Another Civilian Injured In Hyderpora Succumbs, Death Toll 4

SRINAGAR: A civilian who was injured in the Hyderpora encounter last night is reported to have succumbed to his injuries. With his death, the toll in the overnight encounter has reached four including two militants, two businessmen including the complex owner.

The injured civilian identified, as Mudasir Gul was reportedly a dental surgeon but it was not immediately confirmed. Police said he was running the call centre in the building. The other civilian was identified as Mohamad Alta Bhat, a resident of Barzulla locality who owned a hardware-cement shop in the complex that was also owned by him.

Though the police had said that the “house owner” who was injured and subsequently killed in the encounter was a “militant associate”, the family vehemently denied the claim. They are seeking his body for a decent burial.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar has said that four persons were killed in the encounter including a foreign militant, his local associate, an OGW and a building owner. He told reports, according to a local news gatherer, that the building owner was killed in a “crossfire” while the fourth person was an OGW who had provided his rented space to Haider for using the same as “militant hideout.”

Addressing a press conference at Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar, Kumar said police received a lead about the presence of militants near the national highway at Hyderpora. “Police, CRPF and the army laid a cordon and when the suspected spot was zeroed in, militants fired indiscriminately at the forces,” news gatherer KNO quoted the IGP saying.

He said that in the ensuing gunfight, two militants including a foreign militant identified as Haider and his local associate possibly from Banihal area of Jammu were killed. “We have called a family from Banihal to identify the slain,” the IGP said.

He said that the building owner Altaf Ahmed was killed in a crossfire. “It is not sure whether a militant bullet or the bullets fired by forces hit him. Militants were carrying pistols and it would be clear after investigations whose bullet hit him,” the Kashmir police chief said.

He said the fourth one Mudasir Ahmed, who was living on rent in the building, had provided shelter to Haider and his associate. “This way he was harbouring militants. Mudasir was also involved in ferrying Haider from the recent attack site of Jamalata Srinagar where a policeman was injured,” the IGP said, he was also involved in ferrying militants from South and North Kashmir areas.

He said that from the encounter site, two pistols, two magazines, half-a-dozen mobile phones and a few computers were recovered. “Fourth slain Mudasir was also running a call centre. This way, he was an OGW and was directly involved in harbouring militants,” IGP Kumar said. He said since there was an apprehension of law and order, the bodies of Altaf Ahmed were not handed over to the family for last rites.

He said that before giving rooms or buildings on rent, owners should get in touch with the police and share details of tenets. Asked whether police had clear evidence of Mudasir being involved in “harbouring militants”, the IGP said that they had digital evidence and once they will get further proof, same will be shared with the media.

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