Despite repeated surrender appeals, militants opened fire in Shopian, says IGP Kashmir

Four militants were killed in the nocturnal gunfight that raged early morning in the Manihal area of the southern district on Monday

Inspector-General of Police, Vijay Kumar on Monday said that despite repeated appeals made to the militants during the gunfight, which resulted in the killing of four local militants, in Shopian, the trapped militants rejected the offer by opening fire at the forces.

Following a gunfight in the Manihal area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district, the top police officer told a press conference alongside a senior Army officer that four local militants were killed because they refused to surrender.

“We also brought the wife of one of the militants to persuade him, but the militants opened fire from inside the house,” he said, adding, “All of them were categorised militants and figure as LeT militants in our list, even though they claim to be members of the so-called Lashker-e-Mustafa.” “Three pistols and an AK-47 were recovered.”

Rayees Ahmad Bhat (active from October last year), Aqib Ahmad Malik (active from November last year), Aftab Ahmad Wani (active from December last year), and Amir Shafi Mir (active from February this year) were among the killed militants, according to him.

He said there have been nine encounters in Kashmir Valley so far, one in north Kashmir and eight in south Kashmir. “A total of 19 (militants) were killed, nine of whom were from the Shopian district. Two top commanders, Gani Khawaja and Sajjad Afghani, were among the militants killed,” he said.

He claimed that 18 young people had recently joined the militant ranks, five of whom had been killed and three others had been arrested. “Others are working on the ground. We’ve been in touch with their families, and some of them are on their way back,” IGP Vijay Kumar said.

“Our focus is on surrender of local militants during or before the encounter,” he said, while also urging local youth to surrender before or during a confrontation.

Kumar also stated that no civilians have been killed so far. So far this year, he said, three police officers and a soldier have been killed in separate militancy-related events.

“When firing starts, we evacuate people, and some people, miscreants among them, resort to stone pelting,” he said of law and order around gunfight sites, adding, “We continue to identify them, and some have been booked under PSA and will be in the future as well,” he said.

Pertinently, four militants were killed in an encounter between government forces and militants in Manihal village of Imamsahib area in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Monday.

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