3 Militants, 3 Civilians Killed
9 October 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Even as Police and security forces have killed three militants in two separate operations in Kashmir valley since last evening, suspected militants have gunned down a middle aged woman in Bandipore and also left an 8-year-old girl dead and another girl wounded in a shootout at Warpora in Sopore. Yet another 8-year-old girl has been found killed in an apparantly non-militancy related incident in a forest area in Kupwara district. Top Hizbul Mujahideen militant Latief Ahmad Ganai alias Furkaan and his close associate Rafiq Ahmad Shah were killed in an encounter with a joint search party of 52 and 29 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operations Group (SOG) at Wagub-Sopore village in Baramulla district, Deputy Inspector General of Police, north Kashmir, B Srinivas said. A policeman was also injured in the encounter which started last night when police cordoned a house in the village following specific information about presence of militants. While one of the militants came out of the house last night and was shot dead, the second militant was eliminated this morning, he said, adding Latief had crossed over to Pakistan for arms training in 1999 and had returned in June this year. A defence spokesman said troops of 21 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Special Operation Group (SOG) of State Police launched a joint operation at village Chalpora, Handwara, in the frontier district of Kupwara this morning. During the operation, an encounter ensued in which a militant was killed. The spokesman said that unidentified militants shot dead Zaitooni, a 40 year-old wife of late Bashir Ahmad Mir at Check Arsala Khan Bandipora in north Kashmir He said that militants intruded into the house of one Mohammad Maqbool Malik at Warpora village of Baramulla district last night and opened fire at his 22- year-old daughter. The woman along with her eight-year-old niece was injured in the shooting. The minor girl, later, succumbed to injuries. Police recovered the body of an 8-year-old girl, Gulshan Bano, from Suna Nad forest at Trehgam in north district of Kupwara. The girl, missing since October 1, was raped before being murdered, the spokesman added. He said the postmortem conducted on her confirmed that she was raped. A massive hunt has been launched to nab the killers, he said, adding an FIR under Section 364 and 302 RPC was registered in the local police station. More than half a dozen minor girls were raped and later murdered in the Kashmir valley during the past one year. However, police, acting swiftly, arrested the accused in all the cases. The Handwara incident, in which two outsiders were among four accused, and Ikhrajpora rape and subsequent murder cases evoked massive demonstration. Police filed a challan against four accused in the Handwara case. However, people are demanding fast trial court for speedy justice to victims.