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Militant killed in encounter, another surrenders in Shopian

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Srinagar: A militant was killed while another surrendered during an encounter with security forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir on Friday, police said.

Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in the Hanjipora area of Shopian district following information about presence of militants there, a police official said.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants opened fire on the security forces personnel, drawing retaliation.

In the ensuing gunfight, a militant was killed, the official said.

Talking to media in Srinagar, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said that late evening yesterday, police received information about the presence of four militants in a house in village Hanjipora.

“When the forces zeroed in on the house, the hiding militants opened fire. One militant was killed today and another one surrendered. Searches are still going on in the village as we had inputs about the presence of four militants,” the IGP said, adding that there is a possibility of the presence of two more militants in the village.

The IGP said that the slain militant was identified as Murtaza Ahmed Dar, while the one who surrendered was identified as Sahil Ahmed.

The Kashmir police chief said that today’s gunfight is the second in Shopian district in the past three days. “This is after a long time that one militant surrendered in a live encounter. I once again appeal to local youth to shun violence and return to their homes as we will welcome them with open arms,” the IGP said.

He also said the policemen on vacations become soft targets for militants and steps are being taken to avoid such incidents. He was referring to the killing of CID inspector at Kanipora, Nowgam recently.

About the youth killed at Habba Kadal, the IGP said the slain was a civilian and not the informer of any security agency or police.

Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a statement said that on a specific input generated by Shopian police regarding presence of militants in Hanjipora area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by police, 34RR and CRPF in the area.

“During the search operation as the presence of militants got ascertained they were given repeated opportunities to surrender. However, they denied the surrender appeal and fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the statement said, adding that “in the ensuing encounter, one militant was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of encounter.

“The family members of the other trapped militant were called to the encounter site to again persuade the other one to surrender. It was due to the great efforts and utmost patience of police, security forces and repeated surrender appeals with the help of his family members, the trapped militant identified as Sahil Ramzan Dar, son of Mohammad Ramzan Dar, resident of Beminipora linked with LeT, ultimately surrendered and laid down his arms before the security forces. As per police records, Sahil Ahmad was active since March 2021,” the statement said.

The statement further said that the slain militant has been identified as Murtaza, resident of Samboora, Awantipora linked with LeT.

“As per police records Murtaza was also involved in several cases including attacks on security forces and civilian atrocities,” the statement read, adding that “incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including one AK-56 rifle, one pistol, three AK-magazines, two grenades were recovered from the encounter site. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation.”

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