October 2017 News

2 Militants Killed In Pulwama Gunfight, Civilian Dies Protesting

14 October 2017
Kashmir Observer
Javed A Shah

Pulwama: One civilian protester was killed after government forces opened fire on people protesting against the death of two local militants in an encounter with army in Littar area of South Kashmir's Pulwama district on Saturday. Two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, including a senior commander, were killed in a gunfight with government forces in Litter village, police said. The slain militants were identified as Wasim Ahmed Shah alias Usama of Heff Shopian and Nasir Ahmad Mir of Litter Pulwama. Shah, police said, was the Shopian district commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba. One Ak-47, one AK-57 and six AK magazines were recovered from the gunfight site. During a press conference after the encounter, Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone, Munir Khan said that one civilian was killed and another injured in the crossfire between the militants and the Security forces. Khan said that Shah's death is a big success because he used to recruit cadre for LeT. He was found at a hideout at Litter and police and its Special Operation Group team cordoned off the area, Khan said. Shah along with his associate Nisar Ahmed Mir made an attempt to break the cordon but could not because of the massive presence of CRPF and army, sources said. Contingents from 03 RR, 55 RR, 182 & 183 Bn CRPF besides SOG of police were involved in the operation. Shah, who was wanted in various militancy-related cases, was killed along with Nasir, another local boy who had joined militancy in May this year. A college dropout, Shah, a resident of Heff-Shrimal in Shopian, joined militancy in 2014 was a popular militant in South Kashmir and was instrumental in recruiting new militants. He was carrying a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head. Eyewitnesses said that shortly after the eruption of encounter; large number of people came out of their homes and pelted stones on government forces who according to reports resorted to tear-smoke shelling. They also used pellets and live bullets to disperse the protesters who were making attempts to break the cordon so that trapped militants could escape. Dozens of civilians suffered injuries in forces action. Hospital sources said that dozens of injured were brought in with at least three persons with bullets wounds. A civilian identified as Gulzar Ahmad Mir (25), a resident of Allaypora was grievously injured with at least two bullets in his body. He was rushed to the SMHS hospital in Srinagar but succumbed on the way. Sources said that another civilian, identified as Muhammad Ashraf Mir with firearm injury, also referred to SMHS hospital in Srinagar was undergoing specialized treatment. Reports said that around four civilians with pellet injuries were being treated at the District Hospital Pulwama. Authorities suspended train service and mobile internet service in the district following the killings of militants and the civilian. Massive Funerals: Tens of thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of Lashkar commander Wasim Shah and his associate Nasir Ahmad at their ancestral villages in south Kashmir. Witnesses said that the funeral prayers of Wasim Shah were offered at least five times in Heff village to accommodate the rush of people who were marching from different areas of south Kashmir. Similar scenes were witnessed at the funeral of Nasir Ahmad in Litter village of Pulwama. Four rounds of funeral prayers were held for him to accommodate thousands of mourners. Pro-Azadi and Islamic slogans were raised as the bodies of both the militants were lowered in the graves. While returning from the burial ground, angry youth hurled rocks at the recently-established army camp in Chillipora. The forces responded by firing tear gas shells resulting in clashes. Police Version: A joint team of Police Pulwama, 03 RR, 55 RR, 182 & 183 Bn CRPF cordoned off the Litter village in South Kashmir's Pulwama after inputs about the presence of militants in the village. As the joint team was zeroing on the target house which was the house of former militant Pintu Malik, the holed up militants opened fire, resulting in a gun fight that ended with killing of both the militants. Waseem Shah was Lashkar's district commander and one of the notorious militants operating in South Kashmir. He had joined militant ranks in March 2014. He was involved in number of FIRs viz 19-2014, 37-2014, 47-2014, 27-2015, 17-2016, 45-2016 30-2017, 02-2017, 50-2017 of P-S Zainapora and 107-2014, 130-2014, 87-2015 of P-S Shopian. His associate Nisar had joined militant ranks this year. Two AK 47 rifles and ammunition was recovered from the encounter site. A 25-year old civilian identified as Gulzar Ahmad Mir son of Ali Mohammad Mir resident of Allaipora, Lassipora lost his life in the cross firing and one more civilian who was identified as Mohammad Ashraf Mir son of Mohammad Abdullah Mir resident of Litter also sustained injuries. The injured person is undergoing treatment at SKIMS, Soura.