As per IGP Kashmir, the militants were involved in yesterday’s Nowgam attack on BJP leader Anwar Khan’s residence
SRINAGAR (J&K) — On Friday, three militants were killed in an encounter in Gath Mohalla of Kakapora area in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
According to a top police officer, the trapped militants are accused of being responsible for the attack on a BJP leader’s house in Srinagar yesterday, in which one cop was killed.
The militants refused to surrender despite repeated surrender offers, as per the local police. “Instead, they made five civilians hostage. That’s why the operation got delayed. Contact with them was established at 4:35 AM,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said.
In the ensuing encounter, the IGP said, three militants were killed and identified them as Suhail Nisar Lone, Yasir Wani, both residents of Khrew area of Pulwama and Junaid Ahmed from Prichoo, Pulwama. “The first two had joined militancy in February this year and the third one in March this year,” the police officer claimed during a press briefing.
‘Two among the three slain militants were involved in Nowgam attack’
Addressing a press conference at Police Control Room (PCR) in Srinagar, the Kashmir police chief said that the yesterday’s attack on the BJP leader’s house was carried out jointly by the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Al-Badr outfits, citing the recovery of the SLR rifle snatched from the slain cop at Nowgam, as well as the vehicle used to drive from Nowgam to Pulwama, from the slain militants.
He said slain Suhail and Junaid were involved in yesterday’s Nowgam attack in which a policeman Rameez Raja from Anantnag district was killed and his riffle was snatched.
“Suhail is the one who was wearing Burqa on Thursday. Suhail and Junaid were affiliated with Al-Badr outfit. From their possession, we recovered one AK-47 rifle, one pistol and the SLR rifle number 51392. This is the same SLR that was snatched from Nowgam attack site,” the IGP said, adding that “this makes clear that the slain duo were involved in yesterday’s Nowgam attack.”
He said two more militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Obaid and Shahid – both from Srinagar, are still on the run. “Preliminary investigations reveal that Lashkar and Al-Badr had jointly carried out the Nowgam attack. Thus, we have solved the case in less than 24 hours,” he said, adding that efforts are on to trace the two Srinagar-based militants.
‘House owner to be booked under UAPA’
The IGP also stated that the vehicle’s owner is the house owner in whose house the Pulwama gunfight occurred, and that he would be charged under the Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act (UAPA).
He said that a Maruti Alto car (JK13-E2098) that was used by Suhail and Junaid from Nowgam to Pulwama was found outside the house in the Ghat Mohalla.
“The vehicle belongs to house owner where the encounter took place. We will book him under UAPA,” the Kashmir police chief said.
Arrest of OGW proved to be a major breakthrough
“We had arrested an OGW Ishfaq Ahmed, who provided a tip off about militants hiding in a house at Ghat Mohalla in Kakapora,” the IGP said.
He added that Srinagar police along with Pulwama police worked on the leads and laid a siege at Ghat Mohalla, after which a gunfight broke out.
Two civilians injured in clashes with government forces
A girl was among two civilians who were wounded during clashes near the gunfight site in Kakapora on Friday afternoon.
Dr. Gulzar Ahmad, Block Medical Officer (BMO) Pampore, said that two injured people, both from Samboora village, were brought to the Sub District Hospital (SDH) Pampore and were later shifted to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar for specialized treatment.
Ishrat Jan (25), daughter of Abdul Aziz Dar of Samboora Pulwama, sustained a bullet injury while Ghulam Nabi Dar (42), son of Ali Muhammad Dar of Samboora Pulwama, received pellet injuries.
However, IGP Kashmir said that the woman sustained a bullet wound in her leg during cross firing while three other civilians sustained pellet injuries. “All are stable,” he said.
Six Militants Active In Srinagar City
When asked about the number of active militants in Srinagar, the IGP Kashmir said that there are six active militants in the city, including two who are wanted in the Nowgam attack case.
“We are working on leads and very soon they will be either arrested, killed or brought back,” the IGP said, adding that police won’t let the situation deteriorate in Srinagar.
IGP Kashmir calls for a big security overhaul for politicians
The Jammu and Kashmir police are preparing a big reform of the security cover given to politicians facing threat of militant attacks, as well as new advice and training for police officers protecting VIPs and politicians.
The IGP Kashmir said there have been enough deliberations on reviewing the security cover of politicians including those facing threats.
“Our men deployed for the protection of VIPs, other politicians will get fresh training sessions, new SoPs and advisories. I assure that if there is any bid from militants to target politicians, that will be foiled,” the IGP said.
He said that among all political parties, BJP is more vulnerable and accordingly, police will take concrete measures to ensure fool-proof security cover to those facing threats from militants.
“We can’t give security to one and all, but those who face threats and are vulnerable, will be provided enough security cover. We will change the security guards wherever needed and accordingly, enhance the cover of those who need it the most,” the IGP said.