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Three militants killed in Tral encounter

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IGP says mobile data of 3 youth killed in Lawaypora encounter point to their militant links

Srinagar: Three local militants of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Friday, police said.

A senior police official said that a joint team of police, Army’s 42 RR and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation on specific information about the presence of militants in Mandoora area of Tral Friday afternoon.

He said that as the joint team of forces approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them, which was retaliated, triggering an encounter, in which three militants were killed.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said that three militants were locals, and among them one was active since August 2020 and two others had joined militancy this year.

All three militants were given ample time to surrender but they refused and instead lobbed grenades and fired indiscriminately.

“After it was established that they are locals, they were repeatedly asked to surrender, but they refused. In the ensuing gunfight, all three were killed. They belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit,” the IGP said.

He identified the slain militants as Waris Hassan of Naibugh, Tral, who was active since August 2020, and two others as Arif Ahmed Sheikh of Monhama, Tral, and Ehtishaam Misger from Check, Noorpora, who had joined militancy in January this year.

He said one AK-47 riffle, two pistols and four grenades were recovered from the slain militants.

The IGP said that this year police policy is clear that ample time will be given to the local militants to surrender, especially the new recruits, who get trapped in the encounters.

Responding to the questions about Lawaypora encounter and the repeated demand of family members of three slain youth that the bodies be returned, the Kashmir Police chief said: “Whatever the parents of slain trio have claimed so far is totally baseless and wrong. Fact is that all three were in touch with the militants and were travelling together on the day of encounter.

“One among the slain (son of a policeman) was called by SoG Pulwama in 2019 and later set free after thorough counselling. Our investigation has revealed that two among the slain (from Pulwama) were talking to people across LoC. This is what the IP address retrieved from their damaged phones have suggested. The third was in touch with the top commanders across the LoC. The content like the chats etc., is difficult to retrieve as their phones had got damaged. We will file a detailed report in the court with proof,” the IGP said.

He said that parents too must keep a close watch on their wards and ensure they don’t tread a wrong path.

About the recent IED explosion along the highway in Kulgam district in which one soldier was killed and three others injured, the IGP said that an advisory has been issued to all security forces not to use the abandoned buildings for shelter or any other purpose before sanitizing them.

“The IED attack at Kulgam was carried out by Jaish-e-Muhammad militant Altaf Ahmed along with a foreign militant. Altaf is active since May 2020. Both of them will either be killed or arrested soon,” he said.

“Police mulling web portal to counter radicalization of youth”

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Police will soon come up with its own web portal to counter the radicalization of youth in Kashmir, Kashmir’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said Friday.

Addressing a press conference here, the IGP said that police was well aware of the efforts being made from across the LoC through various online portals and website “to instigate Kashmir’s young and to lure them into militancy.”

“To counter the same, we (police) will soon come up with an online portal where we will hold interactive sessions with parents and the misguided youth. Online counselling sessions will also held on the portal and it will be a useful tool to de-radicalize the youth,” the IGP said.

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