SRINAGAR: Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar Friday said two out of three militants killed in the nocturnal gunfight in the southern district of Pulwama were involved in Nowgam, Srinagar attack in which a policeman was killed on Thursday.
He said the attack on the BJP leader’s house was carried out jointly by the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Al-Badr outfit as from the slain militants of Pulwama encounter, the SLR rifle snatched from the slain cop at Nowgam, was recovered beside the vehicle used to travel from Nowgam to Pulwama. The IGP also said that the house owner in whose house gunfight took place in Pulwama is the owner of the vehicle and he will be booked under the Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act (ULPA).
Addressing a press conference at Police Control Room Srinagar (PCR) Srinagar, the IGP said that in less than 24 hours of the Nowgam attack, police solved the case by killing two out of four militants involved in the attack.
“Srinagar police along with Pulwama police worked on certain leads and laid a siege at Ghat area of Pulwama district. Earlier, we had arrested an OGW Ishfaq Ahmed, who provided a tip off about militants hiding in a house at Ghat village,” the IGP said as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO). “The militants refused to surrender despite repeated surrender offers and instead made five civilians hostage. That’s why the operation got delayed. Contact with them was established at 4.35 am.”
In the ensuing encounter, the IGP said three militants were killed. “The slain were identified as Suhail Nisar Lone, Yasir Wani, both residents of Khrew area of Pulwama and Junaid Ahmed from Prichoo, Pulwama. The first two had joined militancy in February this year and the third one in March this year.”
He said slain Suhail and Junaid were involved in yesterday’s Nowgam attack in which a policeman Rameez Raja from Anantnag district was killed and his rifle snatched. “Suhail is the one who was wearing a burqa on Thursday. Suhail and Junaid were affiliated with the Al-Badr outfit. From their possession, we recovered one Ak-47 rifle, one pistol and the SLR riffle number 51392. This is the same SLR that was snatched from Nowgam attack site,” the IGP said, adding that “this makes clear that the slain duo were involved in yesterday’s Nowgam attack.”
He said two more militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba Obaid and Shahid, both from Srinagar are still on the run. “Preliminary investigations reveal that Lashkar and Al-Badr had jointly carried out the Nowgam attack. This we have solved the case in less than 24 hours,” he said, adding that efforts are on to trace the two Srinagar based militants. “We will get them soon,” he said.
He said that a vehicle Alto- JK13-E2098 that was used by Suhail and Junaid from Nowgam to Pulwama was found outside the house in Ghat area of Pulwama where three militants were killed. . “The vehicle belongs to the house owner where the encounter took place. We will book him under ULPA,” the Kashmir police chief said as per news agency KNO.
Asked how many militants are active in Srinagar, including two who are wanted in the Nowgam attack case, there are six active militants in the city. “We are working on leads and very soon they will be either arrested, killed or brought back,” the IGP said, adding that “We will not allow the situation in Srinagar to turn bad.” He said that a woman sustained a bullet wound in her leg during cross-firing at Pulwama while three civilians sustained pellet injuries. “All are stable,” he said.