June 2019 News

Cop-turned-militants Among 4 Ultras Killed In Kashmir

7 June 2019
Deccan Herald
Zulfiqar Majid

Srinagar: Two cop-turned-militants were among four ultras killed in an overnight encounter with security forces in south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Friday. The gunfight broke out Thursday evening after a joint team of army's 44 Rashtriya Rifles and Jammu and Kashmir police launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in Panjran village of Pulwama, 30 km from here. While one body was recovered after the initial exchange of fire three more were hiding in a residential house which was blasted, a police official said and added while clearing debris three more bodies were recovered during wee hours of Friday taking the toll to four. Jammu and Kashmir police on its twitter handled confirmed the killing of four militants in the gunfight. 'Four terrorists have been eliminated. They reportedly belong to JeM. Operation over. More details to follow,' it tweeted. The identity of the slain militants is yet to be ascertained. However, unconfirmed reports suggested two among the slain were Shabir Ahmad Dar and Suliman Ahmad Khan, the special police officers (SPOs), who had gone missing from district police lines (DPL) Pulwama on Thursday morning. SPOs are recruited by the police on a fixed monthly remuneration of Rs 6000. The police maintain SPOs are an important element in their strategy to combat militancy. However, in recent years several SPOs have deserted the force and joined militant ranks. 106 militants of various groups and 59 force personnel have been killed in militancy violence in the Valley this year. According to official figures, 101 militants were killed from January 1 till May 31, which is higher than the corresponding period of 2018 when 71 militants were killed. During the first five months of this year, May witnessed highest 28 killings of militants followed by 22 in February, 21 in March, 17 in January and 12 in April. 'On an average, 20 militants have been killed in each month so far,' a police official said and added 25 among them were foreigners and 76 local militants. The deceased militants were affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Kashmir and Al-Badr. At least 59 force personnel were also killed in the militancy violence in the Valley in from January to May. Of 59 killings of forces men, highest 44 belonged to paramilitary CRPF, nine Army men and six policemen. However, despite the killing of over 100 militants, around 275 militants are still active in the valley. JK Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh recently said about 275 militants were active in the Valley and of them 100 to 115 were locals and remaining foreign militants.