Budgam Encounter Ends, Lashkar Militant Killed

Budgam Encounter Ends, Lashkar Militant Killed

26 December 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ehsan Fazili

Srinagar: A Lashkar-e-Toiba militant belonging to Pakistan was killed today in an encounter with security forces after a nightlong operation in Hushroo village in Budgam district, about 20 km from here. The police said the Lashkar militant, identified as Umar, was killed in the encounter that took place between the holed up militants and security forces early this morning. Another militant, Riyaz Ahmad, who was also hiding in a house in the village, managed to escape, the police said. One residential house got damaged in the gunfight. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Central Kashmir range, Syed Afadul-Mujtaba said the identity of the slain Pakistani militant had been ascertained. However, residents of Lelhar village in the Kakpora area of the adjacent Pulwama district claimed that the militant killed in the encounter was from their village. They claimed that a youth, Showkat Ahmad Lone, who had joined militant ranks was missing since November 30 and had been killed today in the Budgam encounter. The DIG Police said the body of the militant would be kept in the mortuary and a DNA test would be conducted to ascertain the claims of the Lelhar villagers. Meanwhile, a report from Pulwama said a complete bandh was observed in the area in support of the demand for handing over the militantís body to the villagers. The police claim the slain militant was involved in the killing of a police officer, Sub Inspector Shabir Ahmad, SHO of Chadoora in Budgam district on December 2. At least four others, including two policemen and two civilians, were also injured in the attack, which had taken place in Chadoora town. On December 8, one of the civilians injured in the attack, Ghulam Mohammad Dar, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital here. With the militantís killing in Hushroo village, the search operation launched by the security forces on Tuesday came to an end nearly after 48 hours today. Acting on specific information about the presence of Lashkar militant Umar, the security forces launched a search operation in Ichkoot village near Budgam on Tuesday. However, Umar and his associate Riyaz Ahmad, a local militant, managed to give the security forces the slip taking advantage of the darkness. The search operation was again launched in adjacent villages, and security forces cordoned off Hushroo village last evening leading to a nightlong siege.