Srinagar: Two militants were killed and a third one surrendered before the security forces as a fire fight that began on Saturday evening in Jammu and Kashmir’s southern Shopian district ended on Sunday.
The fighting broke out hours after Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, began a 4-day visit of the restive State.
The officials said that the encounter started after the security forces including the J&K police’s counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) and the Army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles launched a cordon-and-search operation in Shopian’s Barbugh, Imam Sahib area following specific information about the presence of militants.
They said that during the search operation, the militants hiding in the area opened fire at the security forces, triggering the encounter.
“Two terrorists identified as Altaf Ahmed Rather, a resident of Shopian’s Awneera Zainapora village and Tariq Ahmed Bhat of Barbugh were killed. Their third accomplice Adil Hussain Dar, a resident of Chitripora, Shopian, surrendered,” a statement issued by the police said.
It added that the slain militants were involved in a number of terror attacks including on the J&K policemen and the Army besides a bank robbery.
The encounter and another in north-western Baramulla district took place on a day when Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, began a 4-day visit of Jammu and Kashmir to hold a series of meetings to review the law and order situation and the pace of development works being executed under the Prime Minister’s Development Package.
In the second clash, Hizb-ul-Mujahedin’s district commander for Baramulla Shahid Ahmed Sheikh alias Shabir was killed in Reban area outside north-western town of Sopore on Sunday.
While the Home Minister was holding meetings with government functionaries, the security forces authorities and various stakeholders in summer capital Srinagar, the militants killed a J&K policeman Imtiyaz Ahmed and critically injured another Shakeel Ahmed 55 kilometres away in the southern Anantnag town the same day.
The Home Minister on Sunday visited the J&K police personnel at District Police Lines in Anantnag and later also their counterparts from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at its 90 Battalion headquarters in the town to tell them “You are brave” and that the country “is proud of you”.