Hit twice this year, gunfight erupts at Pampore complex

The EDI complex in Pampore is less than 5 km from the Badami Bagh cantonment, headquarters of the Army XV Corps in Srinagar.

Written by Mir Ehsan | Srinagar | Updated: October 18, 2016 12:02 pm
pampore, pampore encounter, pampore operation, indian army, kashmir, kashmir encounter, kashmir operation, india news Smoke billowing out of EDI building during an encounter in Pampore (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

Security personnel have been trading gunfire with militants, holed up inside a hostel complex in Pampore which was the scene of an earlier gunbattle in February this year, since Monday morning. At least one soldier has been injured in the exchanges.

Officers said they suspect two or three militants are inside the 60-room, seven-storey hostel complex of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) at Sempora in Pampore. The Army and Special Operations Group of J&K Police have cordoned off the complex to prevent the militants from escaping.

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The EDI complex is less than 5 km from the Badami Bagh cantonment, headquarters of the Army XV Corps in Srinagar.

By evening, the militants were firing intermittently, possibly to save ammunition and extend the gunbattle. Army officers said they were in no hurry to storm the building and the operation to flush out the militants could take time.

Officers said that in the morning, flames were noticed in a building used as an EDI hostel and office complex. When fire service personnel approached the building, the militants fired on them, forcing them to retreat. The militants also opened fire on police and Army personnel when they showed up.

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This is second time in the last eight months when militants have taken refuge in the EDI complex. The last encounter in February lasted more than 48 hours after the militants killed two CRPF men and injured 12 others during an attack on the national highway.

In the operation that followed, the Army lost three personnel, including a Captain with the Paras. Police said that attack was carried out by Lashkar cadres based in south Kashmir.

Mohammad Ismail Parray, Director of EDI, told The Indian Express that around 6.15 am, he received a call from a staff member that the building had caught fire. “I asked the staff member to inform the fire service department and police. While I was on way to Pampore, I got another call that firefighters and policemen had been fired at from the building.’’

Parray said the first four floors of the building are used as office space since the old office was damaged in the February incident. “The top floors were kept for hostel purposes. Due to the current situation, there was no student in the hostel. Only a cook was present in the building,” he said.

According to Parray, personnel of the Army, SOG and CRPF have thrown a cordon around the complex. “We have already secured all our records online.”

Sources said the militants could have entered the complex via the rear end after crossing the Jhelum from Shalin village. “The militants deliberately set the building on fire and then waited for the security personnel. When they saw the firemen, they opened fire and that alerted the police and Army who were already on their way to the complex,’’ a police officer said.

An Army officer said the mopping-up operation could take time, and that they were in no hurry. “Last time, we lost men. This time, we are in no hurry. We will wait and neutralise the militants.”

Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said a soldier had been injured in the firefight. “The operation is still in progress,’’ he said.

Police sources said they have been on alert for the past one week because there was information that militants might try to sneak in to carry out attacks.

Kashmir has been on alert ever since September 18 when militants attacked an Army camp in Uri, killing 18 soldiers. Militants also tried to storm camps of the Rashtriya Rifles in Baramulla and Langate this month.

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  1. I
    Ikok
    Oct 10, 2016 at 6:35 pm
    A new movie can be made as per the details coming in HOME ALONE Part 3. SIRINAGAR.. A full time comedy
    Reply
    1. A
      Ashok
      Oct 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm
      This is joke a few terrorist in a building and this going on for two day's and we carried surgical strikes across the LOC and met no resistance.
      Reply
      1. R
        Ramanathan
        Oct 10, 2016 at 9:41 pm
        So what is the news here?
        Reply
        1. K
          Khalid
          Oct 10, 2016 at 7:29 pm
          Do not humiliate modi he is hidding from media
          Reply
          1. S
            Shabs
            Oct 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm
            seems this soap opera is hit these days as every other day we have to watch it without ad break
            Reply
            1. F
              Fire
              Oct 10, 2016 at 8:48 pm
              samna karoo Etna lan daal doo ga tumaree saree gas band ho ja a gee
              Reply
              1. F
                Fire
                Oct 10, 2016 at 8:38 pm
                I cheched your mother's but it was leaking gas
                Reply
                1. F
                  Fire
                  Oct 10, 2016 at 7:31 pm
                  Parteek have you got your mothers plugged.what kind of son you are? You mother is leaking gas and you still waste time. Hurry up get her plugged first
                  Reply
                  1. F
                    Fire
                    Oct 10, 2016 at 8:49 pm
                    Prateek. La etna moota lan andar daal do ga saree gas band kar doo ga
                    Reply
                    1. F
                      Fire
                      Oct 10, 2016 at 8:46 pm
                      Preetak. Really you are a drinker. Your father was drinker. Your mother was leaking gas from s . You are gas
                      Reply
                      1. F
                        Fire
                        Oct 10, 2016 at 8:44 pm
                        Preteek. You have no argument because you came out of the which was leaking gas. So you are smelling bad. Get your plugged
                        Reply
                        1. F
                          Fire
                          Oct 10, 2016 at 8:35 pm
                          Saach sa phat gaie. You can not listen truth as you are pre occupied.
                          Reply
                          1. F
                            Fire
                            Oct 10, 2016 at 8:40 pm
                            You son of gas leaking mother
                            Reply
                            1. F
                              Fire
                              Oct 10, 2016 at 8:39 pm
                              Your mother leaking gas from . Plug her immediately otherwise it will pollute indis
                              Reply
                              1. V
                                Vivek
                                Oct 11, 2016 at 1:51 am
                                Same building attacked again and again why this because terrorists are against progress of Kashmir youth
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  abd
                                  Oct 10, 2016 at 4:14 pm
                                  Be waqt ki rahni.irrelvent comments.
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    abd
                                    Oct 10, 2016 at 4:19 pm
                                    It is not Pak army.It's not the capability of indian Army.
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      abd
                                      Oct 10, 2016 at 3:52 pm
                                      What an efficient army.Not able to control 3 men for complete day. How they can fight a 6 lac strong Pak army.Situation will keep worsening till the time Kashmiris are not given RIGHT of self determination as promised by Nehru/UNO.
                                      Reply
                                      1. A
                                        abd
                                        Oct 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm
                                        What an efficient army.Not able to control 3 men for complete day. How they can fight a 6 lac strong Pak army.Situation will keep worsening till the time Kashmiris are not given RIGHT of self determination as promised by Nehru/UNO.
                                        Reply
                                        1. P
                                          Pak
                                          Oct 11, 2016 at 11:45 am
                                          The new is they will kick off your and show you how Surgical Strike is done :-P
                                          Reply
                                          1. P
                                            Pak
                                            Oct 11, 2016 at 11:43 am
                                            This is done to show you your OKAT....surgical strikes...Hahahahahahalt;br/gt;Not able to catch two terrorists and barking of surgical Strikes
                                            Reply
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