5 Militants Killed In Valley, Jawan Hurt
6 July 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Security forces gunned down five militants while a soldier was seriously injured in separate incidents in the Kashmir valley since last evening. Reports said security forces laid an ambush at Warsun Dardpora village of frontier Kupwara district this afternoon and challenged a group of militants, passing through the area. The militants opened fire on the security personnel, which was effectively retaliated, resulting in a fierce gun-battle. The sources said a militant was killed in the gunfight while searches were being conducted to nab the other ultras. In an another encounter at Sogam in Lolab area of the same district early this morning, security forces shot dead a militant and seized an AK- 47 rifle and other ammunition from him. In yet another incident at a village in frontier district of Kupwara this afternoon troops challenged a group of militants, passing through the area. The militants opened fire on the security personnel, which was retaliated and in the ensuing encounter, a militant was killed. Two wanted Hizbul mujahideen militants were killed by security forces in a joint operation in Kulgam district of south Kashmir. Superintendent of Police , Kulgam, SP Pani said personnel of 1 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), the 5th battalion of the CRPF and the J&K Police conducted a joint search operation at Hassanpora village in Kulgam district this afternoon based on a specific information. During the operation, militants opened heavy fire on the security personnel from the house of one Mohammad Ramzan Mir, which was effectively retaliated, resulting in a fierce gun-battle, he added. The SP said the house got badly damaged in the gunfight and later during the search of the debris the bodies of two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were recovered from there. The slain Hizb militants were identified as Tariq Ahmed Ganai alias Shahid Kafeel and Mohammad Abbas Wagay alias Basit. Mr Pani said the mother and relatives of Ganai were called and asked to motivate him for surrender, but the militant refused and fired indiscriminately on the security personnel. Ganai was involved in several cases registered at Yaripora and Kulgam police stations and also in the killing of SPO Bilal Ahmad, he said, adding the ultra had returned from Pakistan in April 2007. The SP said Ganai was missing since 1998 and a report in this connection still stands registered. The killing of these militants was being considered a severe jolt to the pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit, Mr Pani said. He said Wagay was involved in the killings of Irshad Ahmed Lone and SPO Bilal Ahmad, throwing of a grenade at Quimoh and in firing on CPI(M) worker Nazir Ahmed Bhat at Kujar. The two militants were directed to enhance subversive activities in the area by Sajad Ahmad Bhat alias Tahir alias Maqsood of the Hizb, Mr Pani claimed. Meanwhile, police today burst teargas shells and used batons to chase protestors who indulged in stone pelting and blocked the Srinagar-Leh highway disrupting the Amarnath yatra from passing through Kangan town of Ganderbal where an Army jawan was caught with a girl. Hundreds of people took to streets in Kangan town, 43 kms from here this morning and started shouting anti-Army slogans to protest the yesterday's incident, official sources said. Demanding withdrawal of troops from the area, the protestors blocked the highway and indulged in stone- pelting when police swung into action and used batons to chase them away, they said. Police said as the people re-grouped and continued with the protests, policemen fired teargas shells to restore order. The protest briefly stopped when the people left for the Friday prayers, they said adding senior civil and police officers are at the scene to monitor the situation. As a result of the blockade of the highway, only 1,469 pilgrims managed to reach Baltal base camp in the foothills of Himalayas and proceed ahead this morning to Amarnath. The sources said hundreds of pilgrims are stranded at various places on the either side of Kangan due to the road blockade. The pilgrims would be allowed to proceed towards their destination once the situation in the key highway town returns to normal, the sources said. However, they said pilgrimage was going on smoothly through traditional Pahalgam route where over 3,000 devotees left Nunwan base camp this morning to offer prayers at the cave. The traffic, however, resumed on Srinagar-Leh National Highway late this afternoon after authorities persuaded the protestors to remove the road blockades. Accordingly, hundreds of stranded vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims started passing through the Kangan town, the sources said. While those stranded at Baltal after paying obeisance at the cave shrine moved towards Srinagar, the ones heading for Baltal enroute the cave were allowed to move ahead, the sources said. An Army jawan had committed suicide after killing a civilian and injuring another when he was caught with a girl in an abandoned building in Kangan yesterday. Regretting the incident, the Army had ordered a probe.