August 2017 News

Major, Jawan, 3 Militants Killed

3 August 2017
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Two soldiers including an Army officer and three militants were killed in separate encounters in South Kashmir early today. A joint team of Army's 62 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) launched a cordon and search operation at village Matribugh, Zoipora in district Shopian at around 2:30 am following a tip off about the presence of militants in the village. The militants hiding in the village opened fire on the troops triggering an encounter. In the initial gunfight, an Army Major Kamlesh Pandey along with two soldiers Sepoy Tanjin Chhutin and Kripal Singh sustained bullet injuries. The injured soldiers were evacuated and airlifted to Army's 92 Base Hospital at Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar for treatment. Army Major Kamlesh and Sepoy Tanjin succumbed to injuries in the hospital. The condition of another soldier Kripal is said to be critical. The militants believed to be three in number managed to escape while taking advantage of darkness. More troops were rushed to the area and massive searches were launched in the area but the militants had managed to escape. Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attack. A Defence spokesman said here that mortal remains of the soldiers will be taken to their native places for last rites with full military honours. 'The Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families and remains committed to their dignity and well being,' he added. Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in a brief gunfight with security forces in South Kashmir's Kulgam district last night. Army's 9 RR and SOG had laid an ambush at Gopalpora village in DH Pora following a tip off about the movement of some militants in the area. As the militants entered the ambushed area, they were challenged after which a fierce gun battle took place between the forces and the militants in which two militants were killed. Bodies of the two militants were recovered along with two AK 47 rifles. They have been identified as Aaqib Ahmad Itoo son of Abdul Hamid Itoo resident of Gopalpora and Suhail Ahmad Rather son of Mohammad Arif Rather resident of Tantraypora Yaripora. A Police spokesman said that both the militants were involved in unlawful and anti national activities. 'Aaqib was involved in the attack on cash van of J&K Bank at Pombai in which five policemen were martyred and two civilians lost their lives. He was also involved in attack on a policeman at Yaripora in which he achieved martyrdom,' he said. The spokesman said that Aaqib was involved in many cases including bank robbery at J&K Bank branch Kader and weapon snatching from Adijan minority guard. 'Suhail was involved in instigating people and firing indiscriminately upon security personnel from mob. A number of FIR's were already lodged against these militants in different Police Stations,' he added. The authorities blocked internet services in South Kashmir to prevent clashes. A militant was killed in an ongoing operation by security forces tonight after they cordoned off Kanelwan village in Bijbehara in district Anantnag after militants attacked a patrol party. Army and SOG launched searches in the area after militants fired upon the patrol party in Bijbehara area of Anantnag as they were challenged on the highway and asked to stop by security forces. They fled and took shelter in nearby Kanelwan village and security forces launched searches during which militants fired on them leading to a gun battle in which one militant was killed. The operation is going on. In the meantime, the Commanding Officer of 55 RR of Army Col Nautriyal, whose troops killed LeT chief Abu Dujana, told reporters in Pulwama that morale of the security is high with the killing of LeT commander. 'Also, the morale of militant outfits is down right now. The audio clip (of Abu Dujana) displayed that the coordination between armed forces and people is excellent. They have trust on each other. In this audio, you can hear that the house owner is requesting our Company Commander that Abu Dujana and his associate is not letting his family members to go out of the target house. In this regard, he requests the Commander to do something so that he and his family come out of the house. After that, the Company Commander told the house owner to let Abu Dujana speak to him', the commander said. 'The Commander first asked Dujana why aren't you surrendering? If you surrender, you will land in safe custody of the Army which Abu Dujana rejected. Second question our Company Commander asked Dujana was that you know the misguided or misled youth who are here are like puppets of our adversaries and anti nationals and you should understand this and that is why you should surrender. After this, the tone in which Abu Dujana answered was an admission to this that they are puppets', Col Nautriyal said. The Army officer said that according to reports, Dujana had married a girl namely Ruqaya and he was regularly coming to this place (Hakripora). The Commanding Officer said that the stone pelting incidents over the months have come down. 'The stone-pelting is happening due to instigation and as you can see from last few months, the issue of stone-pelting had gone considerably down. Recently during Dujana's encounter, there was no issue of stone-pelting that went out of control', he said.