Shopian Encounter Toll 5

26 April 2014
Greater Kashmir
Shabir Ibn Yusuf

Srinagar: Three militants and two Army men including an officer were killed while two soldiers injured in Shopian encounter that ended Saturday afternoon. The 20-hour long encounter broke out in Karewa Manilo village of Shopian Friday afternoon after SOG and 44 Rashtriya Rifles cordoned off the area on specific information about the presence of militants there. While Major Mukand Vardarajan and two militants were killed in the gunfight Friday evening, as another militant and a soldier were killed Saturday afternoon. The operation suspended for the night because of darkness, resumed Saturday morning, police sources said. They said that while third militant was killed this afternoon, the soldier had most probably died last night, but the body couldn't be retrieved due to darkness. A police officer supervising the encounter said that the body of the soldier and militants were recovered after the encounter ended today. He identified the deceased soldier as Vikram Singh of 44 RR, while the slain militants were identified as Muhammad Asif Wani of Drubgam Pulwama and Shabir Ahmad Gorsi of Kellar, Pulwama. The third militant whose body was charred beyond recognition was identified by police as Abdul Haq Malik of Arwani, Bijbehara. 'Malik yesterday spoke to his family over phone and told them that he is inside. We believe that he has also got killed,' DIG South Kashmir Vijay Kumar told Greater Kashmir. 'While two bodies have been handed over to the families, we have collected samples from the third body for DNA sampling,' he said and added that the group of militants was from Hizbul Mujahideen. Police sources said that this particular militant group was active in South Kashmir since 2012. They said Shabir Ahmad Gorsi joined the group after managing his escape from Shopian court July last. Protests in Shopian Massive protests broke out in Karewa and its adjoining areas after the encounter. Reports said that soon after the encounter ended, youth in groups took to streets and staged pro-freedom demos. The protestors were intercepted by forces with tear smoke shells. Pitched battles continued for hours together. The bodies of two militants were taken in a procession to their respective areas. They were laid to rest at Drubgam and Kellar, Pulwama. Both Drubgam and Keller observed a complete shutdown against the killing of native militants.