2 militants, soldier killed in Kulgam gunbattle
Hizb ‘Disttt Commdr’ Adil believed dead in second encounter in South Kashmir
AHMED ALI FAYYAZ
SRINAGAR, Jan 13: In twenty four hours of the death of Hizbul Mujahideen “District Commander” Riyaz Deedar in an encounter in Kellar area of Pulwama-Shopian belt, Police and security forces have eliminated two more militants of the same organization while suffering the loss of one soldier in a fierce gunbattle at Tangmarg village in Kulgam-Shopian belt of South Kashmir. Yet another “District Commander” and a close associate of the dreaded militant Saquib, killed in 2009, Adil of Gool Gulabgarh area is believed to be among the dead even as none of the bodies had been recovered from the spot till late tonight.
Authoritative sources in South Kashmir told Early Times that SOG Kulgam, alongwith troops of Rashtriya Rifles 62 Bn and CRPF 18 Bn, swooped on Tangmarg village in Noorabad area of Kulgam-Shopian belt after receiving specific information regarding the presence of two top wanted militants of Hizbul Mujahideen at a hideout. As soon as SOG and troop zeroed in on the hideout, both the holed up militants directed heavy gunfire on them and made unsuccessful attempts to escape. Sources said that the gunbattle continued for several hours at the house of one Nazir Ahmed Kakroo.
Late in the evening, troops destroyed the hideout killing both the militants. Sources said that one soldier of RR 62 Bn got killed and SPO Zahoor of SOG Kulgam sustained critical injuries. He was evacuated and rushed to a Srinagar hospital for medical treatment. Unconfirmed reports said that three SOG personnel sustained injuries.
Sources participating in the operation said that neither of the two dead bodies of militants had been recovered till late tonight. They said that troops and Police failed to even recover the body of the soldier who died in a close encounter with the holed up militants. They said that firing subsided late in the evening with the destruction of the hideout and there was no indication of any more militant’s presence in the village.
Sources said that Hizbul Mujahideen’s top wanted “District Commander”, Adil of Gool Gulabgarh area of Pir Panjal hills, was believed dead in the gunbattle although it could not be conclusively established. Adil happened to be a close associate of Saquib, chief of Hizb’s Pir Panjal Regiment, who died in an encounter with security forces in Shopian area last year.
Killing of two top wanted militants of Hizbul Mujahideen is being rated as a major achievement for Police and security forces as it has come in just 24 hours of the killing of Hizb “District Commander” Riyaz Deedar in a similar encounter at Abhama village of Kellar in Pulwama-Shopian belt.
Sources added that earlier today, Kulgam Police and CRPF 18 Bn succeeded in releasing a surrendered militant, namely Khursheed Ahmed, at Ashmuji village and a CPI (M) activist, namely Mohammad Akbar, at Arigatnu village. Both had been reportedly kidnapped by militants. However, all the militants are said to have escaped.