Majid Kapra

Three TRF militants killed in Rambagh shootout: Police

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As Police details activities of killed militants, some locals smell rat

Srinagar: Police on Wednesday claimed to have killed three militants in a brief shootout at Rambagh area of the city. Officials told ‘Kashmir Images’ that a top commander of militant outfit, The Resistance Front (TRF) was also among three militants killed in the shootout.

Panic gripped the Rambagh area after several gunshots were heard this evening forcing shopkeepers to pull down their shutters as the brief shootout caused heavy traffic jams on the Srinagar-Airport road here at Rambagh Srinagar.

Official sources told ‘Kashmir Images’ that police on a tipoff about the presence of militants cordoned off the Rambagh area. Militants, sources said, were repeatedly asked to surrender who however fired indiscriminately upon the search party which was then retaliated by the forces killing the three militants on the spot.

One of the slain militants was identified as TRF commander Mehran Ashraf from Jamalata Nawakadal area of Srinagar while his associates were identified as Manzoor Ahmad Mir and Arafat Sheikh, both residents of Pulwama, officials said.

According to the officials, the militants were affiliated with TRF, an offshoot of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Police said that  Mehran was wanted by the security forces in connection with several civilian killings, including the shooting of two teachers inside a school in the Eidgah area of Srinagar last month, they said.

When contacted, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar said three militants were killed in a shootout with police at Rambagh area.

“All three militants were killed in a shootout with police this evening in the Rambagh area of the city, the operation ended immediately after the killing of three militants,” IGP told ‘Kashmir Images’.

A police spokesman, in a statement said, “The killing of these terrorists is a major success for J&K police as they were planning to carry out more terror attacks in central Kashmir particularly in Srinagar city”.

“Acting on specific information regarding the movement of terrorists Srinagar Police immediately swung into action and established a special Naka to track them down. The terrorists were traveling in a car which was signalled to stop by the Naka party. The terrorists did not stop and instead opened fire on the Naka party which was retaliated, triggering an encounter. In the ensuing encounter three terrorists of TRF outfit were killed. The killed terrorists were later on identified as Mehraan Yaseen Shalla son of Mohd Yaseen Shalla resident of Jamalata, Arafat Ahmad Sheikh son of Mohammed Maqbool Sheikh resident of Nikloora Litter Pulwama and Manzoor Ahmad Mir son of Late Sonaullah Mir resident of Babhar Pulwama. Arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site, spokesman said.

He said that as per police records, Mehran Yaseen was involved in several terror crime cases including grenade attack at Barbar Shah Srinagar on 26/06/2021 in which one civilian namely Mudasir Ahmad Bhat resident of Hanjigund Beerwah got killed and three other civilians got critically injured. He was involved in killing of Meeran Ali Sheikh at Bulbul Lanker Nawa Kadal on 27/07/2021, and of PSI Arshad Ahmad at Khanyar on 12/09/2021.He was also involved in killing of School Principal Supinder Kour and teacher Deepak Chand of Government Higher Secondary School, Khankah Noorbagh Sangam on 07/10/2021. Prior to joining terror ranks, several cases regarding his involvement in stone pelting incidents are also registered, said the police spokesman.

Arafat Ahmad was also involved in several terror crime cases including killing of a non-local labour at Litter area of Pulwama on 16/10/2021, the spokesman said.

The spokesman said that Manzoor Ahmad was involved in transportation of foreign terrorists from South Kashmir to Central / North and Vice-Versa through his strong OGW network in order to strengthened LeT/TRF outfit in Kashmir valley and was also involved in collecting of funds on the name of LeT/TRF outfit and was instrumental for strengthening the LeT/TRF outfit.

Operation, sources said, ended with the killing of three militants who are believed to be affiliated with The Resistance Front (TRF) militant outfit. As soon as the operation ended, locals, mainly women, came out on the road and staged a protest accusing the police of killing innocent civilians in a ‘fake encounter’.

Shouting slogans “down with JK police, curse on the killers, stop killing innocent civilians” dozens of women came out on road and staged a protest against what they termed ‘fake encounter’.

“They killed three civilians in cold blood, they had not carried any weapon in their hands, this was a fake encounter, how could police be so cruel, how could they kill innocents and tag them as militants,” the protesting women who had assembled near the shootout site told the media.

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