IGP Asks Militants To Lay Down Arms: “Will Welcome Them With Open Arms”
Srinagar, Jan 30 GNS): Two local militants of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit surrendered before government forces during an encounter in Lelhar area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, officials said on Saturday.
A senior police officer told GNS that both the militants surrendered after being given an offer as per an SOP during “live-action”. Two AK-47 rifles were also recovered from their possession, the officer said.
One among the surrendered militant had suffered an injury during the gunfight which started last night. He has been subsequently shifted to hospital for treatment, the officer said.
The surrender of two militants comes less than 24 hours after Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar announced during a presser that the main focus of police would be the surrender of local militants.
The gunfight had ensued after a joint team of police and army launched a cordon and search operation in Lelhar after specific inputs about the presence of the militants.
“At about 2000 hours based on specific input regarding presence of (militants), a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, army’s 50RR and 183Bn CRPF in the area,” a police spokesperson said.
“During the search operation as the presence of (militants) got ascertained, they fired indiscriminately upon the search party which was retaliated leading to encounter,” he said, adding, “However, the joint forces showed utmost restraint and provided them an opportunity to surrender. Family members of the trapped (militants) were also called to the encounter site to motivate and persuade them to surrender.”
Due to the great efforts and utmost patience of police, security forces and repeated surrender appeals with the help of their family members, the spokesperson said, both surrendered and laid down their arms. They have been identified as Akeel Ahmad Lone son of Mohammad Abdullah of Lelhar and Rouf Ahmad son of Ghulam Qadir Sheikh of Wasoora Pulwama. Both were affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. During initial exchange of fire, Akeel got injured and was evacuated to hospital for treatment.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar (IPS) congratulated the joint team for showing utmost patience and exhibiting professionalism, which resulted in saving the life of two “misguided youth”. IGP Kashmir once again made a fervent appeal to all the youth who have joined militant ranks to shun the path of violence and return to mainstream as the “society needs them and most importantly their parents. We will welcome and accept them with open arms.”
One AK-47 and an AK-56 rifles laid down by them were seized, the spokesperson said. (GNS)