3 militants killed in overnight Shopian encounter
Shopian: Three militants were killed in a 12-hour encounter in Shopian district of south Kashmir on Wednesday, police said.
The operation, which began last evening at 4 PM at Sugan area of Shopian district, was halted at around 8.30 PM by the Army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles, 178 Bn CRPF and police.
Prominent locals from the area were roped in to persuade the militants to surrender. “After cordoning off the area, some religious leaders and prominent citizens were roped in to make an announcement on loudspeakers asking the holed up militants to surrender. However, these appeals went unheeded, and the militants started firing on the security forces which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the officials said
Police said owing to darkness, the operation was suspended and the whole area was put under strict cordon.
Militants trapped inside made certain attempts to break the cordon and escape from the spot, but couldn’t do so, police said.
The operation resumed at the first light of the day and three militants were killed, whose bodies were retrieved from the encounter site, police spokesman said in a statement.
Police identified the killed militants as Sajad Ahmad Malla, resident of Maldera Shopian, who was affiliated with proscribed militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen; Junaid Rashid Wani, resident of Tumalhaal Pulwama and Waseem Ahmad Magray, resident of Chakoora – who were affiliated with proscribed Al-Badar outfit.
As per police records, the killed militants were part of groups involved in planning and executing several militant attacks including civilian atrocities and attacks on security establishments, police statement said.
Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other case, police said.
“Keeping in view the prevailing pandemic due to COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of people from inherent risk of contracting the infection,” the dead bodies of the killed militants shall be sent to Handwara for burial after completion of all medico-legal formalities. The nearest family members of the killed militants shall be allowed to participate in the last rites, police spokesman said.
He said in this connection a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated.
He also requested the people to “cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any.”