SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday issued following statement regarding Shopian gunfight saying that on Saturday at about 1700hrs, on a specific input generated by Shopian Police regarding presence of militants in orchards of Reban Bandpawa area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 34RR and 178Bn CRPF in the said area.
A police spokesman in a statement said that during the search operation, as the presence of militants got ascertained they were given an opportunity to surrender, however they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter.
“In the initial retaliatory firing, one militant was killed, but the operation was suspended to give the trapped militants another chance to surrender,” said the spokesman.
“The joint teams exercised maximum restraint and facilitated the presence of family members of a holed up militant Faisal Gulzar to encounter site so as to persuade him to surrender,” he said.
“However, despite repeated appeals by his family members and assurances by the forces, the other militant didn’t allow him to surrender. Ultimately in the wee hours, during the fierce gunfight both the trapped militants were killed and bodies of all the three militants were recovered from the site of encounter. They have been identified as Aasif Ahmad Ganai and Faisal Gulzar Ganai both the residents of Chitragam Kalan. However, identity of the 3rd killed militant is being ascertained. As per police records, they were part of groups involved in many crime cases and linked with proscribed outfit Al-Badr,” he added.
“IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar-IPS congratulated the joint team of police and forces for showing utmost patience and conducting operation in a professional manner. IGP Kashmir once again makes a fervent appeal to all misguided youth who have joined ranks to shun the path of violence and return to mainstream as the society needs them and most importantly their parents. He further said that we will welcome and accept them with open arms,” said police spokesman in a statement.
“Arms & ammunition including 01 AK-56 rifle, 2 pistols and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes,” he said.
“The last rites of the killed militants shall be performed after conducting medico-legal formalities at Handwara and their nearest family members shall be allowed to participate in the last rites,” he added.
‘In this connection police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any,” said police spokesman in a statement.