Another JeM Militant Killed As Pulwama Gunbattle Ends

Another JeM Militant Killed As Pulwama Gunbattle Ends

6 June 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Suhail A Shah

Anantnag: The 19-hour gunbattle between militants and security forces in Pulwama district of south Kashmir ended this afternoon with the killing of a holed-up ultra, taking the number of militants killed to two. Divisional commander of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) outfit Altaf Baba alias ‘Gazi Baba’ was killed in the encounter yesterday, while his associate Muhammad Abbas Nengroo was shot dead today, the police said. The gunbattle broke out on Wednesday afternoon in Yachguchan village of Kellar area in this South Kashmir district. Militants opened fire on security personnel who had cordoned off the area on a specific tipoff about the presence of militants. “One of the militants was killed yesterday evening in the ensuing gunfight. The operation was suspended due to poor visibility last evening,” a senior police officer said. Nengroo, who was hiding in the area, opened fire on the security search party around 4 am after a night-long lull, triggering a fresh gunbattle which led to his killing, a police spokesman said. He said security forces had maintained a tight cordon in the area throughout the night to prevent the militants from escaping. There was an exchange of fire for some hours before the security forces killed Nengroo, a resident of Rajpora area of Pulwama. Nengroo also belonged to the Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit and had been active for the last five years. He was involved in the killing of an assistant sub-inspector on duty at Rajpora Chowk in Pulwama on May 11. Meanwhile, there were widespread protests throughout the district to mourn the death of the militants. According to reports, people came out in large numbers and clashed with the security forces in different parts of the Pulwama district. “There is an undeclared curfew in most parts of town,” sources from the area said. This is the second major militancy-related incident in Pulwama district and the third in the twin districts of Shopian and Pulwama in South Kashmir. Four Army personnel and a militant were killed on May 24 in an ambush laid by militants in the forests of Tral area of Pulwama, following which a major search operation was launched by security forces to comb out the militants. However, the militants managed to flee the spot. Days after the Tral attack, two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed by security forces on May 31 in Wachi area of Shopian district.