LeT Militant, Two Army Men Killed In Shopian Gunfight

SRINAGAR: A militant and two soldiers were killed in an encounter between the government forces and militants in Chermarg village of Zainapora area in South Kashmir’s Shopian district, officials said on Saturday.

Quoting a senior police officer  the news agency KNO reported that an unidentified militant has been killed, whose identification is being ascertained while as two soldiers were injured during the exchange of fire, who were later shifted to 92 base hospital Srinagar, where both succumbed to their injuries.

He identified them as Santosh Yaadev and Romit Chauhan of first RR.

Earlier, an official said that a joint team of Police, Army and CRPF launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on specific information about the presence of militants in the area.

He said that as the joint team of forces approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them, which was retaliated, triggering a gunfight.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar said that based on a specific input provided by Police, a joint operation was launched at Chermarg, Shopian by Army and Police during in the intervening night of 18/19 February, 2022.

“Following the drill, a cluster of houses were taken into cordon and the process of evacuating the civilians started. During the process, when search party reached to one of the houses belonging to Gowhar Ahmad Bhat. The house-owner intentionally misled the search party and denied sheltering the terrorist in his house. While he was being questioned, a militant sheltered in the house opened fire on the search party causing grievous injuries to two of the Soldiers . In the retaliatory action, one militant of LeT outfit namely Ab Qayoom Dar r/o Laroo Kakpora Pulwama was neutralised and arms and ammunitions including one AK rifle and a pistol were recovered,” the IGP said, adding that “Later on both, injured soldiers succumbed.”

He said that case has been registered and house owner has been arrested under “terror laws”.

“The slain militant has a history of militant association. In April 2020 an encounter took place in his house. He was arrested and booked under PSA.,” the IGP said, adding that “He was released in August 2021 but kept silently working for militants . SSP Pulwama officially intimated some days earlier that he had left house and joined as an active militant of LeT outfit. Consequently he has been categorised as C category militant.”

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