Two Rajouri Militants Among 3 Killed In Shopian14 October 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Three Hizbul Mujahideen militants including a self styled battalion commander of the outfit were today killed in an encounter with a joint team of police and Army in Shopian district even as the valley witnessed a day of normalcy after hard line Hurriyat Conference exempted the day from protests and strikes. A joint team of 53 Rashtriya Rifles, 44 RR and Special Operations Group (SOG) of local police cordoned off Lone Mohalla of Chewan village in Keller area of Shopian district late last night following credible information about the presence of three militants in the area, official sources said. Search operations were launched in the wee hours today and as the joint team zeroed in on the target house. The militants hiding in the residential house of Manzoor Ahmad Lone opened indiscriminate firing on them. The security forces team returned the fire, triggering off a fierce a exchange of firing between the two sides which lasted several hours. All three militants were killed while the house of Manzoor Ahmad Lone was completely damaged in the encounter and another house suffered partial damages, sources said. The slain militants have been identified as self styled battalion commander Jehangir Ahmad alias Jana Khan, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Hajam of Keller, Shabir Ahmad alias Abu Sikander and Arif Ahmad alias Abu Umer, both residents of Rajouri. 'Three Hizb militants, including its battalion commander of the Pir Panjal regiment were killed in the overnight encounter by police and Army in Chewan village. Some arms and ammunitions have also been recovered,' SP Shopian, Shahid Meraj said. An Army officer, identified as Major Prabhat, sustained minor injuries during the operation. One AK rifle, one INSAS rifle, one Chinese pistol, one UBGL and one hand grenade were recovered from the scene of the encounter. In Sopore town of Baramulla district, unidentified militants hurled a grenade at a CRPF camp located inside Shahkar cinema complex. The grenade exploded in the compound but no damage was done. Meanwhile, normalcy returned to Kashmir for a day as shops and business establishments reopened and transport hit the roads across the Valley after Geelani exempted the day from the purview of his strike calendar. The markets in Srinagar and other major towns were abuzz with activity as shopkeepers opened their outlets at least couple of hours ahead of usual timings. Government and semi-Government offices, banks, courts, educational institutions and private offices opened as per their normal schedule, officials said. However, huge traffic jams in the city led to chaotic scenes with traffic police men struggling to ensure smooth movement of vehicles. Massive traffic jams were witnessed during rush hours in almost the entire city including Batamaloo, Qammerwari, Bypass, Lal Chowk, Pantha Chowk and Parimpora, which are transit areas between North and South Kashmir areas. A police spokesman said the situation across the Kashmir valley was peaceful today. 'The situation throughout the day remained normal and there was no untoward incident reported from anywhere in the Valley,' he said. He added that curfew restrictions were also lifted from parts of Sopore town last night. However, restrictions under prohibitory orders remained in force at Delina and Palhallan areas of the Baramulla district as a precautionary measure, the spokesman said. Kashmir valley has been in the grip of violent protests since June 11 when a 17-year-old boy was killed after he was hit by a tear smoke shell during clashes at Rajouri Kadal in the interior city. So far, 105 persons have been killed in the unrest in the Valley, spearheaded by Geelani.