‘Slain Showkat had joined Militancy a month before’

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Tasavur Mushtaq

SRINAGAR

After 14 hour long gun fight in Hushpur village of Central Kashmir’s Budgam district, Government Forces Thursday claimed that it gunned down a Pakistani militant during the wee hours.  The operation was jointly carried by police, Special Operation Group, CRPF and Army personnel from 53 RR. According to sources the Army and Police had reports about the presence of two militants in the house, however, reports said that one militant was able to give slip to the Forces shortly before the start of search operations.

The other one was neutralized when the house of Nazir Ahmed Dar in which militants were holed up was blasted by using powerful improvised explosive device (IED). The house was completely damaged in the blast while the dead body of the militant was later on recovered from the debris lying in scattered form there.

Police identified the slain militant as Omar Bilal who according to Superintendent of Police Budgam belonged to Lashkar Toiba and was a Pakistani National. However according to reports the slain militant identified as Showkat Ahmed Lone son of Muhammad Shaban Lone  is from Lelhara Kakapora who before joining the ranks of militants used to run a automobile shop.

Locals of Kakapora rejected the police claim and said that the slain militant is not Omar Bilal, a ‘foreign militant’ but Showkat, a native of Kakpora.

When the news about the death of a militant in Hushroo Chadoora spread in South Kashmir’s Kakapora area of Pulwama town,  business activities came to standstill. According to locals, Showkat  had joined militant ranks in November last month.

Instantly people came on roads and amid pro-freedom slogans marched towards the main chowk Kakapora. Traffic on road came to stand still as the road was flooded with people.

According to reports people arranged scores of vehicles to get the dead body of the militant. This resulted in clashes which were going on till late Thursday evening.

Reports said that Showkat went missing from Nov 30, 2013 while family had lodged a missing report in police station Pulwama. Sources said that during police investigation it came to fore that Showkat had joined Lashkar Toiba and was trained by Pakistani militant Ibn Qasim. Ibn Qasim according to police sources is the Divisional Commander of LeT who is active in South Kashmir from past several years.

SP, Budgam Irshad Ahmed told reporters that slain militant was involved in the killing of SHO Chadoora Shabir Ahmed earlier this month. “Omar was active in Central Kashmir from past 3 years and he was involved in a number of militancy related activities,” Irshad Ahmed said.

Sources said that slain militant also manned the attack over a CRPF patrolling party at Pohru Chowk in Nowgam in which a CRPF Sub-Inspector was killed.

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