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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Three new militant recruits killed in Shopian

The standoff began Wednesday night when a joint team of J&K Police, Army and paramilitary forces cordoned off Kanigam village in south Kashmir's Shopian.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar |
Updated: May 7, 2021 4:23:42 am
Shopian encounter, J&K encounter, Shopian encounter militants killed, militants killed in J&K, J&K newsSecurity forces in Shopian (File)

Just four days after they took up arms, three Al-Badr militants were killed in a gunfight in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Thursday morning. Their associate surrendered.

The police said the slain militants spurned their appeals to surrender.

The standoff began Wednesday night when a joint team of J&K Police, Army and paramilitary forces cordoned off Kanigam village in south Kashmir’s Shopian.

“During the search operation they (militants) were given an opportunity to surrender. Family members of the trapped terrorists were also called to the encounter site to motivate and persuade them to surrender,” the police said in a release. “Due to the great efforts and utmost patience of police, security forces and repeated surrender appeals with the help of their family members, one of the trapped terrorist Tausif Ahmad ultimately surrendered and laid down his arms before the joint security forces. He later also appealed to his trapped companions to surrender. However, they turned down the surrender offer and fired indiscriminately on the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter.”

The police have identified the slain militants as Danish Mir and Mohamad Umer Bhat, both residents of Khajapora Shopian, and Zahid Bashir Reshi, a resident of Reban Shopian.

Police sources said the militants had joined the militant ranks just this week.

While the police were silent about the weapons seized from the militants, the army claimed to have found four pistols on them.

“One terrorist surrendered and three were killed. All four were recent recruits,” the Army said in a statement.

A video from the encounter site shows the Army sending in two civilians inside the shed where the militants were holed up. In the video, the civilians can be seen talking to the militants, one of whom says he is ready to surrender. In the video, the militants say they have only pistols with them.

The video has raised the question of why more efforts were not made to capture the militants who were recent recruits and armed with pistols. It has also raised questions about the safety of the civilians who went in to negotiate.

The Army, however, said the civilians volunteered to go inside to persuade the militants to surrender. “He was the owner of the shed where they (militants) were hiding and he volunteered to go inside,” a defence spokesperson told The Indian Express. “As far as capturing them alive is concerned, the militants were not only having pistols but also hand grenades which they threw at the joint team of forces.”

Police said that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar “congratulated the joint team of forces for showing patience and professionalism” during the encounter.

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