Three militants killed during Srinagar police encounter

Three militants killed during police encounter in Srinagar

Militants had opened fire on security forces during a cordon and search operation in Parimpora area on Tuesday evening,  a police official said

Senior Army officers investigate the site of a militant attack at Khushipora area of Parimpora, in Srinagar. Credit: PTI File Photo

Three unidentified militants were killed in an overnight encounter with security forces on the outskirts of Srinagar city on Wednesday.

The gunfight erupted on Tuesday evening in Lawaypora area on Srinagar-Baramulla highway. “Since past many days, intelligence inputs have been pouring in about the movement of the terrorists in the area. Yesterday (Tuesday), we developed leads and came to know that terrorists are hiding in a house,”(sic) General officer Commanding (GoC) of Kilo Force, Major General H S Sahi told reporters.

He said when the presence of militants got established Army’s 2- Rashtriya Rifles, J&K police and the CRPF repeatedly asked them to surrender. 

“However, the militants fired indiscriminately and lobbed grenades as well. The operation was put on a halt as the night approached but the cordon layers were tightened. With the first light of the morning the firefight resumed and militants used heavy ammunition against security forces,” General Sahi said, adding that in the ensuing gunfight three militants were killed.

“As forces zeroed in on the suspected spot, they fired at the forces triggering a fierce gunfight. The two sides kept firing intermittently during the night as security forces tightened cordon layers around the area and sealed all entry and exit points to prevent militants from fleeing,” he said and added all the three ultras hiding in a house were neutralised Wednesday morning.

He said that the slain trio was planning a “big strike” on the national highway to gain publicity. “The nature of ammunition used by the terrorists in today’s gunfight, suggests they were planning a big strike on the highway,” the army commander said.

However, he didn’t reveal the identity of the dead and their group affiliations of the slain militants. “It has been an hour only since the encounter ended, police is verifying their identity and affiliation,” General Sahi said.

However, unconfirmed reports said that the slain militants were all locals from south Kashmir and had joined militancy recently.

Reports said some youth pelted stones on the security forces while the operation was underway. However, they were chased away by the police and the paramilitary CRPF. The highway had been closed since last evening and traffic to north Kashmir was diverted to other areas.

This was the 10th encounter in Srinagar since May in which 22 militants, including Hizbul Mujahideen commanders Junaid Sehra and Saifullah Khalid have been killed. The encounters come as a reminder from the militants that their presence has increased in the city, which was not long ago, considered a zero-militancy zone.

A senior police officer said because of a huge security footprint and intelligence network in south Kashmir, militants were shifting their bases to Srinagar. “As a result, more gun battles are happening in Srinagar. The militants also ambushed security forces several times this year in and around Srinagar, suggesting they were on the move,” he said.