Sirhama Gunfight: Police Version

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SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir police on Friday issued a following statement regarding Sirhama gunfight saying that on September 24, 2020 at about 1800hrs, based on specific input about presence of militants in village Sirhama area of Anantnag, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Anantnag Police, 3RR and CRPF in the said area.

A police spokesman in a statement said that during the search operation, as the presence of militant got ascertained they were given opportunity to surrender however instead they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter.

“Due to darkness the operation was suspended and the whole area was put under strict cordon. Militants trapped inside made certain attempts to break the cordon and escape from the spot,” said the spokesman.

“In the wee hours, the operation was resumed and in the ensuing encounter two militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” he said.

“The slain militants have been identified as Adil Ahmad Bhat resident of Pulwama and Abu Rehan @Towheed a Pakistani national. Both the slain were commanders and affiliated with proscribed outfit LeT,” he added.

The spokesman said that as per police records, the slain militants had a history of crime records. They were involved in planning & executing several terror attacks including civilian atrocities and attacks on security establishments,” said the spokesman, adding that militant Adil was involved in case FIR No. 117/2020 of PS Nowgam pertaining to the killing of two JKP personnel and weapon snatching at Nowgam Srinagar on 14-08-2020.”

He said that moreover, militant Abu Rehan was an important motivator and influenced young minds for joining militant ranks in the areas of South Kashmir.

The spokesman said that the slain was involved in motivating local youth to carry out Fidayeen attacks on Police/SFs.

“He was also involved in providing logistic support to the newly infiltrated militants and strengthening the LeT outfit throughout the valley by distributing newly joined/infiltrated terrorists to various areas,” said the spokesman.

“Incriminating materials including arms & ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. It’s pertinent to mention that the Insas rifle snatched in Nowgam attack was also recovered from the site. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes,” he said.

“Keeping in view the prevailing pandemic due to COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of people from inherent risk of contracting the infection, the dead bodies of the slain militants shall be sent to Handwara for burial after completion of all medico-legal formalities. The nearest family members of the killed local militant shall be allowed to participate in the last rites.”

“In this connection a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated,” he said.

“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” said police spokesman in a statement.

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