Security forces in Jammu-Kashmir killed five Hizbul Mujahideen militants on Sunday during an encounter at Badigam village in Shopian. Director General of Police, Jammu & Kashmir, SP Vaid said all the bodies of the slain militants have been recovered. “Encounter concluded at Badigam Zainpora Shopian, 5 bodies of terrorists recovered. Well done boys – Army/ CRPF/J&K Police,” DGP S P Vaid tweeted.
Police said the encounter broke out when security forces launched a search operation following inputs about the possible presence of militants at Badigam village in Zainapora area of the south Kashmir district.
Five civilians also died during clashes between protesters and law enforcing agencies near the encounter site, the police said. One of the civilian was identified as Asif Ahmad Mir, a resident of Rahmoo Pulwama. He received a bullet injury on his head during the clashes and was rushed to SMHS hospital here where he succumbed later.
Top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Saddam Padder and a Kashmir University assistant professor, who went missing on Friday, are believed to be among the slain militants. But police officials said it can only be confirmed after ascertaining the identity of the slain ultras. Mohammad Rafi Bhat, a contractual assistant professor in the Sociology department of the university, went missing on Friday.
Bhat, a resident of Chundina area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, was to join militant ranks and reportedly is among the militants who were trapped in Badigam. “Reportedly, Bhat is among the militants trapped there,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, S P Pani said.
He said the police brought his family from Ganderbal to persuade him to surrender.
“After receiving the input about his presence there, we brought his family from Ganderbal to persuade him to surrender, but so far, repeated attempts have not materialized,” Pani had said earlier in the day. Bhat’s family informed the university authorities about his disappearance yesterday.
Protests had rocked the university yesterday over his disappearance, following which the university’s vice chancellor met the protesting students and assured them that all efforts would be made to trace the missing professor. The vice-chancellor had also written to the Director General of Police, requesting him that all efforts be made to trace Bhat’s whereabouts.
Kashmir University has suspended class work for two days from tomorrow as a precautionary measure and postponed all examinations scheduled to be held tomorrow. Mobile Internet services have been suspended in south Kashmir districts and Ganderbal in central Kashmir, while the facility remained barred in Srinagar for the second consecutive day today.
with PTI inputs