Pulwama protests as 2 militants, civilian killed in encounter

SRINAGAR: The south Kashmir Pulwama landed in an instant crisis as two militants were killed in a swift encounter in Litter belt. A civilian was also killed and another is critically injured, police said.

Details revealed that the police, army and the CRPF cordoned a particular pocket of houses after receiving specific information about the presence of militants. The cordon was in place during wee hours. The gun battle started within minutes and concluded swiftly, police sources said.

Two militants were killed in the encounter as the house where they were hiding suffered extensive damage. The slain duo were identified as Waseem Shah and Naseer Ahmad Mir, both recruits of the Lashkar-e-Toiba. Both are locals. Police said the two militants made a serious attempt to break the cordon and flee but the cordon was literally impregnable.

Police said Shah, a college drop-outand a resident of Heff village in Neighbouring Shopian was a top militant, active since 2014. “He was the main recruiter,” one senior police officer said. “He was categorised as A++.” Shah was operating under the code name Usama. Prior to the formal joining militancy, police said, he was a militant courier for a long time. He was carrying a milliopn bucks bounty on his head.

Shah’s colleague, Naseer was a resident of Litter. He had joined militancy in May last, police said. Some media reports termed him to be Shah’s bodyguard.

The encounter witnessed protests, before and after the encounter, police said. There were varios showers of stone pelting as well. It was in the police action that a number of civilians were injured by bullets as well as pellets. Interestingly, this was the first enconter taking place in the sprawling Litter belt in last four years.

Gulzar Ahmad Mir, son in law of Sanaullah, a resident of Alaipora, Lassipora was hit by a bullet and was immediately rushed to the hospital. He died well before he could reach there, reports said.

Mohammad Ashraf Mir, another young man who has received a bullet in his chest was also rushed to SMHS. Police said he is critical and has been shifted to SKIMS for an immediate operation, which is right now going on. “We are keeping our fingers crossed over his fate,” one official privy of the injury said.

Reports said various others have received pellet injuries. Most of the civilians injured by pellets have been evacuated to the district hospital in Pulwama.

“We received three injured persons since morning,” one official of the district hospital in Pulwama said. “One was brought dead, another was critical and we referred him to Srinagar and third one is hit by a pellet in his right eye.”

Reports from the town said that the routine movement in the Litter belt is jammed. Barricades have emerged at various places and the protests are going on.

A police officer said the bodies of the militants have been evacuated to the district police lines in Pulwama. By 12 noon, reports said the dead body of Shah has beenhanded over to the family and they are on way home. The body of the civilian has also reached home. The body of the Litter militant, however, is still with the DPL in Pulwama.



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