Two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, including a Pakistan national, were killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday, police said. The police added that a Class IX student died, while some civilians were injured in the crossfire between the militants and the security personnel.
A joint team of J&K Police, Army and paramilitary forces had launched searches in Kundallan village of the district on Tuesday morning following leads about presence of militants in the area. As the team moved towards a house, where the militants were suspected to be hiding, the militants opened fire, triggering an encounter that lasted for several hours, the police said.
Two militants, identified as Sameer Ahmad Sheikh, a resident of Rawalpora, and Babar, a Pakistan national, were killed in the encounter, the police said.
“They (the militants) were affiliated to the proscribed terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad,” a police spokesperson confirmed.
According to sources, Sheikh joined the militant outfit in April after 12 militants were killed in separate encounters in Shopian on April 1.
Sources said a clash erupted between civilians and the security personnel when hundreds of youths from Kundalan and adjacent villages rushed to the encounter site and started throwing stones at the forces.
Sixteen-year-old Tamseel Khursheed, son of a carpenter, was killed when a bullet hit him on the head.
“Some civilians were injured in cross firing at the site of encounter. They were later evacuated to hospital,” a police spokesman said. “One of the injured later succumbed, while the others are stable.”
Doctors in Shopian claimed that the number of injured was more than 100. “In different hospitals, we have received 123 injured. Six of them were hit by bullets and the rest by pellets. Of pellet injuries, 17 were hit in their eyes,” Shopian’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Rashid told The Indian Express. “We have referred 27 injured to Srinagar hospitals.”
Meanwhile, father of Jaish militant, Zeenat-ul-Islam, died of cardiac arrest, with sources saying that he was scared that his son was trapped in the cordon. The police confirmed that Zeenat was not among the dead militants and could have escaped.
The separatist leaders have called for a shutdown on Wednesday.