Army Officer, 2 Cops, Div Comdr Among 5 Killed; 7 Injured In Kupwara

8 April 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: An Army officer, two police men and two militants including divisional commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed and six security men were injured in a fierce gun battle in North Kashmir's Kupwara district today while militants shot at and injured a police man and decamped with his rifle in South Kashmir district of Anantnag. IGP, Kashmir, A G Mir told reporters at Handwara that last evening police received information about the presence of a group of militants in village Zoonreshi in Chowkibal area of Kupwara district. He said that Handwara Police, Kupwara Police and Army launched a joint operation against the militants. 'Two militants, two police men and one Army officer were killed in the overnight gun battle', he said. A police spokesman identified the three security men killed in the gun battle as Head Constable Mohammad Shafi and Constable Riyaz Ahmad of Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Army man as Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) Naib Subedar Kakanvari. 'Four policemen, two Army personnel and a woman, Shahmaali Begum wife of Gaffar Mir, were injured in the encounter. Huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from the encounter site', the spokesman added. Sources said that police had information about the presence of 5-7 militants inside the village when the operation was launched. 'In the initial gun battle two militants and three security men were killed and six others were injured and the rest of the militants fled under the cover of darkness', sources added. IGP Mir said that it is not clear yet whether the militant group had recently infiltrated into Kashmir or had infiltrated last year. 'We can't say whether they had recently infiltrated or not. We are investigating it', he added. Srinagar based defence spokesman, Lt Col N N Joshi said here that a joint operation was launched by Army and police on specific intelligence input in Chowkibal area last evening. 'The terrorists were holed up in a double storyed house on the fringes of village Zoonreshi near Chowkibal, Kupwara district. As soon as the troops closed on to the house, terrorists opened heavy volume of fire. This led to heavy exchange of fire and the operations lasted through the last night and today leading to the killing of two hardcore terrorists. The terrorists were identified as Vilayat Khan, divisional commander Haphruda and Abu Kasha. Both the terrorists belonged to LeT. Two AK-47 rifles were recovered from the site. The search of the nearby houses and the adjoining jungle area is underway', the Defence spokesman said. Some of the injured security men have been identified as SPO Fayaz Ahmad (belt no.388), Constable Shala (belt no. 635) and Constable Reyaz Ahmad and Lanse Naik Shoure Marti Mahadeoraro (belt no. 2799756 Y) of 19 Marathas. In the meantime, militants today shot at and critically injured a policeman in Anantnag town of South Kashmir and decamped with his service rifle. DIG, South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told Excelsior that militants shot at constable Shabir Ahmad from a close range at Lal chowk in Anantnag town. 'Militants snatched his rifle', he added. The constable was hit by the bullet in the head. He was rushed to nearby district hospital from where he was referred to SKIMS Hospital in Srinagar. Senior police officers rushed to the spot and searches were conducted to nab the militants responsible for firing at the cop and decamping with his rifle. However, no one was arrested.