Continuing with its relentless anti-insurgency operations, security forces killed three more local militants in a 15-hour long overnight gunbattle in the volatile Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Friday.
The encounter erupted after security forces launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in Chewa Ular area of Tral on Thursday evening after ‘specific input’ about the presence of militants in the area, the report said. As the search party moved towards the suspected spot, the hidden militants fired, which was met with retaliation by the security forces, triggering an encounter.
A police official said as the night approached, the operation was suspended, but the cordon was tightened to “ensure trapped militants don’t escape taking advantage of the darkness.”
“With the first light of the morning, the firing resumed and all the three militants hiding in the area were killed,” he said, adding that the slain militants were local residents.
Sources identified them as Mohammad Qaasim Shah alias Jugnu, Basit Ahmad Parray and Haris Manzoor Bhat. Qaasim was pursuing a B. Tech in civil engineering prior to joining militancy in March 2017.
Basit had joined militant ranks just a month ago and had a Bachelor's degree in Science in Information Technology while Haris had disappeared in April 2020 and was believed to have joined militancy, they said.
The bodies of the slain militants will be taken either to Sonamarg in central Kashmir or Boniyar in Baramulla for a quiet burial. Lately, police have been denying the bodies of militants to their families as their funerals attract large crowds.
Security forces have launched relentless counter-insurgency operations across Kashmir since the last few weeks in which dozens of militants have been killed. In June 38 militants were killed in a dozen encounters in just in south Kashmir.
From January this year, 110 militants have been killed across Kashmir in dozens of encounters with security forces. Last week Inspector General Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said that 100-200 militants were still active in Kashmir.