Srinagar Gunfight: Police Says Two Slain Militants Were OGWs, Third May Have Joined Ranks Recently, Urges Parents To Keep Watch

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday issued the following statement regarding Hokersar saying that on December 29, 2020, at about 05:30 PM troops of 02RR launched a Cordon and Search Operation on a specific input near Hokersar where the militants hurled a grenade on the searching party and fired indiscriminately on troops while laying cordon.

A police spokesman in a statement said that on receipt of this information Srinagar police immediately along with Police Component Srinagar and Valley QAT CRPF rushed to the spot.

“Search party of 02 RR was heavily fired upon by the terrorists hiding inside the building which was retaliated. Repeated announcements were made to the hiding militants to lay down their illegal weapons and surrender, instead, the hiding terrorists fired continuously upon the searching party,” said the spokesman.

“Due to darkness, the operation was suspended however the cordon remained intact throughout night. On the 30th morning with the first light repeated announcements were again made to hiding militants to surrender, but the militants fired indiscriminately on forces which was retaliated again resulting in the elimination of militants. The operation ended over at 11:30hrs in which all the 03 hiding militants were killed. Upon their search, arms (One AK 47 rifle & two pistols) & ammunition and other incriminating material along with some documents were recovered. From the recoveries their identity has been established as Ajaz Maqbool Ganie, Ather Mushtaq both residents of Pulwama and Zubair Lone resident of Shopian,” he said.

“Some families from South Kashmir came to PCR and claimed them to be their wards. They have been sent to Ganderbal for further identification and participation in last rites in the presence of Magistrate,” he added.

“In this connection, a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated. It is pertinent to mention that a few incidents have occurred in this area recently and reportedly these militants have also came from South Kashmir to target convey of forces,” said the spokesman.

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

“Although the three slain militants in todays encounter were not mentioned in our list of militants, yet two of them are hardcore associates of militants (OGWs). Pertinently, one of the two is relative of top HM commander Rayees Kachroo who was killed in 2017. Reportedly, third might have joined very recently,” he added.

“Generally parents don’t have idea about the activities of their wards. Several OGWs after committing crimes like grenade throwing and pistol shooting etc stay normally with their family. For instance, one student from Pulwama who was taking coaching in Srinagar was caught for lobbying a grenade with the help of CCTV’s footage. His parents were totally unaware about his militant activities,” said police spokesman in a statement.

“Police is investigating the case and after thorough investigation will come to the conclusion soon on merits.  It is pertinent to mention here that the trio killed in today’s encounter were given ample opportunity to surrender both yesterday evening and today morning but they didn’t surrender and instead fired and lobbed grenades on search party,” he said.

“IGP Kashmir has requested the parents to keep close watch of their wards and keep strict vigil about their day to day activities to ensure that they may not indulge in any subversive or militant activities,” said police spokesman in a statement.

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