Frisal Encounter: Toll touches 8 as clashes erupt, 15 injured identified

Remains of the house: Four militants and three soldiers were killed in this house on February 12, 2017. KL Image: Muneeb ul Islam

KL News Network

SRINAGAR

With the killing of one more soldiers confirmed in the Sunday wee hour encounter, the toll in the gun-battle has gone up eight. Apart from four militants, the dead include three soldiers and a civilian. All the four slain militants are locals, including the one, who had joined militant ranks less than a month back.

Officials confirmed that one more soldier was killed in the encounter. Identified as rifle man Shiraz Ahmad, he was earlier termed to have survived with injuries along with Major P K Nigam. Both were flown to Srinagar 15-base hospital, where probably Ahmad was reported dead. Though police confirmed the killing, army is yet to confirm it.

Two soldiers who were killed during the encounter were earlier identified as Lance Naik’s Raghubeer Singh (4578033Y) and Bhandoriya Gopal Singh (45687392W).

Army and the SOG had cordoned off the dusky hamlet in Frisal belt after receiving specific information about the militant’s presence. The encounter started within minutes after the siege was affected. In the gun-battle, the house, where militants were present has gone up in flames. Police said a civilian, most probably the house owner, was also killed in the encounter.

Of the four militants killed in the encounter, police earlier identified two of them as Mudasir Ahmad Tantray, a resident of Redwani and Farooq Ahmad Dar, a resident of Arow in Kulgam. However, identities that have come on the social websites have suggested the names of the slain four as Mudasir Ahmad Tantray (Redwani), Vakil Thokar (Harigam), Farooq Ahmad Bhat (Chak-e-Dasand) and Mohammad Younis Lone (Hawara). Lone is considered to be the junior most militant in the group who had joined Hizb ul Mujahideen after going missing from his home on January 14, 2017.

It was not immediately known if the corpses of the slain militants were handed over to the respective families for the burial.

Soldiers in action. KL Image: Muneeb ul Islam

After the encounter was over, reports from the belt said, a serious law and order crisis emerged with hundreds of people moving towards the spot of the encounter. It led to clashes between the forces and the youth at many places. Certain brief videos that have gone viral indicate the forces used tear smoke shells, pellets and even fired various rounds. Some of the newsmen who had gone to cover the situation have taken refuge in a house somewhere and are unable to move or cover anything. In one video clip, a person is running and offering live commentary suggesting that somebody has received a bullet. In another clip, youth are pelting stones on army vehicles which are leaving the spot. This one ends with a bullet fire.

Kashmir Life correspondent who is in district hospital Islamabad told newsroom that the hospital has received a total of 15 injured persons. “Two of them have bullets, many have tear smoke shell injuries and around half of them have bullet injuries,” he said. “The situation is restive on the streets even here.” A couple of them having critical bullet injuries were referred to Srinagar, the correspondent said. He said there were clashes just outside the hospital too.

Hospital sources gave details of the injured and the nature of the injury. These include Nahid Gulzar (Hauora) having bullet injury in right knee, Umar Ibrahaim (Bata Tachloo) having right thigh injury, Junaid Ahmad  Lone (Hauora) having right knee bullet injury, Shahid Shafi Lone (Yaripora) having bullet injury in right shoulder, Shakoor Ahmad Rather (Bugam) having bullet in left leg, Unis Ahmad Sheikh (Qaimoh) having bullet in left thigh – referred to SMHS, Mohammad Anwar Mir (Matrigam) with trauma head, Aaqib Mushta (Awnera) with right knee bullet injury, Afridi Mushtaq (Redwani) trauma head, Bunty Musharaf (Redwani) having bullet injury in abdomen, Mohammad Asif Dar (Matalhama) bullet injury in abdomen, Saqib Hassan (Chakroo), pellet injury in right eye, Bilal Ahmad (Redwani) bullet injury in right shoulder – referred to SMHS Srinagar, Owais Ahmad (Lassipora) bullet injury in chest, and Basit Ahmad (Khudwani) having bullet injury in abdomen.

Cops chasing away the youth from the premises of district hospital on Sunday. KL Image: Aakash Hassan

DIG South Kashmir S P Pani confirmed the casualties to Kashmir Life. He said he is in the process of seeking details about the injuries after the encounter was over. “I am in touch with the doctors and most of them are stable,” Pani said.

Sector commander Rashtriya Rifles R Chakervorty during a press conference at Dak Bungalow Islamabad briefed media about the “special strategy” used to execute the operation. At 11 30 pm, he said they had an information about militants hiding inside the residential house.

“There were four militants inside the house with one civilian and then we first rescued him which took almost one hour,” the commander said.  “Then only four militants were killed in the operation.” He only confirmed only two soldiers killing in the encounter.

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