Says One Among Them Was Behind Kashmiri Pandit Member’s Killing
Srinagar, Feb 28 (GNS): Police on Tuesday said that two militants and an army soldier were killed in a gunfight in Padgampora area Awantipora of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Among them, a police spokesperson said that was involved in the killing of Kashmiri Pandit Sanjay Kumar Nath in Pulwama on weekend.
Additional Director General of Police Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that based on specific information about the presence of militants, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by police, CRPF and Army.
He said that as soon as police and security forces reached the target area, the hiding militants opened indiscriminate fire, leading to an encounter.
He said that one militant had taken refuge in a mosque and he was tactfully neutralised without any damage to the mosque.
“Extreme caution and limited firepower was used in view of the sacred precincts. Civilians praying inside were also evacuated on time preventing any collateral damage,” he said, adding, “Resuming the search for the second militant who was holed up inside a bathroom of an adjacent building, again caution was exercised and 14 civilians were rescued from the place before he was neutralized”.
The killed militants, he said, have been identified as Aqib Mushtaq Bhat of Malangpora, Pulwama (A Category) associated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and for past few months working with LeT (TRF) and Aijaz Ahmad Bhat of Syedabad Pastuna Tral (C-Category) associated with JeM and also working in coordination with HM and LeT.
Aqib, he said, was active since January 2021 and Aijaz was active since May 2022, the officer said.
He said that police have been successful in neutralizing the killer of Sanjay Kumar within a short period of time.
“We have also lost a brave soldier during the gunfight,” the officer added.
Army in a statement to GNS identified the killed soldier as Sepoy Pawan Kumar and the injured one as Naik Hemraj. Soon after getting injured, the army said, they were immediately evacuated to 92 Base Hospital, Srinagar where Sepoy Pawan Kumar succumbed to his injuries. The soldier is survived by his mother, Smt Bhajun Dassi, it said. His mortal remains will be moved for the last rites to his native place at Village Pithyt Rampur in District Shimla, Himachal Pradesh and will be laid to rest with full military honours, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the ADGP said 1 AK-47 rifle, 1AKS-74u rifle, 1 pistol, 2 grenades, 2 pouches, 5 AK magazines, 2 pistol magazines and 2 AADHAAR cards were recovered from militant duo.
Investigation so far revealed that both the militants, although joined through different militant organisations, had come together to conspire and attack minorities, outsiders, other vulnerable targets and security forces, the officer said.
They were involved in FIR No. 14/2023 PS Litter (recent killing of Kashmir Pandit Sanjay Pandita at Achan), FIR No 82/2022 PS Pulwama (attack of 2 outsider labourers at Lajoora), FIR no 115/2022 PS Tral (weapon snatching attempt), FIR No 76/2022 PS Tral (OGW module which supported them for grenade lobbing) among many other cases, the officer added.(GNS)