Two LeT Militants, Civilian Killed In Kulgam

22 June 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Two militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and a civilian were killed while two Army personnel were injured in an overnight encounter in Kulgam district of South Kashmir today. The death of the civilian led to clashes between locals and Police in the area which were going on till evening. The Deputy Commissioner Kulgam has ordered magisterial inquiry into the collateral damage caused during the encounter. A senior police official said that based on a tip off about presence of militants in Redwani Bala village in South Kashmir's Kulgam district, a joint operation was launched by Police, Army and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) last night. The officer said that militants hiding in the village opened fire on troops and took shelter in the house of Zahoor Ahmad Dar. Police and Army fired back leading to a gun battle which continued till morning. The officer said that reinforcements were immediately brought in and adjacent villages of Redwani Payeen, Hawoora and Mishipora were also cordoned off to prevent militants from fleeing the cordon. The residents of adjacent villages including Khudwani rushed to the Mukhdoom Mohalla and pelted stones at the troops to divert their attention from the operation and facilitate fleeing of the holed up militants. Police fired tear smoke shells to disperse them. The ding dong battles continued throughout the night. The troops in the morning blasted off the house in which the militants had taken shelter but they shifted to a nearby house. The troops engaged them and encounter continued till around 10 a.m and both the militants were killed. The two militants have been identified as Javed Ahmad Bhat and Idrees Ahmad Nengru, both belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant outfit. One civilian Asif Ahmad Tantray was also killed in the encounter. Police said that he was hit by a stray bullet near the scene of encounter but locals said that he was allegedly shot dead by troops. Killing of Tantray led to intensified protests in Redwani Bala area and troops continued to engage the two holed up militants who were later killed. The youth also pelted stones during the protests on troops. The District Magistrate Kulgam ordered magisterial inquiry into the death of civilian and collateral damage caused during the gun battle. 'Whereas reportedly an encounter started in village Redwani Bala on the evening of June 21. Whereas, reportedly some casualties have occurred during the encounter. Whereas there are apprehensions of collateral damage during the encounter. Whereas there are reports of damage to life and property of the civilian during the encounter. Now therefore in order to ascertain the facts and circumstances which led to the damage of civilian life and property, a Magisterial enquiry is hereby ordered into the incident', the inquiry order of the magistrate reads. The Additional District Magistrate Kulgam, Mohammad Ahsaan Mir, has been appointed as enquiry officer. 'The enquiry report shall be finished within one month', the order reads. The LeT militant, Javed Ahmad Bhat alias Abu Jaffer son of Abdul Rehman Bhat of Redwani Bala was allegedly involved in stone pelting cases before joining LeT few years ago. Several cases (FIR NO. 32-2013 163-2010 39-2013 186-2013 250-2013) of stone pelting were registered against him in Police Station Kulgam. Police said that he was also involved (FIR NO. 213-2014 u-s 302 RPC 7-27 I A ACT) in the killing of Police follower Mohammad Rafiq Mir of Hussanpora Bagh, killing (FIR NO. 16 -2015 U-S 302 RPC 7-27 I A Act) of Constable Zahoor Ahmad Dar, the PSO of MLA Home Shalibugh Abdul Majeed and killing (FIR NO. 220 - 2014 U-S 307 393 RPC 7-27 I A Act) of constable Fayaz Ahmad the PSO of then Deputy Commissioner Anantnag. Police said that Idrees Ahmad Nengroo son of Ghulam Hassan Nengroo of Budroo had recently joined LeT. One AK-47 rifle, two AK magazines, 5 rounds of AK ammunition, one SLR rifle, one SLR magazine, 30 rounds of SLR ammunition, one UBGL and two pouches were recovered from the site of encounter. Reports said that there are two FIRs (FIR no. 163-2010 PS Kulgam U-S 436,395,397,307,121,121-A, 120-A, 147, 148, 149, 188, 332 RPC 7-27 Act and FIR no. 92-2009 U-S 10 ULA Act ) registered against Mohammad Asif Tantray son of Abdul Rasheed Tantray of Redwani Bala in Police Station Kulgam under unlawful activities act. Tantray was also killed in the encounter and police said he was hit by a stray bullet.