STATE TIMES NEWSSrinagar: Three Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) terrorists and a civilian woman were killed, while two CRPF personnel, including an officer, sustained injuries in a predawn gunbattle in Batamaloo area in the city here on Thursday, officials said.The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer is in a critical condition, they said.Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Firdousabad locality in Batamaloo around 2.30 am following information about the presence of terrorists there, the officials said.
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh on Thursday said the test results of the DNA samples collected from the family members of three men from Rajouri, who were allegedly killed in a fake encounter in Shopian, will be out in a few days.“The Army’s initial inquiry process is about to complete and they will act on the findings of the inquiry. I believe it is a matter of a few days before the results of the DNA samples are out,” Singh said at a press conference here.He was responding to a reporter’s question about the delay in the findings of the DNA tests.The DNA samples were collected from the members of three families in Rajouri district of Jammu on August 14.Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha recently said he would ensure that there is no injustice to the families.On July 18, the Army claimed that three terrorists were killed in the higher reaches of Shopian in south Kashmir. However, no further details were shared.The controversy erupted after three families filed a complaint at a police station in Rajouri, stating that a member each was missing since July 17 from the Amshipora area of Shopian, where they were working as labourers in apple and walnut orchards.The relatives of the three men, belonging to Dhar Sakri village in the Kotranka area of Rajouri, lodged the missing report with the local police after they failed to contact the trio and the news of an encounter came from Ashimpora on July 18.Meanwhile, on the death of an alleged over-ground worker (OGW) in the Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir Vijay Kumar said after allegations by the family members of the deceased, a magisterial inquiry will be conducted.“I told the SP (superintendent of police, Sopore) to write to the DM (district magistrate), Baramulla, requesting for a magisterial inquiry. The SP wrote the letter on Wednesday. Perhaps, an order (for the magisterial inquiry) would have been issued this morning,” he said at the press conference.Protests have erupted in north Kashmir’s Sopore town after Irfan Ahmad Dar (24) allegedly died in police custody on Tuesday. While the police say Dar escaped from custody and his body was found later, the family of the deceased claims it was a “murder in custody”.The IGP said he believes Dar fell on a stone and may have had a cardiac arrest, and died while trying to flee when the police were taking him to a spot for recovering ammunition.“The SP has said Dar was an OGW, hand grenades were recovered from his possession and that he was being taken to the spot for more recovery during the night when he fled. He had no arms, so he did not fire and our jawans also did not fire. After some time, they found him. He had fallen on a stone. He also had an injury on his foot. He was taken to a hospital. Post-mortem and COVID tests were done. His family was called and he was buried in Sonamarg,” Kumar said.
They said the search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists opened fire on security forces.A civilian, identified as Kaunsar Riyaz (45), was killed in the firing, while two CRPF personnel, including Deputy Commandant Rahul Mathur, were injured, the officials said.The injured personnel were taken to hospital, they said.A police spokesperson said the slain terrorists have been identified as Zakir Ahmad Paul, a resident of Aloora Imam Sahib Shopian; Ubair Mushtaq Bhat, a resident of Badragund Kulgam; and Adil Hussain Bhat, a resident of Batapora Chersoo, Awantipora.“All were affiliated with proscribed terror outfit HM. They were involved in several attacks in Srinagar city and south Kashmir,” the spokesperson said.Acting on a lead, security forces zeroed in on a house where the militants were hiding, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said.“They were given a chance to surrender, but they refused and opened fire. One CRPF officer and another CRPF man sustained injuries in the initial exchange of firing. The officer is critical and we are praying for his recovery,” he said at a press conference at the Police Control Room (PCR) here.IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar and IG, CRPF, Srinagar sector, Charu Sinha were also present at the press conference.Singh said the forces conducted the operation in a professional manner and killed all three terrorists.“However, a woman was caught in the crossfire. Her death is very unfortunate, and we express sympathy with the bereaved family,” he said.“Arms and ammunition were recovered (from the slain terrorists),” he added.DGP Singh said terrorists from other districts of south and north Kashmir keep coming to Srinagar to carry out attacks on security forces.“On August 14, they targeted our party and killed two policemen in Nowgam. Before that, they had killed two BSF men at Pandach on the city’s outskirts. And then they made another attempt at Pantha Chowk, where we lost a brave SOG man,” he said.“Today’s operation was the seventh one in Srinagar in the recent past,” the DGP said.“In terms of peace, 2020 has been better on every parameter than 2019. So far this year, we have done 72 operations in which 177 terrorists were killed, including 12 in Jammu,” he said. He said 22 Pakistani terrorists were among these 177, adding that this “shows Pakistan’s direct involvement in terror activities”.“Most of the terrorists working for outfits like Lashkar and Jaish are from Pakistan. I hope the way the forces are conducting the operations, we will achieve more successes on the peace-building and operations front,” Singh said.He said the police and CRPF teams are alert. Whenever they get a lead about the presence of militants in the city, efforts are made to ensure zero collateral damage.“We also give opportunity to terrorists to surrender, even when there is exchange of firing. Also, we try to bring back those youth who have taken up the wrong path and we have achieved success on that front also, especially in south Kashmir. I think around 20 youth have been brought back and they have joined their families,” he said.Singh appealed to youngsters not to take the wrong path, saying it puts the society in danger.“Where the gun, bullet or grenade reaches, there is loss of life, and we can avoid it only if we shun the path of terror and make way for peace,” he said.“I think Pakistan does not lose any opportunity to instigate our youth and is trying to revive (terrorist) outfits like Al-Badr and create new ones like PAFF (People’s anti-Fascist Front) and TRF (The Resistance Front).“Pakistani agencies in Karachi are planning and executing these things and we condemn it. The youth here have a right to build their own lives and careers, but Pakistan’s interference is there,” he said.
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