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2 LeT militants killed in encounter in Pampore village, another surrenders

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Srinagar: Two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed while another surrendered before security forces during an overnight encounter in Pulwama district of south Kashmir taking the death toll to three as a a civilian, as per police, had died in crossfire Thursday evening.

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Lalpora Chatlam area of Pampore in the south Kashmir district Thursday evening following information about the presence of militants there, a police spokesman said.

“During the search operation, the militants fired indiscriminately, resulting in injuries to two civilians, and managed to escape from the hiding spot,” he said.

“In the first instance, both the injured civilians were immediately rescued and shifted to a hospital. However, one of the injured, identified as Abid Ahmad Mir, a resident of Meej Pampore, succumbed to injuries, while as the condition of other is stated to be stable on Thursday evening,” the spokesman said.

He said the security forces continued with the search operation and again tracked the militants.

“They were given the opportunity to surrender,” the spokesman said, adding, however, they again fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party of the forces, which was retaliated leading to an encounter.

Due to darkness, the operation was suspended and the whole area was put under strict cordon, he said.

The spokesman said the operation was resumed in the early hours of Friday, and in the ensuing encounter, one of the trapped militants was killed.

“The opportunity to surrender was yet again offered to the other trapped militants, as a result of which one of the trapped militants of LeT outfit laid down his arms and surrendered in injured condition before the forces during the live encounter and was subsequently shifted to a hospital,” spokesman said.

The surrendered militant has been identified as Khawar Sultan Mir, a resident of Drangbal area of Pampore, he added.

The spokesman said the operation went on as another militant continued firing on the forces and was killed in the afternoon.

“The bodies of both the killed militants were retrieved from the site of the encounter and as per reliable sources, they were Pakistani nationals,” he said, adding all the three were affiliated with proscribed outfit LeT.

Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, recovered from the site of the encounter have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe the militants’ complicity in other cases, he said.

Militancy is ‘deception’, says surrendered militant

Srinagar (PTI): A local militant who surrendered during an encounter in Pulwama district on Friday expressed gratitude to police and security forces for giving him another chance to live life and appealed to all militants to shun the path of militancy, saying it is a “deception”.

Khawar Sultan Mir, a resident of the Drangbal area of Pampore in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, laid down his arms before the security forces during the encounter at Lalpora in Pampore, in which two militants were killed. A civilian also lost his life while another was injured during the exchange of fire.

Mir, who had joined the militancy on September 01 this year, surrendered after numerous appeals by the security forces.

In a video of the surrender, put on Twitter by police, Mir is seen coming out of a building holding his arms in the air.

In another video, he expresses gratitude to police and security forces for offering him to surrender during the gunbattle.

“I am thankful to J&K Police and forces, Army, who gave me another chance to live my life. They told me to come out, took me out alive and treated me well. They did not torture me and treated me like their brother. Whatever (arms) I had, I left it there only (at the encounter site),” Mir says in an over-a-minute video clip uploaded by the Kashmir Police on its Twitter handle.

He appealed to militants to give up arms, saying the path of militancy was a “deceit” and a “deception”.

“I appeal all my brothers that this (militancy) is a deceit, this bloodshed is a lie, a deception…there is nothing in it,” he said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar described the surrender of the local militant as a success for the security forces.

“#Surrender over #Death! #Success of Police & SFs is that they are getting #misguided youth back. This year has been #successful as they are returning, know well that they are being honorably welcomed (sic),” the IGP Kashmir said in a tweet on the Kashmir Zone Police’s Twitter handle.

In the last few months, several local militants have surrendered before the security forces during live encounters.

Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh recently said militants preferring to surrender during encounters with security forces was a welcome development

“The surrender by militants in the last few encounters is a welcome development. The youth are accepting the offers of police and security forces to surrender even during live action when bullets are being fired, so it is a welcome development,” Singh said on October 31.

The DGP said all those who have picked up arms should shun the path of violence and return to the mainstream, assuring them of support.

“We want the youth, who have been lured into taking a wrong path, to return. There is still time, they can return and we will help them in every way,” he had said.

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