2 Hizb militants trapped in Pulwama encounter
Police deserter Shakoor's associat Gazi surrenders
JAMMU, Jan 19: Two of Hizbul Mujahideen’s local militants are believed to be trapped after Police and security forces swooped down on Nayina Batpora village in Pulwama-Bijbehara belt of South Kashmir on Tuesday evening.
Residents said that Police and Army launched a crackdown in the evening when the people were busy with the prayers at the village mosque. They said that after being holed up for about two hours, all the civilians were rescued. They said that gunshots were heard intermittently till around midnight.
Official sources told STATE TIMES that SOG Pulwama alongwith troops from RR 55 Bn and CRPF swooped down on a militant hideout after receiving reliable information about the presence of the top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani. However, by the time troops reached there, Burhan seemed to have left the village. Still two of his close associates got holed up. One of them, according to the officials busy with the operation, is Lateef of Dogripora.
DIG South Kashmir Nitish Kumar said that Police and forces managed to rescue all the family members of the civilian whose house was occupied by the two armed militants. He said that Police also succeeded in rescuing all the 40 civilians who had got trapped in the mosque. "On two occasions, militants opened fire which delayed our rescue operation for some time. However, by 11.30 pm we rescued all of them. Nobody is injured", DIG told STATE TIMES.
DIG said that there was little chance of the holed up militants' escape. He said that initially some residents tried to disrupt the operation with slogans and stones but they withdrew when Police used mild baton charge. SSP Pulwama Tejinder Singh and senior officers of Army’s Victor Force were supervising the operation at midnight.
Meanwhile STATE TIMES learned from highly placed official sources that one Gazi of Kundalan Shopian surrendered with one AK 47 rifle before SSP Shopian late in the evening on Tuesday. PSO of Dy SP Operations Bijbehara Irshad Ahmad Bhat, Constable Shakoor of Kundalan, had escaped with four AK 47 rifles three days back and given the guns to three residents of his village including Gazi.
Gazi revealed to Police that Shakoor and he approached both LET and Hizbul Mujahideen but neither of them trusted them. Finally he decided to surrender. He has given some leads about Shakoor's whereabouts to Police who have launched manhunt in search of the deserter. Dy SP Irshad Bhat had been attacked by militants at Bijbehara and left criticality injured on December 24. He is now recovering.