2 militants, army soldier killed in Shopian encounter: IGP
Srinagar: A Hizbul Mujahideen militant, who had gone to Pakistan for arms training and returned last week only, was among the two militants killed in an encounter with security forces in Shopian on Saturday, police said on Sunday. An army soldier was also killed while two others were injured in the encounter.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the encounter in Wangam area of Shopian, which began on Saturday evening, was over with the killing of two militants belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
“Two deadly terrorists have been killed in the operation. One of them Inatullah Sheikh, a resident of Shopian, was active since 2018 and had gone to Pakistan that year for arms training. He returned last week only. He was with HM,” the IGP said here.
Kumar said the other militant Adil Malik, resident of Anantnag, belonged to LeT.
“One AK-47 rifle, one M4 rifle and a pistol has been recovered from the encounter site,” he said, adding, so far this year, security forces have recovered two M4 rifles from the militants.
The IGP said it was more likely that Sheikh had brought the M4 rifle with him from Pakistan.
A police spokesperson said Malik, according to police records, was active since September 2020.
He said Sheikh and Malik were involved in several cases, including attacks on security forces and civilian atrocities.
“After the presence of the militants was ascertained during the search operation, they were given an opportunity to surrender,” the spokesperson said.
“However, they opened indiscriminate fire on the search party that retaliated, leading to the encounter,” he said.
The spokesperson said three Army soldiers sustained bullet injuries during the initial exchange of fire and were evacuated to the hospital. One of the soldiers — Havildar Pinku Kumar– succumbed to his injuries.
The IGP Kashmir and all ranks of Kashmir Zone Police paid rich tributes to Kumar, he said.
Meanwhile, the Army on Sunday paid floral tributes to Havildar Kumar.
In a solemn ceremony at Badamibagh Cantonment, Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen D P Pandey and all ranks paid homage to the soldier on behalf of the nation, an Army spokesman said.
Kumar (38) had joined the Army in 2001 and belonged to Luhari village of Barout tehsil, Bagpat district in Uttar Pradesh. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son, spokesman said.
“The mortal remains of Havildar Pinku Kumar were taken for last rites to his native place, where he would be laid to rest with full military honours. In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved family and remains committed to their dignity and wellbeing,” the defence spokesman said.