Army Major among 2 soldiers injured critically; over 45 protesters injured; authorities suspend train, internet services in south Kashmir; KU postpones exams for tomorrow
Srinagar, April 30: Top Hizb Commander Sameer Tiger was among two militants killed in an encounter with government forces at Drabgam area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday.
A civilian teenage youth was also killed after hit by a bullet during the clashes near the gunfight site while as 45 others suffered injuries.
Official sources told GNS that the joint team of forces during the searches recovered two militant bodies— Sameer Ahmad Bhat alias ‘Tiger’ son of Mohammad Maqbool of Drabgam and Aqib Khan son of Mushtaq Ahmad Khan of Rajpora.
DGP SP Vaid confirmed the killing of militants Sameer Tiger along with his associate in Drabgam, Pulwama, saying “it should bring peace in the area”.
“In Drabgam Pulwama encounter today morning in a joint operation two HeM (militants) killed including top commander Sameer tiger who was involved in number of civilian killings. It should bring peace in the area,” DGP said in a tweet. A civilian Shahid Ashraf Dar (18) son of Mohammad Ashraf Dar, a resident of Arihal, sustained a critical bullet wound during the clashes near the site of a gun battle. He later succumbed to injuries.
The gunfight broke out in Drubgam village early Monday morning after the joint team of Army, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in the area.
A major and a soldier of 44 RR were injured in the initial exchange of fire with the militants, reports said. The injured have been identified as Rohit Shukla (Army Major) and Abhinav Pathak (sepoy) and were shifted to 92 base military hospital in Badami Bagh Srinagar where the condition of both them are said to be critical.
At least 45 protesters were also injured during clashes near the encounter site and its adjoining areas, reports said.
Among the injured, 12 sustained bullet wounds and 16 others suffered pellet injuries. “All the injured have been hospitalized.”
The reports of stone pelting clashes were also received from some parts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Chadoora.
Meanwhile, in wake of the encounter, authorities snapped mobile internet services in south Kashmir parts as a “precautionary measure”.
Official sources told GNS, that the internet was blocked after police have sent a communication to the cellular companies wherein they have directed them to snap down the mobile internet data in Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam with immediate effect.
Authorities have also suspended railway services to and fro South Kashmir from today afternoon.
A railway official told GNS that the train services from Srinagar to Banihal has been suspended from today 1 pm. However, the train will run as per normal schedule from Srinagar to Baramulla.
KU postpones exams
Meanwhile, Kashmir University postponed all examinations on Tuesday “in view of concerns expressed by students.
“All Kashmir University examinations scheduled to be held on May 1, 2018(Tuesday) are postponed,” PRO of the varsity in a statement issued here said.
Fresh dates for the deferred examinations shall be notified separately, later, he added.
A police spokesman in a statement issued here said that a joint party of 44RR, 182/183 CRPF along with Pulwama Police carried out searches at Drubgam village.
“As the search was going on, militants fired upon the search party which was retaliated by the security forces triggering an encounter at Drubgam, Pulwama,” a police statement issued here said.
“Sameer was earlier recruited as an OGW by the militant outfit HM after passing Class 8th since he had discontinued his education due to lack of interest in studies. He was involved in several stone pelting incidents prior to his militant activities. He was active in the area since May 2016 and had remained part of several cases of civilian ‘atrocities’ in the area,” the statement said.
Police claimed that he was involved in the firing incident on the residential house of Ex-MLA Syed Bashir Ahmad in Sheikhard and in a grenade attack on the Naka Party at Hawal, Pulwama.
“Besides his involvement was established in the kidnapping and firing on two civilians from Qasbayar in which one civilian Bashir Ahmad Dar had died instantly while another Altaf Ahmad Dar was seriously injured.”
Last year, the spokesman said, he had indiscriminately fired upon a patrolling party of 44 RR besides he had also entered into the residential houses of civilians in South Kashmir and forced them to issue video statements against the government and security agencies.
“Several FIRs pertaining to these incidents had been registered in Police Station Rajpora,” the statement said.
Sameer was said to be a close confidant of HM commander Riyaz Naikoo and both had been spotted together in a video released recently on social media.
“The other militant was Aqib Mushtaq Khan who was active since July 2017. He also had plotted several attacks on the security establishments in South Kashmir along with Sameer Tiger and was closely associated with him after joining the militant ranks,” the statement said.
Bodies of both the slain militants were retrieved from the site of the encounter, the statement said. Moreover, 2 AK 47 rifles and other incriminating material have also been seized, the statement said.
“In the incident one civilian named as Shahid Ahmad Dar aged 25 son of Mohd Ashraf Dar resident of Arihal Pulwama died in cross firing while some others were injured who are all stated to be stable,” the statement said, adding a case has been registered and “investigation is on” (GNS)