SRINAGAR, Aug 29: Four policemen were killed in a militant attack at Arhama in South Kashmir’s Shopian district this afternoon while security forces killed a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander and his associate in Anantnag district.
Militants opened firing on the escort party of the DySP headquarters Shopian at Arhama village today in the afternoon. Four cops suffered bullet injured in the attack and were rushed to nearby hospital where all of them succumbed to injuries. They have been identified as Constable Ishfaq Ahmad Mir, Constable Javaid Ahmad Bhat, Constable Mohammad Iqbal Mir and SPO Adil Manzoor Bhat.
The escort party of the DySP had gone to the area to repair a police vehicle when the incident occurred. Sources said that the cops along with the vehicle reached the workshop at around 1:30 p.m. and five militants came in a Swift Dezire at around 2:30 p.m. They fired at the cops indiscriminately and decamped with three weapons.
Soon after this incident, the area was cordoned off and massive searches launched to nab the militants responsible for the attack. A police spokesman said here: “Terrorists in the afternoon fired indiscriminately upon a police party at Arhama in district Shopian. In this incident, four cops sustained gunshot wounds and were evacuated to nearby hospital for medical attention.
However, all the four injured policemen succumbed to their injuries. Police has registered a case and initiated investigations in the instant matter.” A wreath laying ceremony was held at District Police Lines Shopian for the cops killed in the attack. Civil and police officers laid floral wreaths on the mortal remains and paid rich tributes to the cops.
And security forces today killed divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen and his associate in Anantnag district of South Kashmir while over two dozen persons were injured in the clashes that broke out after the encounter.
A joint team of Army’s 1-RR, SOG and CRPF cordoned off Binpora, Muniward area of Khanabal at around 5 am after inputs that two militants of Hizbul Mujahideen were hiding in the area. As the security forces were conducting searches, a massive blast occurred and this was followed by intense firing. The militants opened fire on the security forces who were zeroing towards the house in which militants were hiding leading to an encounter in which two militants were killed.
The killed militants were identified as divisional commander Altaf Ahmad Dar son of Ghulam Mohammad Dar alias Kachroo alias Moin of Hawoora, Mishipora and his associate Umar Rashid Wani of Khudwani, Kulgam. Dar was active since 2007 and was considered to be a long time surviving militant in the area. Police said that he was involved in series of militancy incidents in the area. He was involved in several attacks on the security forces and killings of civilians and policemen in the area.
A Police spokesman said: “Several cases were registered against him in different police stations across Valley. Some of the prominent cases include rifle snatching from policemen at Yaripora BSNL Tower. FIR No 208/7 under Section 307, RPC, 7/27, Arms Act; FIR No 226/2010 under Section 20 ULA (P) Act; FIR No 239/2010 under Section 307,RPC 7/27 Arms Act; FIR No 15/2010 under Section 307, 392 RPC 7/25 Arms Act in PS Yaripora; FIR No 21/2011 under Section 7/25 Arms Act P/S Zadibal Srinagar; FIR No 174/15 under Section 307, 392 RPC , 7/25 Arms Act PS Kulgam etc. Pertinently during the 2016 unrest he along with Yasin Itoo alias Gaznavi played a major role in instigating people.”
“Umar Rashid Wani son of Abdul Rashid Wani resident of Khudwani Kulgam became active last year. He was involved in many civilian atrocities and attacks on security establishments. He was also involved in killing of policemen at Anantnag. Further in Srinagar city Umar had carried out an attack on CRPF and also escaped from the recent Batamaloo encounter site. Several cases were registered against him including 145/17 under Section 302, 7/27 Arms Act of Police Station Anantnag in which two JKP cops were martyred and 173/18 under Section 302, 307, 34 RPC, 7/27 Arms Act, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20 ULA of Police Station Batamaloo. Though this group was part of HM module they had worked in close coordination with other proscribed outfit for unleashing terror. Some arms and ammunition was also recovered from the site of encounter”, the spokesman added.
Police has registered a case in this regard and the investigation has been initiated in the instant matter.
Over 50 persons were injured in clashes in South Kashmir parts following the killing of Hizb commander and his associate. Massive clashes erupted in Khudwani after the news of Kachroo’s death reached there.
Security forces fired tear gas and pellets to chase away the protesters who were pelting stones at them. Fifty persons were injured in the clashes. Six injured hit by pellets in the eye were referred to district hospital Anantnag for specialized treatment. One minor boy with pellets in his left eye was shifted to Srinagar hospital for further treatment.
Thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of both the martyrs at their respective villages at Hawoora and Khudwani. Authorities snapped internet service in most parts of Anantnag and Kulgam districts after the encounter. Train service was also suspended on the Srinagar-Banihal route following the gunfight. And on specific inputs, Awantipora Police along with security forces busted three militant modules operating in the area and made several arrests in this regard.
The joint team arrested five members of the module who were identified as Rizwan Ahmad Pandit, head of the module, son of Assad-ul-laha Pandit resident of Awantipora, Shahid Manzoor son of Manzoor Ahmad Pinchoo resident of Jawbara Awantipora, Zahid Ahmad son of Nisar Ahmad Dar resident of Redwani Kulgam, Mohammad Hussain son of Mohammad Abdullaha Rather resident of Nowpora Arwani and Manzoor Ahmad Dar soon of Ghulam Hassan resident of Nowpora Arwani.
Police said that the investigation so far revealed that Rizwan was the main motivator to recruit the youth towards militancy and played key role in joining of Ufaid Farooq Lone son of Farooq Ahmad Lone, resident of Awantipora in terrorist ranks from Awantipora town. They were also involved in carrying UBGL attacks on NHW and informing militants about the movement of security forces.
In another instance, the joint team busted second militant module by arresting two members of the module. They were identified as Shahwaiz Ahmad Wani son of Showkat Ahmad Wani and Towseef Ahmad Bhat son of Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, both residents of Chersoo. Both of them were involved in arranging and providing arms and ammunition to militants in South Kashmir.
They also busted third module and arrested two of its members. They were identified as Gowhar Ahmad Dar son of Ali Mohammad Dar, resident of Renzipora and Showkat Ahmad son of Ghulam Mohammad, resident of Khiram. On their questioning, they disclosed the locations of hideouts at Tahab Pulwama, Khallan and Khiram which were accordingly busted and destroyed.
A huge quantity of arms and ammunition including incriminating material was recovered. All of them have been booked under relevant Section of laws and investigation has been initiated. Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary had a narrow escape this evening after his vehicle came under stone pelting in Nadihal village of the district.
The DC was returning from Hajin area of the district after attending Public Darbar and when he reached Nadihal village on way back to Bandipora, stones were pelted at his vehicle in which window panes were broken but he escaped unhurt. Militants abducted a son of a policeman from his home in Pinglish village of Tral township in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district this evening.
A group of masked militants barged into the house of Rafiq Ahmad Rather and abducted his son Asif Rafiq. Rafiq is currently posted at Srinagar. His son, Asif is a student of BSc. Agriculture. A massive manhunt has been launched in Tral and its adjoining villages to trace the abducted youth.