Talib, a PET Graduate, was ‘Forced’ to Pick Up Gun, says His Mother

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Talib Afzal
Talib Afzal

In an encounter in South Kashmir’s Kakpora area, one militant was killed on Thursday.

Police sources said that after receiving inputs about the presence of two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants present in a house at Astan Mohalla Kakapora, a huge contingent of Army personnel from 50 RR, CRPF personnel from 182 and 183 Battalions and SOG Pulwama cordoned off the house of one Ghulam Muhammad. “The house of Ghulam Muhammad in which the two militants were present has been located in the middle of Army and CRPF camps and it was hard to believe that militant could hide there. As the Army zeroed in on the house, the militants in a bid to escape from the house resorted to indiscriminate firing. The retaliation from our part resulted in the killing of a militant,” an Army official told CNS. He identified the slain militant as Talib Ahmed Shah son of Muhammad Afzal Shah, a local resident of Astan Mohalla Kakapora Pulwama.

“Talib was active in the district from quite some time and he was the district commander of banned militant outfit LeT,” he said.

The official said that all efforts are on to either capture the associate of Talib alive or neutralize him. “He is still fighting but we have closed all the escape routes,” he said.

A police official said that it may take a long time to deal with the hiding militant as the protesters in large number have been making attempts to move towards the encounter site. “The situation in the area is tense but under control,” he said.

Talib Afzal Shah (22) was a post graduate student who had joined militant ranks in 2012. “Talib had completed his Master’s Degree in Physical Education from Kashmir University.”

“My son had been arrested several times on charges of stone-pelting and even after his release the security agencies used to raid our house, always looking for him. He finally decided to join Lashkar-e-Toiba,” said her wailing mother.

She said that last time when forces raided her house, she was so agitated that in front of Army officer she set all the educational degrees of Talib on fire. “Time and again forces harassed my son and forced him to pick up the gun. I blame them for everything. My son was very intelligent and being religious commanded great respect in the area,” she said.

As the news about the death of Talib spread in the town, hundreds of people from adjoining areas of Kakapora including Patalbagh, Lelhar, Naman, Aloochibagh, Samboora, Hathwara and other areas rushed towards the spot of incident. Since the encounter was going, so forces did not allow them to proceed resulting in the violent clashes, that left many protesters injured.

In a bid to disperse the protesters government forces bursted several tear-smoke shells and resorted to aerial firing. The situation, according to a police official, was tense but under control.

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