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Two militants surrender during encounter in Pulwama

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Police issues fresh appeal, asks local militants to shun gun

Srinagar: Two militants, who were trapped during an encounter with security forces, laid down their arms before the authorities in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday, officials said.

Police along with the troops of 50RR and 183Bn CRPF had launched a cordon-and-search operation at Lelhaar in the Kakapora area of the district on Friday night following information about the presence of militants there, the officials said.

They said the search operation turned into an encounter after the hiding militants opened firing.

Police however said that the forces showed restraint and provided the holed-up militants an opportunity to surrender. Family members of the trapped militants were also called to the encounter site to motivate and persuade them to surrender.

After repeated surrender appeals with the help of their family members, both the militants ultimately surrendered and laid down their arms, police said in a statement.

Police identified the militants as Akeel Ahmad Lone, son of Mohammad Abdullah, resident of Lelhar, and Rouf Ahmad, son of Ghulam Qadir Sheikh, resident of Wasoora Pulwama.

It said both the militants were affiliated with proscribed outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.

During initial exchange of fire, one of the militants Akeel Ahmad Lone got injured who was evacuated to hospital for treatment, police said.

Meanwhile, Kashmir’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar has congratulated the joint team of police and security forces “for showing patience and exhibiting professionalism, which resulted in saving the life of two misguided youth”, the police statement said.

It said the IGP Kashmir has once again appealed to all “misguided youth” who have joined militant ranks to shun the path of violence and “return to mainstream as the society needs them and most importantly their parents. We will welcome and accept them with open arms.”

Taking to social media site Twitter, Kashmir Zone Police in its tweet said, “IGP Kashmir once again makes a fervent #appeal to all #misguided youth who have joined #terrorism, to #return their homes. We will accept you with open arms. Society needs you and most #importantly your #parents. So, return and start your new life. @JmuKmrPolice”.

Police also said incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including one AK-47 and one AK-56 rifles laid down by the militants were seized, and a case has been registered under relevant sections of law and investigation initiated.

Police also appealed the people to cooperate till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any.

Militant associate held: Police

Police in Awantipora have arrested a militant associate of proscribed outfit LeT and recovered incriminating materials from his possession, a police spokesman said Saturday.

He said that police in Awantipora along with troops of 50RR and 110Bn CRPF arrested militant associate Junaid Altaf, a resident of Konibal Pampore.

As per police records, he was involved in providing shelter, logistic and other support to the active militants in Pampore and Khrew areas of Awantipora. He has also been found in touch with the militant commanders through various social media platforms, police spokesman said.

“Incriminating material of LeT has been recovered from his possession. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation,” spokesman said, adding a case (FIR No. 75/2020) under relevant section of law stands already registered in Police Station Pampore against him. Further investigation is in progress.

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