Two Special Police Officers (SPOs) who joined militant ranks were among four Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) men killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Friday.
Shabir Ahmad Dar and Mohammad Salman Khan, residents of Pulwama and Shopian districts respectively, were killed less than 24 hours after they abandoned their posts. J&K police said after deserting, the SPOs had become the members of JeM and were killed in an encounter.
A police spokesperson said that a cordon and search operation was launched by joint forces at Panjran village in Litter area of Pulwama district on Thursday evening following the presence of militants in the area.
“During the search operation, the hiding terrorists fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the spokesperson said.
The gunbattle, which continued for more than 12 hours, led to the death of four militants.
“In the ensuing encounter, two listed terrorists and two SPOs who had recently deserted (the force) and become members of the proscribed terrorist organisation JeM were killed,” the police spokesperson said.
The slain militants have been identified as Ashiq Hussain Ganaie of Panjran in Pulwama, and Imran Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Arihal, Pulwama.
A senior police officer in South Kashmir termed the desertion of the SPOs and their subsequent joining of militant ranks a “serious” matter, but added that counter measures are already in place to deal with the “challenge”, and now measures are being further “strengthened”.
“We are further investigating the matter very thoroughly and checking if any of their (the SPOs’) colleagues were aware about the plans to joining the militant ranks,” said the officer.
Militants lob grenade, 2 cops injured
Srinagar: Two policemen were injured after militants lobbed a grenade at a police station in North Kashmir’s Sopore on Friday afternoon.
“Terrorists lobbed a #grenade at Police Station @SoporePolice. Area under cordon,” Kashmir police zone tweeted.
A senior police officer in North Kashmir told The Indian Express that both of the injured policemen are stable. ENS