Bandipore: In a fierce shootout between government forces and the militants during wee hours on Wednesday in Hajin area of North Kashmir’s Bandipore district two two Air Force commandos and an equal number of militants were killed.
The shootout started when a joint party of 13 Rashtriya Rifles of Army and SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police laid siege to Rakh (Paribal) area of Hajin following inputs about the presence of militants in the area.
“As the forces were closing in around 5 am, the hiding militants fired upon them, resulting in the injuries to three personnel of Garud Commando Force. Two of them succumbed later,” said a police official.
He identified the deceased commandos as Cpl Neelesh Nayan and Sgt Milind Khabar.
He said the commandos were operating with the army for operational experience and training.
A senior police official said that two militants were also killed in the shootout.
They were identified as Abu Bakr alias Ali Baba and Nasrullah Mir, son of Nazir Ahmad Mir, resident of Mir Mohalla Hajin. Both belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit, he said.
A police official told news agency CNS that Nasrullah Mir was a known stone-pelter against whom several cases stands registered in different police stations. “He disappeared in March this year and joined Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit,” he said.
The official added that besides some food stuff and medicine, arms and ammunition was recovered from the possession of slain militants.
Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General North Kashmir VK Bridi said the slain militants were involved in the killing of off-duty BSF man Muhammad Ramzan Parray.
Parray was killed by gunmen on September 28. Four of his family members were injured in the shooting.
He said that they were part of the Lashkar group involved in several attacks on security forces and civilians in the area in recent past.
Entire area observed a spontaneous shutdown and thousands of people participated in slain militant nasrullah’s last rites while the body of Abu Bakr, a non-local militant, was secretly buried in Gantmulla, Uri near the Line of Control.
In Hajin, according to witnesses men, women and children took to roads and participated in the final rites of Nasraullah. The mourners raised pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans. Large contingent of Police and Para-military troopers had been deployed on roads to maintain law and order.
Witnesses added that after the funeral youth clashed with police.
Authorities closed educational institutions in Bandipora district and some parts of Baramulla district following the culmination of encounter. Authorities also snapped internet service in the area.
According to the orders of District Magistrate Bandipora, class work shall remain suspended in Government Degree College Sumbal, Government Higher Secondary Sumbal, Government Higher Secondary School Hajin, Government Higher Secondary School Naidkhai and Government High School Sumbal on Thursday.
He said the class work has been suspended “as a precautionary measure”.