to hospital, they said.

Clashes also broke out after youth assembled near the encounter site at Firdousabad. Police lobbed tear-smoke shells to disperse of the agitating youth.

Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said all the three militants killed in the encounter were locals from south Kashmir.

The slain militants were identified as Zakir Hussain Paul, son of Nisar Ahmad Paul of Aloora Imam Sahib, Shopian; Adil Hussain Bhat, son of Abdul Rashid Bhat of Batapora Charsoo in Awantipora; and Ubair Mushtaq Bhat, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Badragund village in Kulgam district.

Pertinently, Adil Hussain Bhat, was pursuing his Bachelors in Unani Medicine (BUMS). He had secured 90 percent marks in 10+2 exams last year and had joined Al-Badr militant outfit only recently. Zakir Hussain Paul and Ubair Mushtaq Bhat had also joined Hizbul Mujahideen outfit on June 04 and June 14 this year respectively, sources said.

Addressing a press conference at the Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar, the DGP said that in the early hours of the day, security forces, while acting on a lead, zeroed in on a house where the militants were hiding.

“They were given a chance to surrender, but they refused and fired. One CRPF officer and another CRPF man sustained injuries in the initial exchange of firing. The officer is critical and we are praying for his recovery,” Singh said.

He added that the forces conducted the operation “in a professional manner” and killed all the three militants.

“However, a woman was caught in crossfire. Her death is very unfortunate, and we express sympathy with the bereaved family,” the DGP said.

The officer was accompanied by IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar and IG, CRPF, Srinagar sector, Charu Sinha.

“Arms and ammunition were recovered,” he said.

Singh said militants from other districts of south and north Kashmir keep coming to Srinagar to carry out attacks on security forces.

“On August 14, they targeted our party and killed two policemen at Nowgam. Before that, they had killed two BSF men at Pandach on the city’s outskirts. And then, they made another attempt at Pantha Chowk, where we lost a brave SOG man,” the DGP said.

He said the police and CRPF teams are on alert, and whenever they get a lead about the presence of militants in the city, efforts are made to ensure zero collateral damage.

“Today’s operation was the seventh one in Srinagar in the recent past,” Singh added.

The Union Territory’s police chief said 177 militants have been killed in 72 operations so far this year.

“In terms of peace, 2020 has been better on every parameter than 2019. So far this year, we have done 72 operations, in which 177 militants were killed, including 12 in Jammu,” the DGP said.

He said 22 militants from Pakistan were among these 177, adding this “shows Pakistan’s direct involvement in terror activities”.

“Most of the terrorists working in outfits like Lashkar and Jaish are from Pakistan. I hope the way the forces are conducting the operations, we will achieve more successes on the peace-building and operations front,” Singh said.

He said the endeavour of the security forces was to avoid collateral damage in every operation.

“We also give opportunity to the militants to surrender, even when there is exchange of firing. Also, we try to bring back those youth who have taken up the wrong path and we have achieved success on that front also, especially in south Kashmir. I think around 20 youth have been brought back and they have joined their families,” the DGP said.

He appealed to the young people not to take the wrong path, saying it puts the society in danger.

“Where the gun or bullet or grenade reaches, there is loss of life, and we can avoid it only if we shun the path of terror and make way for peace. I think Pakistan does not lose an opportunity to instigate our youth and is trying to renew (militant) outfits like Al-Badr and create new ones like PAFF (People’s anti-Fascist Front) and TRF (The Resistance Front). Pakistani agencies in Karachi are planning and executing these things and we condemn it. The youth here have a right to build their own lives and careers, but Pakistan’s interference is there,” Singh said.

Asked about the alleged assaults on media persons near the encounter sites, the DGP said it was unfortunate. Such things should not take place, he added.

“We do not support such acts and feel bad. But at times, during operations, our men have high temper which results in such incidents. There is overreaction sometimes, which I regret. However, there is no deliberate attempt. I reiterate that media and policemen are each other’s good friends,” he said.

Killing of Rajouri youth: DGP says DNA samples will be out soon

DM orders magisterial probe into alleged custodial killing of Sopore youth 

Srinagar: Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh on Thursday said the test results of the DNA samples collected from the family members of three men from Rajouri, who were killed in alleged  fake encounter in Shopian, will be out in a few days.

“The Army’s initial inquiry process is about to complete and they will act on the findings of the inquiry. I believe it is a matter of a few days before the results of the DNA samples are out,” Singh said at a press conference here.

He was responding to a reporter’s question about the delay in the findings of the DNA tests.

The DNA samples were collected from the members of three families in Rajouri district of Jammu on August 14.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha recently said he would ensure that there is no injustice to the families.

On July 18, the Army claimed that three militants were killed in the higher reaches of Shopian in south Kashmir. However, no further details were shared.

The controversy erupted after three families filed a complaint at a police station in Rajouri, stating that a member each was missing since July 17 from the Amshipora area of Shopian, where they were working as labourers in apple and walnut orchards.

The relatives of the three men, belonging to Dhar Sakri village in the Kotranka area of Rajouri, lodged the missing report with the local police after they failed to contact the trio and the news of an encounter came from Ashimpora on July 18.

On the death of an alleged over-ground worker (OGW) in the Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir Vijay Kumar said after allegations by the family members of the deceased, a magisterial inquiry will be conducted.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Dr. G N Itoo on Thursday ordered magisterial probe which will be conducted by Additional District Magistrate, Baramulla.

He issued order bearing number DMB/PS/MI/SPR/2020/5028-34 which reads “Young boy Irfan Ahmad Dar of Sidiq Colony Sopore was found dead near stone quarry at Tujjar Sharief on September 16 under the jurisdiction of Police Station Bomai under mysterious circumstances. There was a huge outcry and it is reported in the media that the deceased was picked up by Sopore police on September 15 and was in their custody,” the order.

“Whereas, allegations are levelled against Sopore police for custodial killing of the subject. The incident was also reported by SSP Sopore,” the order of Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, read. “Whereas to find the truth, it has become expedient to institute a magisterial inquiry into the incident,” the order stated.

“Whereas, the incident was also reported by SSP Sopore vide his No : CRB/Enquiry/176/ 2020/28631-32 dated 16-09-2020. Whereas, to find out the truth, it has become expedient to institute Magisterial Enquiry into the incident,” the order further states.

Now, therefore, in exercise of powers conferred upon me as District Magistrate under Section 176 of CrPC, Mohmmad Ahsaan Mir, KAS, Additional District Magistrate, Baramulla is ordered to conduct a Magisterial Enquiry in the above mentioned case so as to ascertain the causes and circumstances leading to the death of Irfan Ahmad Dar S/o Mohammad Akbar Dar R/o Sidiq Colony, Sopore. The enquiry officer shall submit his report within a period of 20 day.

The DGP said let the inquiry happen so that the factual position comes out.

“We should not conduct an inquiry before an actual inquiry. Let the magisterial inquiry begin, the factual position will come out,” Singh said.

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