2 militants eliminated in Handwara encounter
25 March 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Two militants, whose identification was not established, were eliminated in a fierce encounter at Harpora Handwara today. According to SP Handwara, Mr Nitish Kumar, a joint party of 21RR and SOG Handwara, after receiving a tip off about the presence of militants laid a cordon around Harpora village in Handwara north Kashmir around 1300 hours on Saturday. The militants, hiding in the house of one Abdul Ahad Lone, were asked to lay down their arms. However, they refused the offer and opened heavy fire on the search party of the troops, the SP said adding, that the fire was returned triggering a fierce gunfight, which lasted for nearly five hours. As the village is densely populated and it was tough for the troopers to save collateral damage, sources said, adding that all the civilians were timely rescued and moved to safer places. The troopers then zeroed in on the house, where militants were holed and neatly carried on the operation eliminating both the militants, who are believed were foreigners. The militants had built a hideout 10× 2 feet inside the house, which was smashed during the exchange of fire. Two AK-47 rifles, four magazines and a mobile set were recovered from the encounter site. While as the identification of the slain militants was not established, however, it was believed that the eliminated militants could be affiliated with Lashkar-e- Toiba as the entire belt is the strong-hold of LeT. Meanwhile, police recovered a body of a watchman, Gyan Bhadur Thapa, son of Ganesh Bhadur Thapa of Nepal, from the guest house at Nehru Park on Saturday. Sources said that the staff members of the Peak Value hotel knocked at the door of the bedroom of the watchman without any response. Later the police was informed, who broke open the door, sources said adding that Thapa was found lying unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. Police have registered the case and are ascertaining the cause of his death. Meanwhile, five persons were injured, when police resorted to baton charges to disperse uncontrollable mob of job aspirants outside the employment exchange Pulwama in south Kashmir on Saturday. Sources said that large number of aspirants assembled outside the employment exchange Pulwama on Saturday morning to submit the applications for class four posts, announced by the Government recently. The crowd began getting large and large which disrupted the vehicular movement in the town. Later police reached on the spot and asked the aspirants to come in the afternoon to submit their applications, however, aspirants offered resistance. Reports further said that police resorted to baton charge for dispersing the protesters and in the mob retaliation five persons were injured.