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J&K: Militants open fire in Handwara, cop killed

Sat, 31 Dec 2016-11:00pm , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A policeman was killed in firing on Saturday by militants on a naka party in Handwara area of Kupwara district of Kashmir, officials said.The militants, who were traveling in a load carrier, opened fire on police personnel at a barricade at Chogul in Handwara this evening, a police official said.Constable Abdul Karim was injured in the firing, he said, adding he succumbed at a hospital.The militants managed to escape in the load carrier, the official added.

J-K: Encounter underway between security forces and militants in Bandipora

Thu, 29 Dec 2016-08:41am , Jammu and Kashmir , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An encounter broke out between militants and security forces in Bandipora district of north Kashmir this morning, police said.Acting on specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in Shahgund village of Hajin area of the district, security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation, a police official said here.He said as the forces were conducting the search operation, the hiding militants fired upon them, triggering an encounter.The operation is still going on, the official said.

Militants kill 3 Indian soldiers in Kashmir ambush | Reuters

By Fayaz Bukhari
| SRINAGAR, India

SRINAGAR, India Militants attacked an Indian army convoy in Kashmir on Saturday, killing three soldiers, a defence spokesman said, in the latest in an uptick of violence in the disputed region at the heart of tensions with rival Pakistan.The men were ambushed on the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state where Indian forces have been battling an armed revolt since 1989.This year, after years of decline, militant violence has increased in Kashmir, deepening a chill in ties with Pakistan whom India blames for stoking and keeping the revolt alive by sending fighters and materiel across the de factor border.

Pakistan denies the allegation and says New Delhi must agree to talks to resolve the future of Kashmir.

Soldiers have launched a search operation to hunt the militants behind Saturday’s attack, the defence spokesman said. Last month, militants stormed an army base near Jammu, killing seven soldiers.”A bad year in terms of security force casualties just got worse,” Omar Abdullah, the leader of the main opposition group in Jammu and Kashmir, said in a Twitter post following the latest attack.

(Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; editing by Jason Neely)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 17, 2016 18:41 IST

Army convoy attacked on Srinagar-Jammu Highway in Pampore, 3 soldiers dead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Militants on Saturday attacked an army convoy by opening fire on it at Pampore on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.According to initial reports, three soldiers have been killed in the attack. Two others are injured The terrorists fled after the attack and a manhunt is on to nab the culprits. Preliminary investigations suggest that the militants might have used motorcycles to carry out the deadly attack, according to an army official quoted by PTI. The ultras opened fire on the army convoy at Kadlabal in Pampore town of Pulwama district this afternoon, a police official said. Security forces have cordoned off the adjoining residential area and launched search operation to track down the militants, he added.With agency inputs

Demonetization hits terror hard in Kashmir: Starved of cash, militants resort to looting banks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demonetization has hit the militants hard in the strife torn Jammu and Kashmir. Starved of funds post demonetization, militants have resorted to looting banks to replenish their coffers in the restive Kashmir Valley.Post-demonetization, robbers have looted four branches of Jammu and Kashmir Bank and decamped with around Rs 69.45 lakh of which Rs 25.16 lakh comprised of old denomination notes of Rs 500 and RS 1000. One of the attempts to loot the bank was foiled in Budgam district of central Kashmir.Most of the banks were looted by militants in militancy-infested south Kashmir belt. Latest being the J&K bank Ratnipora branch in Pulwama district where militants looted around Rs 10 lakh on Thursday. “Obviously they must be feeling the heat of demonetization. Demonetization has apparently squeezed them financially,” Dr SP Vaid, special director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir, told DNA.Terror financing has been a problem area for the security forces given the underhand dealings using different hawala and cross border channels. Most terror money used to be in old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes because it was easy to carry and distribute.After demonetization, the militants and their over ground workers have suddenly faced cash crunch that has hit their activities hard in Jammu and Kashmir.“They (ultras) are facing the heat. Since demonetization it is the third incident of bank robbery and each time they have decamped with around Rs 10 lakh. It is same four-member Lashkar-e-Tioba group comprising two Pakistani ultras and two locals who carry out bank robberies”, Rayees Mohommad Bhat, senior superintendent of police, Pulwama, told DNA.Police said the militants are facing cash crunch because they require huge money for paying to their cadres and buying logistics. “They pay their cadres as per their need. There is no fixed amount that they pay to their cadres. Plus they need money to buy phones, SIM cards and for transportation. They also need money to pay their over ground workers (for arranging logistics). But post demonetization they are facing the shortage of finances”, he said.Figures reveal last year security forces seized Rs 6,75,684 in Indian currency from the militants during different counter terror operations. The cash seizure is the tip of the iceberg because most of the money is handled by over ground workers and the currency seized was from the ultras.“Everything is done in cash. The demonetizing has hit them hard. The money they might be having has gone waste because they were dealing mostly in old high denomination notes”, said an intelligence officer.The cases:Nov 21: Suspected militants barged into the Jammu and Kashmir Bank branch in Central Kashmir’s Malpora village and looted the Rs 12.45 lakh on the gunpoint. However, Rs 11 lakh of the total looted money comprised of the old currency notes.Nov 23: Unidentified robbers opened the locks of Jammu and Kashmir bank branch at Sarthal in Kishtwar district in the dead of night and walked away with Rs 34 lakh cash. Of the total looted amount, Rs 12 lakh was in old de-registered currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.Dec 8: Unidentified gunmen looted a Jammu and Kashmir Bank branch at Arihal in Pulwama district and decamped with more than Rs 13 lakh cash including Rs 11 lakh new currency.Dec 8: Militants bid to loot the J&K bank at Poshkar village in Budgam district was foiled.Dec 15: Militants barged into the Ratnipora Branch of Jammu Kashmir and Rs 9. 86 lakh cash. It included Rs 16,000 in old denomination notes

Syrian official says Palmyra falls again to Islamic State | Reuters

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi
| AMMAN

AMMAN The governor of Syria’s Homs province told state television on Sunday that the army was fighting to regain control of the ancient city of Palmyra after Islamic State had captured earlier in the day.In the government’s first official admission that Palmyra had fallen once again to the militants, Ikhbariyah TV quoted Governor Talal Barazi as saying the army had pulled out of the city.”The army is using all means to prevent the terrorists from staying in Palmyra,” he was quoted as saying, hours after IS and a Britain-based monitoring group both said the militants had full control of the city in his eastern province.Earlier on Sunday, Islamic State militants and Syria’s Russian-backed army both claimed they had the upper hand in the fight for the city. Russia said its jets had helped force the militants out of the city centre overnight and its allies in the Syrian army were now fighting off another assault by the hardline Islamists.

But a news agency linked to Islamic State then said it had only briefly retreated and was now back in control of Palmyra, an account backed by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict.Palmyra, the site of a Roman-era city and spectacular ruins in the centre of Syria, has become an emblematic battleground in a civil war now in its sixth year.Forces allied to Syria’s government first recaptured the city from Islamic State in March, a victory held up as a major turning point in the war and the biggest reversal for the militants since Russia’s intervention to support Damascus.

But Islamic State militants launched a surprise advance on the city on Thursday, taking control of nearby oil and gas fields and pushing towards an airbase used by Russian forces, the Observatory said.Russia’s defence ministry said its jets had launched 64 strikes and killed more than 300 militants overnight, helping the Syrian army push the main force back.More than 4,000 Islamic State militants had since regrouped and launched a second attack on Sunday, Russian news agencies cited Moscow’s monitoring centre in Syria as saying.

“Despite heavy losses in manpower and equipment, the terrorists are trying as hard as possible to secure a foothold inside the city,” Interfax quoted a statement from the centre as saying. “Syrian troops are fighting to defend Palmyra.”Syria’s army acknowledged there was a large offensive by the militants from several fronts near a major grain silo 10 km (6 miles) east of the city.An Islamic State recapture of Palmyra would be a major reversal for Syria’s government and its Russian backer, which hailed the city’s capture in March, sent troops to protect it and even staged a concert there. (Additional reporting by Jack Stubbs in Moscow; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 11, 2016 21:28 IST

J-K: Encounter in Arwani area of Anantnag

Thu, 8 Dec 2016-11:30am , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An encounter broke out between security forces and militants in south Kashmir’s Arwani in Anantnag district on Thursday, police said.A search operation was launched in Hassanpora village in Bijbehara area of Anantnag this morning following specific intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in the village, a police official said.He said as the security forces were conducting the search operation, the militants fired upon them triggering an encounter. Firing was going on till last reports came in, the official said, adding further details were awaited.

Militants kill seven after storming Indian army base | Reuters

By Fayaz Bukhari
| SRINAGAR, India

SRINAGAR, India Militants attacked an army base near the Indian city of Jammu on Tuesday, killing at least seven security personnel and taking hostages in the boldest assault on a military base in the region in recent months, officials said.The gunmen raided the base just before dawn, firing at officers before entering the officers’ mess, where they took security men, women and children hostage for several hours, Jammu-based army spokesman Manish Mehta said.Soldiers fought back, securing the buildings and freeing the hostages, Mehta said. Three militants were killed during the attack, which took place in India’s northern Jammu and Kashmir state. “We have tightened the cordon and a combing operation will resume in the morning. If there is any militant, he will be neutralised,” Mehta said. The Indian army casualties included five soldiers and two officers.Jammu and Kashmir state is part of the Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir. That region has been divided between arch-rivals India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947 but is claimed in full by both.

Tuesday’s attack comes on the same day Pakistan’s new army chief, Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, took charge, and the powerful outgoing army head, General Raheel Sharif, issued a stern warning to India over violence in Kashmir.Later this week, Pakistan officials are due in the Indian city of Amritsar for an Asian regional summit. The raid in Jammu was the deadliest since a Sept. 18 assault on an army base in the state that killed at least 19 Indian soldiers – the worst such assault in 14 years – triggering an escalation in tensions between the two countries.

India accuses Pakistan of supporting militants based on its side of the border who cross over to launch attacks. Pakistan denies that, accusing India of abusing the rights of Muslim Kashmiris opposed to Indian rule.India’s portion of Kashmir has been gripped by protests since security forces killed a popular separatist leader in July. A crackdown in response to the protests has paralysed much of the region and more than 80 civilians have been killed.

Indian police said on Tuesday they had also stopped an attempt by militants to cross into India south of Jammu, and killed three of the gunmen.Attacks against Indian security forces have increased in recent months, although raids in the Hindu-majority Jammu area of the state are less common.Indian and Pakistani cross-border firing along the heavily militarised frontier has also intensified as tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours has risen. (Writing by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Larry King)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 20:54 IST

J-K: BSF foils infiltration bid along IB, 3 terrorists shot dead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSF today foiled an infiltration bid along the International Border in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, killing three terrorists.A jawan suffered minor injuries in the exchange of fire. A senior BSF officer said a group of militants entered into the this side along the International Border in Ramgarh sector of Samba district and the movement was picked up by BSF troops.A firefight broke out after BSF troops challenged them, he said, adding that in the initial phase of encounter a jawan suffered minor injuries. BSF troops put them under strict cordon near a water point in dense bushes in Chamliyal and in the fierce encounter, three terrorists were killed, he said. “There was no loss of life to the BSF in the gunbattle”, he said adding the infiltration was foiled.The encounter has ended but combing operation is going on when the reports last came in, he

BSF foils border infiltration bid in Samba district of Jammu; two militants killed

Security forces killed two militants early Tuesday morning when a group of militants tried to sneak in from Pakistan through the International Border near a border outpost in Samba district Jammu.

According to ANI, the firing is over and the area is being sanitised.

According to reports, the two militants were killed following a “heavy firing exchange” with the Border Security Force (BSF).

The BSF noticed some suspicious movement in the general area of Border Out Post Chamliyal in Samba, Jammu and Kashmir. The area was immediately cordoned off. When challenged, BSF patrol was fired upon by miscreants holed up in a tube well pumphouse, reported ANI.

According to PTI, a BSF jawan was injured in the gunbattle with the infiltrating group of militants.

The infiltration bid on the border in Jammu came amid a fierce gunbattle between security forces and heavily armed militants who opened fire on an army camp in the garrison town of Nagrota near Jammu.

— With agency inputs

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 09:45 IST

Encounter between militants, security forces in Kashmir’s Kupwara district

Srinagar: An encounter broke out between security forces and militants in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Monday, but the ultras managed to flee, police said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Security forces launched a search operation in Langate area of Handwara in Kupwara following intelligence inputs about the presence of militants there, a police officer said. He said that as the forces were conducting search, the militants fired upon them, prompting retaliation.

“As a cordon was being laid, the militants fired upon the forces, which was retaliated, but the militants managed to escape,” the officer said.

He said the search operation to trace the ultras was on.

First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 14:43 IST

Kashmir conflict: Let’s wean back local militants, says Northern Army commander-in-chief

The outgoing commander-in-chief of the Jammu and Kashmir-based Northern Command, Lieutenant-General DS Hooda, has emphasised the need to improve processes for drawing back into society Kashmiris who had taken to arms.

“Can we do something to get the boys back? That is the concern,” he says, highlighting an aspect of counterinsurgency that most tough-talking militaristic minds tend to neglect, while focussing instead on ‘kills’ and ‘catches’. Hooda, who retires at the end of the month, is keenly aware of the importance of this concern. He and the officers and men under his command have had their hands full as a new militancy has rapidly gained ground over the past year-and-a-half, and large-scale protests and unrest have kept the Kashmir Valley on the boil through the summer and autumn.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Those with a less nuanced perspective might have expected him to talk of the need for battle preparations, fortifications and reinforcements. But it is a measure of how much the army brass has evolved since the ‘proxy-war’-oriented phase of the second half of the 1990s that Hooda emphasises the need to win back those Kashmiris who have at some point taken up arms.

To be sure, he has quietly gone about the core tasks of the army too; extraordinary steps have been taken since mid-September in terms of war preparedness. But Hooda has not lost sight of other priorities in what must be a multi-pronged strategy.

Local sentiment is one of the most important priorities. Each death of a local boy can have a multiplying effect. “The more (a) local is killed, (the more) you will have a reaction,” as Hooda says. For more than a year now, the funerals of young militants killed in action have been highly emotional events, drawing large crowds — and inspiring fresh teenagers to become militants.

These young recruits are sometimes jolted by the less-romantic reality they confront when they leave their homes. So surrender must be made easier — and the rehabilitation of former militants into society made smooth.

The rules only allow militants to surrender at four specified points — two trade and crossing points on the Line of Control, the Wagah border, and Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Hooda points out that each of those points is hazardous for those who might want to surrender. For, Pakistani officials keep a hawk-eye on those who want to cross at Wagah and the specified trade and transit points. In fact, it takes several weeks to get through the red tape of permissions that are required to use those crossing points.

The result is that many of those who actually want to surrender try and get to Nepal and then cross the border into India — or find their way surreptitiously across the Line of Control or border. But using either of those methods puts them on the wrong side of the rules. Since they cannot technically surrender thus, they can be treated as terrorists, and of course the laws for that category are daunting.

The trouble for an army commander such as Hooda is that this causes many of those who may changed their minds after getting to Pakistan to remain in the ranks of militants. And, any smart strategist knows that, even if a local militant is often less lethal than a foreigner, a local draws in the wider support of the community — and that can be a far greater challenge in a situation like Kashmir.

The general also refers critically to the post-surrender dimension of policy. “There is no rehabilitation dimension, as far as the surrender policy is concerned.”

Indeed, the message that goes out from those who have surrendered in the past is that it leads to a life of social, economic and political marginalisation, shame and harassment. In many cases, special cells of the local police demand that a surrendered militant report to them regularly, and then force them to do what those cells require.

If militants felt assured that they would be protected by law-enforcers, and be able to fruitfully resume their places as respectable members of society, it might attract more militants to surrender.

For, there are many who realie that the life of a militant is not actually as wonderfully as it is romanticised to be.

First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 07:45 IST

Demonetization: New currency being found on militants shatters Centre’s claim, says Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Party said Wednesday that new currency notes have been found on the bodies of militants, and therefore, shatters the Centre’s claim that demonetization will prevent terrorists from misusing Indian currency.”This is quite serious. It seems that people (militants) already have access to the newly printed notes. This means that the entire claim of the Government of India that this (demonetization) move is going to check the counterfeiting of currency and its misuse by the militants (is void). That has not succeeded at all,” Congress leader Om Prakash Mishra said.”What the government has attempted to do has much more to do with politics and elections. It has nothing to do with economics or development of country,” he added. Mishra alleged that the demonetization move was not about black money but about trying to protect a type of black money which is with the people who are close to the present ruling establishment.Yesterday, two new notes of Rs 2000 were recovered from the bodies of two terrorists, who were gunned down on in an encounter with security forces in Bandipora, Jammu and Kashmir.Preliminary reports suggested that the duo ‘both believed to be foreigners’ belonged to the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group, but their identity is yet to be ascertained.

3 soldiers killed, 4 injured after IED blast hits army convoy in Assam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three soldiers were killed and four seriously wounded on Saturday in an attack in Assam, officials said. Heavily armed militants of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) ambushed an army convoy near the Pengeri reserve forest in the eastern Assam district of Tinsukia, about 550 km (340 miles) from the state’s main city of Guwahati. The vehicle they were travelling in was damaged after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by suspected ULFA terrorists went off.”Militants belonging to the ULFA militants attacked the army convoy with rocket propelled grenades, hitting a truck and a jeep. Three soldiers were killed and four critically injured in the attack,” Mukesh Agarwal, Assam’s additional police chief, told Reuters. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told ANI, “I strongly condemn this attack, the perpetrators will be punished. I have directed officials to go to Tinsukia.”Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed anguish over the incident. “Deeply anguished to learn of the death of army soldiers in a blast in Tinsukia. I pray for the speedy recovery of our injured soldiers.”The Home Minister also said he spoke to Sonowal.The injured were airlifted to a nearby army base hospital with multiple wounds, according to the officials. “The area is thickly forested and that gave the militants an edge to attack and escape immediately after the strike,” an army commander said, requesting not to be identified. Army, police, and paramilitary troopers have since launched a massive hunt for the rebels and to seal escape routes, an army official said. The ULFA has been fighting for an independent homeland in Assam since 1979. It now operates out of bases in Myanmar, bordering Assam. With inputs from ANI/Reuters.

Assam: Three soldiers killed in IED explosion in army convoy

Guwahati: Three soldiers were killed after suspected militants fired at an army convoy in Assam’s Tinsukia district on Saturday, defence officials said.

The incident took place at around 5.30 am, in the Pengeri area, Defence public relations officer Lt. Col. Suneet Newton said.

“They (the militants) had planted an improvised explosive device (IED) on the road. When the IED exploded, the convoy stopped. Then the militants fired indiscriminately,” Newton said, adding that although the forces retaliated, four soldiers were injured of which one succumbed in the hospital.

Locals said that the militants had fired upon the vehicle from both the side of the road, which are forested areas.

On Wednesday, militants attacked a van of the Pengeri tea estate killing one person and injuring two others.

First Published On : Nov 19, 2016 10:42 IST

Assam: Three soldiers in Tinsukia killed in IED explosion, ULFA hand suspected

Guwahati: Three soldiers were killed after suspected militants fired at an army convoy in Assam’s Tinsukia district on Saturday, defence officials said.

The incident took place at around 5.30 am, in the Pengeri area, Defence public relations officer Lt. Col. Suneet Newton said.

“They (the militants) had planted an improvised explosive device (IED) on the road. When the IED exploded, the convoy stopped. Then the militants fired indiscriminately,” Newton said, adding that although the forces retaliated, four soldiers were injured of which one succumbed in the hospital.

Locals said that the militants had fired upon the vehicle from both the side of the road, which are forested areas.

On Wednesday, militants attacked a van of the Pengeri tea estate killing one person and injuring two others.

First Published On : Nov 19, 2016 10:42 IST

Kashmir: Militant killed as army foils infiltration bid in Baramulla district

Kashmir: Militant killed as army foils infiltration bid in Baramulla district

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Srinagar: A militant was on Thursday killed as army foiled an infiltration bid near the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla district of north Kashmir.

A group of militants tried to infiltrate in Rampur sector in Baramulla, but their attempt was thwarted by the alert troops, an army official said. During the exchange of fire, one militant was killed, he added.

The operation was in progress, the official said, adding that further details were awaited.

One soldier injured in ongoing gunfight against militants in Shopian, Kashmir

One soldier injured in ongoing gunfight against militants in Shopian, Kashmir

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Srinagar: An army soldier was injured on Monday in an ongoing gunfight between the security forces and the militants in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

Police said a gunfight started after midnight between holed up militants and the security forces in Wangam village of Shopian district.

“An army soldier was injured in an encounter between the militants and troops of 62 Rashtriya Rifles and state police in Wangam village of Shopian district.

“The encounter is still on,” the police said in Srinagar on Monday.

Manipur CM Okram Ibobi fired at by NSCN (IM) militants, escapes unhurt

Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh escaped unhurt when suspected militants opened gunfire as he was getting out of his helicopter at the Ukhrul helipad, CID officials said on Monday. The attack comes days after Ibobi claimed that the law and order situation in Manipur has improved dramatically.

A jawan of the Manipur Rifles was injured in the firing which took place when the chief minister stepped out of the helicopter and was being greeted by government officials, the officials said.

The chief minister’s helicopter immediately took off and left for Chingai but could not land at the remote village due to protests, the official said. Ibobi then cancelled his programme and flew back to the state capital where he called an emergency cabinet meeting, the source said.

Ibobi had several programmes lined up at Hunphung village and at Chingai village in Ukhrul district. Ibobi was to travel to Hunphung to inaugurate the 100 bedded Ukhrul district hospital besides a power sub-station, the sources said.

Civil Society organisations had called a curfew and put up a road blockade along the three km route to Hunphung from the helipad, the sources said, adding that two vehicles had also been set ablaze by the protesters.

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. Reuters

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. Reuters

Earlier, a jawan of the Indian Resserve Battalion sustained splinter injuries in a bomb attack by suspected militants on the newly constructed hospital in the wee hours today before its scheduled inauguration, police said.

Two bombs were fired at the hospital either from a lethod gun or rocket launcher, the official said. At remote Chingai village, Singh was scheduled to inaugurate a power sub-station, a BDO office and a bank building. Tension prevailed in the area, the official said.

In an interview with IANS, Ibobi had earlier said, “In the past, shops and kiosks pulled down shutters by nightfall and people stayed at home. Today people can be seen (on the streets) till late in the night and shopkeepers do brisk business.” With assembly elections not far away, the Congress leader said people in the state no longer lived in fear of the various militant groups, big and small.

Militants used to sneak into Manipur from neighbouring Myanmar to commit crime and escape, he said.

“We have beefed up security at the border towns with the result that militants cannot make their presence felt now,” the chief minister said in an interview. More than 30 insurgent outfits used to operate in the urban areas of Manipur. Police claim a significant fall in insurgency-related violence. But stray bomb attacks continue.

“The people who are fed up with the senseless violence of the insurgents provide vital information about them (to the authorities),” said the chief minister. According to Ibobi, the insurgents cannot find easy shelter even in the hills as almost all the tribal underground outfits have come overground after signing the Suspension of Operations (SoO) pact.

He however admitted that there were complaints against the activities of some of these groups. Ibobi said: “We are in touch with the central security forces to enforce the ground rules. “We have been drawing the attention of the Centre to the presence of the signatories to ceasefire in Manipur who should be confined to Nagaland only.”

The NSCN-K has abrogated the ceasefire pact and resumed attacks against security forces. Ibobi disclosed that several cadres of the two Nagaland-based outfits had fanned out to other states in the northeast although they should be, legally, confined to Nagaland. Despite threats to veto the state government order, Ibobi had on August 12, 2004, lifted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, from seven assembly segments in Manipur.

“In the long run it has helped improve the law and order in the state,” the Congress leader said. “There is no immediate plan to lift the Afspa from other segments since we fear that in view of objections from the Defence Ministry, the government move may be vetoed,” he added.

Ibobi complained that the state government had got no cooperation from the Centre on Afspa, which gives sweeping powers to security forces. And despite numerous allegations of rights abuses, security personnel were not prosecuted as prior approval of the Centre was a must and no such approval was given, he said.

With inputs from PTI and IANS

Jammu and Kashmir: Army, police launch major search operation in Baramulla

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A major search operation has been launched by the security forces and police in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir at suspected hideouts of militants.This is the second such search operation in less than a week.Security forces on Wednesday recovered Chinese flags along with incriminating material during raids at suspected hideouts of militants in Baramulla and arrested 44 people for their alleged involvement in “terror-related activities”.”Over 700 houses were searched in a span of 12 hours on October 17 in an extensive search operation in old town in Baramulla, during which 44 persons involved with terror related activities have been apprehended,” an army spokesman said.Over a dozen of employees have also been dismissed by the Jammu and Kashmir government for alleged anti-national activities.With over 90 people killed so far in the clashes, the death toll continues to mounts and the number of injured also continuing to soar. As per reports, over 7,000 people have been detained along with the arrest of a human rights activist Khurram Parvez.The unrest began soon after the killing of poster boy Burhan Wani, a commander of militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen along with two other militants in an encounter in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on July 8.

Kashmir: Army says spurt in weapon-snatching incidents concerning

Jammu: Spurt in the incidents of gun-snatching by militants in Kashmir has triggered concern in the security establishment, prompting the army to say on Wedneday that it is working with police to tackle the new strategy of the ultras.

Over the last three months, 67 weapons, including AK-47, INSAS, Carbine, SLR, .303 rifles, have been looted and snatched from police personnel in 12 such incidents. “It is a new strategy and plan of the militants with twin objective of making new recruits prove their loyalty and commitment towards gun culture and also to create public perception about demoralisation in the police forces,” a senior police officer said.

The officer, however, dismissed the theory that the snatching is done to arm militants, arguing that the weapons like INSAS, Carbines, SLR rifles are not of much use to the militants unlike the AK rifles.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“Rifle snatching incidents witnessed recently in the valley, particularly in south Kashmir, is a cause of concern,” said Srinagar-based Army Commander Lt Gen Satish Dua at a function on Wednesday.

“There are some small pickets of the police where they are not able to take care of the situation if the militants come in. It is being addressed jointly with the police,” he added.

Among the steps that are being taken by the forces is to increase the number of men at pickets, including those guarding minority community members in south Kashmir. Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Rashid Bhat, who was close to slain militant commander Burhan Wani, in a recent video message has said that several youth have snatched weapons from security forces and have joined the Hizb ranks.

“Anyone who wants to join us, he should snatch a weapon and join us. We welcome them all wholeheartedly,” said Zakir, a former engineering student of Chandigarh, in the video. Police feels his video message will further incite and encourage youth to snatch and loot weapons from police and other forces in Kashmir in days to come.

Former Army officer Brig (retd) Anil Gupta said the security agencies have to stop this, otherwise the number of the armed militants in Kashmir will increase. “It is concern. Weapon-snatching is being done because militants cannot now smuggle in weapons from across the LoC due to high degree of security. So they go for snatching and looting of weapons,” he said.

Brig Gupta, who has served at 16 Crops headquarters and various other formations in J&K, said, “although police has taken some measures to use digital chips-based GRP tracking system, my suggestion is to put in place Radio Frequency Identification Disc (RFID).

“The RFID should be embedded on the weapon and a code given to weapon handler. The weapon can fire only when both the codes match, otherwise it is of no use,” he said.

The snatching incidents started soon after Burhan’s killing, when people attacked police station Damhal Hanjipora in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on July 11 and potential militants looted 39 rifles including 21 INSAS rifles, 12 SLRs, One LMG and 2 AK rifles.

On 16 October night, militants decamped with five rifles from policemen guarding a broadcast tower in Davlach village in Dooru-Shahabad area of this South Kashmir district. The militants managed their entry into a room at Lower Power Transmitter Station of public service broadcaster Doordarshan in Davlash village where weapons were kept and escaped with the weapons, including 3 SLRs, one INSAS and a Carbine without any resistance.

Earlier on 8 October, militants snatched two service rifles from a minority police post in Tumlihal-Lassipora in Pulwama district. A day prior to that, weapons were snatch from policemen
guarding a minority picket in Jamnagri village of Shopian. In the fire fight, one cop was killed, two others including a Kashmiri Pandit were injured.

On 3 October, militants ran away with five automatic rifles from a minority post in Kulgam district. On 28 September, they decamped with service rifle of guards of former NC MLA in Shopian.

Prior to that, militants, on the night of 18 September, decamped with four service rifles from security guards of ruling People’s Democratic Party district president, Advocate Javed Sheikh.

Four rifles were also snatched from policemen guarding the house of a former National Conference leader in Begam village in Pombia area of Kulgam district on the evening of 8 September.

On 5 September, a Communist leader’s house in Kulgam was attacked and a rifle snatched from the police personnel on duty.

On 31 August, militants sneaked into protesters who attacked PDP leader and Rajya Sabha member Nazir Ahmad Laway’s house in Chawalgam village of Kulgam district and ran away with four rifles.

In a bid to snatch rifles, militants attacked a Police Picket guarding minority families at Sirnoo village of Pulwama.

Kashmir unrest: Police finds govt employees organise anti-India marches, indulge in stone pelting

On 19 September, Lateef Ahmad Malik, a junior laboratory assistant in sheep husbandry department, woke up during the night to the rumble of vehicles outside his house at Andresh colony, Bemina, in Srinagar city. Consistent pounding on his door left him terrified and soon he heard the yells of police personnel. But when his family opened the door they told a police party that the house didn’t belong to Lateef. Police took away his older brother before beating up his family members. Lateef couldn’t sleep and when dawn broke he walked up to the police station to inquire the reason for the raid. He was detained by police for five days and taken to an interrogation Centre and asked whether he knew any of the Hurriyat leaders.

“The police started questioning and told me why I evaded them during the night. I told the personnel that I was terrified; I asked them why was I required for questioning. I am a government employee and had not done anything. I was detained for five days and there was no FIR registered against me. I was mentally tortured,’’ he said. Following the police raid the health condition of Lateef’s mother, who has undergone a stroke, deteriorated. She remains hospitalised since then and his sister-in-law was injured in the shelling that police resorted to during the raid. “It was harassment, police fired shells which landed in our house. We cried asking for help but the neighbours were also terrified due to the shelling. When police had left our neighbours came and asked us that we would make an announcement in the mosque, but I told them there was no need. There were around 20-30 vehicles which stopped outside our house and I still don’t know what was my crime,’’ he said.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Lateef is not the only one who has faced detention by police. There are over 300 government employees including the senior rank gazetted officials who are facing police cases for either taking part in the stone pelting incidents or lading the anti-India protests and having incited a mob. A top police official said that “predominately the employees are from education department.” “In many cases the employees were found to be organising the protests and leading anti-India processions. Many of the employees are facing departmental inquires, many others
have been suspended,’’ he said.

The police have booked the employees for being a “threat to the peace of the state”, but employees said that the charges have been fabricated against them.

According to officials police have registered cases charging employees of disturbing the peace. Legal expert and general secretary of the High Court Bar Association, Basheer Sidique, said that the police was misusing the provisions of the law to arrest the government employees and the local people. “Under 107 CrPC a person is being detained for an apprehension of breach of peace. A person can furnish a bond to the Teshildar that he willn’t indulge in any unlawful activity for 6 months. The police have to issue a notice to an accused and seek an undertaking, but the procedure is not followed,” he said.

Vice President of the Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC), Wajahat Durrani, said that a number of employees have been booked even as they had no role in the current unrest. “ Many people have been arrested in false cases. There are over 300 employees who are facing cases including the gazetted cadre employees. Of them nearly 100 have been suspended by the government. The government has implicated the employees on frivolous charges,’’ he said. The employees have been largely booked in Southern part of Kashmir and in frontier district of Kupwara.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, North Kashmir range, Uttam Chand, said that the police have valid evidence against the people including the employees for their involvement in the “incidents of stone pelting’’ due to which the cases have been registered against them. “They have been found involved in serious anti-national activities,” he said.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, said that “we are examining the cases of the employees involved in the incidents of stone pelting.’’ He however said that only an appropriate legal action is taken against them as warranted under the law.

Militants shoot dead political party worker in Kashmir | Reuters

Militants shoot dead political party worker in Kashmir | Reuters

Updated: Oct 12, 2016 19:47 IST

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By Fayaz Bukhari
| SRINAGAR

SRINAGAR Militants shot dead a political party worker from Indian-controlled Kashmir’s ruling coalition on Wednesday, police said, hours after two suspected militants were killed by armed forces in the region.Local police said Ghulam Nabi, a party worker of the People’s Conference in Kashmir was shot by at least two armed militants in the Kupwara district.Kupwara is near the Line of Control, the de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, which both claim the Muslim-majority region.Tensions in the state have been running especially high in recent weeks after an attack by militants last month on an army base in the Indian-controlled part of the disputed region claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers.

New Delhi blamed the attack on militants, who crossed over from the Pakistan-controlled part of the region. Pakistan has denied any involvement. In retaliation, India said its troops had crossed into Pakistan’s side of Kashmir and killed suspected militants in a “surgical strike”, an operation Pakistan says never took place.Nabi was rushed to hospital but died of his wounds, Police Superintendent Ghulam Jeelani said. The People’s Conference that he worked for, headed by Sajad Lone, is a part of the coalition in power in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier on Wednesday, the army in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed two suspected militants, holed-up in a large government building, ending a three-day stand-off.Last week, Indian soldiers shot dead seven suspected militants who tried to attack two army bases in Kashmir. Three of them were shot in the Kupwara district where Nabi was killed on Wednesday.

The latest round of tensions over Kashmir initially erupted in July when protests erupted after Indian forces killed a separatist leader.India accuses Muslim Pakistan of backing the separatists and helping them infiltrate Indian-ruled Kashmir. Pakistan denies this, saying it only offers moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people in their campaign for self-determination. (Writing by Euan Rocha; Editing by Dominic Evans)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Pampore attack: Two militants neutralised as gunbattle enters third day

Security forces believe they have killed the second militant hiding in the government building at Pampore on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway today but officials said a confirmation can be made only after the bodies are recovered.

Security forces have been pounding the building of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) since Monday after three militants barged inside the complex with the aim of engaging the law enforicing agencies. The operation to flush out holed up militants entered the third day as security forces continued shelling the multi-storey structure with mortars and rockets to bring it down.

Fire and smoke rises from the government building where suspected militants have taken refuge during a gun battle in Pampore, 16 kms from Srinagar on Tuesday. A group of ultras took shelter inside EDI building on Monday morning. PTIFire and smoke rises from the government building where suspected militants have taken refuge during a gun battle in Pampore, 16 kms from Srinagar on Tuesday. A group of ultras took shelter inside EDI building on Monday morning. PTI

Fire and smoke rises from the government building where suspected militants have taken refuge during a gun battle in Pampore, 16 kms from Srinagar on Tuesday. A group of ultras took shelter inside EDI building on Monday morning. PTI

An army official said on Wednesday, “We believe that another militant has been killed in the fresh assault on the EDI building at Pampore but a confirmation will be made only after the body is recovered”. He said the security forces have not recovered the body of the militant who was believed to have been killed last evening.

The security forces have managed to enter one portion of the building but are proceeding cautiously as one more militant might be hiding inside.

“The operation at Pampore is still going on but it is definitely now in final stages,” the official said.

The operation has been now going on for 52 hours as most parts of the concrete building have been reduced to a skeleton after many of its walls were blown up.

Elite Para commandos of the army have also been called in to neutralise the militants but the security personnel are not rushing in to the building to avoid casualties, the officials said.

The area around the EDI premises has been cordoned off to prevent the militants from escaping, the official said. Two to three militants stormed into the EDI complex in the wee hours of Monday and took positions inside one of the buildings.

The ultras could have entered the complex from the riverside but that can only be ascertained once the operation is over, the officials said.

After getting inside the complex, the militants set on fire few mattresses inside a hostel room to attract the attention of the police and other security forces, which arrived within minutes of the smoke emanating from the building.

In the initial exchange of firing, one army soldier was injured, the officials said. Militants had targeted the EDI building in February this year as well.

Five security force personnel including two young army officers and a civilian employee of the Institute and three militants were killed in that operation which lasted 48 hours.

With inputs from PTI

Kashmir: Despite heavy bombardment, terrorists stand their ground in Pampore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Heavy bombardment was done on the seven-storey Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) hostel building on Tuesday, to smoke-out the terrorists holed up in the concrete structure for more than 36 hours. One of them is believed to have been gunned down by the security forces.From rockets to rocket-propelled grenades to Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the army used everything to drive out the militants. The bombardments led to deafening noise and shook nearby villages, but militants remained inside, literally using the building as a concrete bunker.The army had brought in the Special Forces of 9-Para. The unit was one of the detachments that carried out the surgical strikes on militant launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).The militants, meanwhile, remained silent the entire Monday night, spurring speculations about their fate. On Tuesday evening, however, as the bombardment intensified, they fired indiscriminately on the troops, signaling that they were still alive. The security forces immediately engaged them in a gun battle, in which one of them is believed to have been killed.”Operation is still on. We will share the details as and when we get them,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.The operation started on Monday morning, when the militants cruised through Jhelum and occupied the hostel building. Eyewitnesses said a group of two to three militants came from the rear side and broke open the window to get inside the building.”The watchman said there were two to three men. Since the main door was locked, they broke the window. Nobody knew at the time that someone has entered the building. The first thing they did was to set ablaze the roof of the building,” Ishfaq Ahmad Mir, in-charge of EDI publicity, told DNA.Seeing the smoke billowing, the watchman rushed to call the fire brigade. “As they (fire brigade) tried to enter into the building, militants opened fire. It is a seven-floor building and all have 10 rooms each, except the ground floor. There are two training halls and a cafeteria on the ground floor. CCTVs have been installed on the first three floors,” Mir said.He added, “A few days ago, we had floated tenders to establish security bunkers around the campus.” Security sources said, “It is not easy for a person to withstand such heavy bombardment. The entire area shook but the militants managed to stay on, which proves they are battle-hardened.”Meanwhile, around 10 people, including two CRPF men, were injured when unknown militants hurled a grenade on police and security force deployment at Bona Bazar area of Shopian district in south Kashmir.

J&K: Operation to flush out militants holed up inside a govt building in Pampore enters second day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The operation to flush-out militants holed up inside a government building in Pampore area on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway entered the second day on Tuesday, even as security forces launched a fresh offensive against the ultras. An army official said the area around the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) premises has been cordoned off and exchange of fire was going on. “Security forces have launched a fresh offensive this morning to flush-out the militants,” the official said. Two to three militants stormed into the EDI complexes in the wee hours yesterday and took positions inside one of the buildings. The ultras could have entered the complex from the riverside but that can only be ascertained once the operation is over. After getting inside the complex, the militants set on fire few mattresses inside a hostel room to attract the attention of the police and other security forces, which arrived within minutes of the smoke emanating from the building.In the initial exchange of fire, one army soldier was injured, the official said.The security forces yesterday used mortar shells, Light Machine Guns and other small arms to flush out the militants but so far have not been successful, the official said. Militants had targeted the EDI building in February this year as well.Five security force personnel including two young army officers and a civilian employee of the Institute and three militants were killed in that operation that lasted 48 hours.

Terrorists mouse-trapped in J&K; second attack on EDI in nine months

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of heavily armed fidayeens cruised through Jhelum in a boat on Monday, before occupying the seven-storey Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) hostel building to use it as concrete bunker and engage the security forces in a fierce gun battle.An army soldier was injured in the gunfight, which had been continuing since morning. The fidayeens entrenched themselves at vantage points, and used furniture and other goods to block the staircases and corridors.This is the second time in nine months that fidayeens have been holed up in the EDI complex. On February 22, a 48-hour gun battle between militants and the Indian army had ended after three foreign ultras were neutralised in the EDI building. Three elite para-commandos including two captains, two CRPF men and an EDI gardener, were killed and 13 personnel were injured in the three-day operation.Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar, told dna, “The operation is still on. An army soldier has been injured. His condition is stable.”Sources said the group of two to three fidayeens crossed the Jhelum in a boat and barged into the EDI complex from the rear side. Situated on a plateau along the banks of Jhelum, the EDI complex comprises the main office building and hostel. The seven-storey hostel complex is being used as a makeshift office for EDI since February, when the main building suffered extensive damage in a fidayeen strike.Militants tried to set the hostel building on fire to confuse the security forces. When the smoke started billowing out, fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot. The lurking militants, however, opened fire that blew their cover. “Militants entered the building at 6am and tried to set it on fire,” EDI director Mohammad Ismail Parrey told dna.”We are using the first three floors as a makeshift office. Other floors still serve as hostel. Only a cook and a waiter were present at the time of the attack, who escaped unhurt,” Parrey said.Security forces cordoned off the building from all sides while militants kept firing intermittently. The security personnel fired rockets, grenades and used IEDs to neutralise the militants.”Para commandos of the Special Forces have been called in to eliminate the fidayeens. The personnel are working slowly deliberately in a bid to exhaust the fidayeens and prevent any troop fatality,” said an officer.Security forces have been on maximum alert since the army carried out surgical strikes in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Sources suspect fidayeens holed up in the EDI complex might have been planning to enter Srinagar but could not do so due to heightened security on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.”Every day, it’s either militants snatching guns or militants staging attacks. How can the Centre be so blasé about where J&K is headed? All the EDI ever did was train young Kashmiri boys and girls to stand on their own feet and not seek government jobs. Militants don’t like that!” tweeted former chief minister Omar Abdullah.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said attacking schools and EDI was a thought-out strategy to deprive Kashmiri youth of opportunities for education and work.

Pampore attack: One soldier injured in ongoing clash as army surrounds militants

A soldier was injured on Monday in the exchange of fire between security forces and militants holed up inside Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) in South Kashmir’s Pampore Town, which had witnessed a suicide attack in February this year.

pampore 1

Security personnel patrolling the area outside the building. Image courtesy: Suhail Bhat

Two to three militants are believed to have entered into the building of EDI in the early hours of Monday.

“One soldier was injured during the exchange of fire with militants holed up inside the building at Pampore,” a source said.

pampore 2

Security personnel are trying to demolish the building. Image courtesy: Suhail Bhat

He also said that further details are awaited as the operation was in progress to flush out the militants.

According to the Fire and Emergency service employees, the militants opened fire on them when they trying to douse the fire which had engulfed the upper floor of the seven storey hostel building of EDI.

pampore 3

The Army will conduct the operation slowly to minimise any chances of casuality. Image courtesy: Suhail Bhat

In February this year, militants had entered another building of the EDI and the operation lasted for nearly 48 hours. Two soldiers, including an officer, a gardener of the institute and three militants were killed in the operation.

pampore 4

The army is prepared to attack the militants as soon as the building is razed. Image courtesy: Suhail Bhat

As per some sources, the army is going to conduct the operation slowly to avoid any casualties while the militants seem to be using their ammunition calculatively. Their tactic too seems to be the same as in the February attack, which is to prolong the operation and cause maximum casualties.

Presently, forces are using Improvised Explosive Devices and Under Body Granate launcher UBGL to demolish the building.

pampore 5

The operation is still underway in the EDI building. Image courtesy: Suhail Bhat

Kashmir unrest: J&K policemen in cahoots with militants, investigation reveals

Jammu and Kashmir: Investigations by the Jammu and Kashmir police have revealed that a number of personnel deployed on duty with mainstream politicians, connived with militants to give up their weapons during the current unrest in the valley.

Over the last one month, more than six incidents have been reported during which militants managed to get away with the service rifles of on-duty personnel.

Security officials in Kashmir. PTI

Security officials in Kashmir. PTI

Superintendent of Police (SP), Kulgam, Shridhar Patil, said, “Some of the police personnel who were required to offer protection were in fact found to be negligent in their duties. We have registered cases of connivance with militants against our personnel and they have been dismissed from the service.”

The revelations have come at a time when militants are facing a shortage of weapons, and some of the surrendered militants including those who “infiltrated” militant ranks to pass on information, have switched sides, and fought against the police.

The findings surfaced during the investigation of a recent incident during which militants managed to get away the weapons from the police personnel deployed on security duty at the residence of ruling People’s Democratic Party’s Rajya Sabha member, Nazir Ahmad Laway. Over 20,000 people protested outside his house during which four of his personal security officers (PSOs) gave their arms to militants. Laway, who is under the Z protection security category, was not at his home but the police failed to protect his brother, sister-in-law and their child and fled from the place.

The police dismissed the four personnel including a head constable from service after a case of cowardice and negligence of duty was registered against them at the Kulgam police station. They have been charged conniving with the militants as well.

However, Laway said that it would have been “difficult for the PSOs to carry out their duty in the face of the protest by over 20,000 people”.

These incidents have occurred in areas in South Kashmir including Kulgam and Anantnag, which witnessed the worst protests in the current uprising. In areas of Bijbehara and Noorabad in the Southern part of Kashmir, people hit the streets in large numbers, and burnt police stations during their “pro-freedom” protests. The investigations in some of these incidents revealed that the on-duty “PSOs didn’t perform their duties satisfactorily”.

Following the increase in such incidents, the J&K police issued orders asking its on-duty personnel to deposit their weapons with their seniors before proceeding for leave. According to police officials, police security has also been withdrawn from some of the habitations of the minority communities in South Kashmir, following an increase in militancy-related incidents and people-led attacks on the police.

A police official said that the police guards were withdrawn from the habitations of the Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs at Noorpur and Medoora in Awantipora. “There were two police parties of five personnel each, which were withdrawn from the place,” added a police official.

In similar incidents, On 3 October, the J&K police dismissed five personnel after militants managed to take away their weapons from a minority post of Dogra-speaking Kashmiris in Damhal Hanji Pora. In the same area, a case of connivance with militants was registered against the personnel who were deployed on guard duty of a National Conference (NC) activist. The militants managed to decamp with the service rifles of the on-duty personnel. On 8 September, militants barged into the guardroom of NC leader, Abdul Rashid Khanday, at Begom village of Kulgam district and snatched four rifles. Over a week later on 19 September, militants snatched four more rifles from policemen guarding the house of district president of PDP in Anantag.

Army repulses Uri type fidayeen attack, kills three Pakistani attackers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sepoy Ajoy Sarkar did not wait even for a second to retaliate when he saw a suspicious movement outside the perimeter fencing of 30 Rashtriya Riffles (RR) at Langate in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.Posted in one of three bunkers guarding the facility, Sarkar and his five men were one of the first groups of soldiers who took on the three fidayeens when they appeared near the camp from one of the sides in the wee hours of Thursday.Sarkar and his colleagues immediately alerted the officers and within seconds Quick Reaction Teams (QRT) got activated and killed three fidyeens before they could attempt to barge into the camp.”We were six men in our bunker. I saw three militants and we opened fire. We informed our officers and they immediately rushed in. QRT also came and we opened fire,” said Sarkar.Sarkar and his colleagues have become heroes of the Indian Army for repulsing Uri type fidayeen attack when troops killed three militants who were trying to storm the 30 RR camp in early Thursday morning.The subtext of the attack was that Pakistan stood exposed again after army recovered made-in-Pakistan medicines and food items besides huge cache of arms, three GPS sets, four wireless sets, maps, matrix sheets and cutters et al from the three slain militants.”At around five in the morning our sentries spotted three terrorists close to our perimeter fencing. On being challenged three terrorists opened indiscriminate fire on our sentry post and also on our lodging shelters where jawans were resting. Our sentries who were on high alert carried out a retaliatory fire,” said Colonel Rajiv Saharan, Commanding officer 30 RR.Colonel Saharan noted that the QRT was activated and they localised the area where terrorists were spotted. “They carried out sanitization during which Pakistani terrorists were eliminated”, he said. The identity of the militants could not be established.The army officer said militants were carrying huge quantity of arms, ammunition and other war like stores. “It includes three AK 47 riffles, two UBGL. Launchers, large quantity of small arms ammunition and grenades. Besides GPS for navigation, radio sets for communications, maps, matrix sheets and other food items,” he said.Col Saharan said the medicines recovered from terrorists have Pakistani markings. “This ascertains that all of them were Pakistanis. The maps and matrix sheets are being analysed,” he said.The fidayeen attack was foiled at a time when alert troops thwarted three back-to-back infiltration bids along the Line of Control leaving four militants dead in north Kashmir.Three infiltration bids were foiled when troops guarding the LoC saw suspicious movement in Naugam and Rampur sectors. Immediately operation was launched in both the sectors Four militants were later killed in Naugam sector where two back to back infiltration bids were thwarted early this morning.”Four militants were killed in Naugam sector. Search operation is still on. Three ultras were killed in Langate,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia defence spokesman at Srinagar said.

Four militants killed as Army foils three infiltrations bids

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four militants were killed while trying to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) as alert army troops foiled three bids by terrorists to enter into India in the wee hours on Thursday. The army, which has shored up its defences along the LoC, foiled three infiltration bids — two in Naugam sector and one in Rampur — of North Kashmir during the intervening night of October 5 and 6.In one of the encounters in the higher reaches of Naugam, 112 kms from Srinagar, the troops cornered a group of infiltrating militants and have killed four so far, a senior army official said. The official said a combing operation was continuing amid apprehension about presence of more terrorists in the area.Technical surveillance was being maintained, besides using illuminators to prevent the militants, who could be present, from escaping under the cover of darkness. The army repulsed two infiltration bids in Rampur and Naugam, raining bullets on the militants and forcing them to return to PoK. The militants, who had managed to cross the fence, had to beat a retreat after army patrols challenged and opened heavy fire on them.Army personnel display a huge cache of arms, ammunition and other items recovered from the three militants who were killed after they attacked on Army camp, in Handwara district.​ AFP Photo Pakistani army provided cover fire on both the occasions but the militants had to retreat, the official said. The infiltration bids come barely a day after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval briefed the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that Pakistani army has mobilised about 100 terrorists across the LoC to push them into India to carry out attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.At the meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was stated that the Pakistani army was planning attacks by terrorists on Indian defence personnel and security establishments besides select civilian targets in the wake of September 29 surgical strikes.According to the assessment given by Doval, nearly 100 terrorists were readying to infiltrate India from unconventional launch pads. Indian army had carried out surgical strikes on September 29, crossing over the LoC in Kupwara sector in the Kashmir Valley and Poonch in Jammu region and smashing launch pads meant for terrorists. It was believed that nearly a dozen terrorists were killed in Kel, Lipa and Bhimber Gali and given a quiet burial.Personnel from three divisions of the army were involved in the surgical strikes and, before the operation, the army teams ensured that they cut off the possibility of any reinforcements from Pakistani army, sources said.

Baramulla attackers gave forces the slip; ‘GPS trackers, wire-cutters recovered, but not bodies’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite being under heavy fire for over two hours by the Army and BSF, Pakistani terrorists managed to give Indian forces the slip. The terrorists had attacked a security camp in Baramulla in northern Kashmir on Sunday night. There was no clarity on the number but sources estimated that there were around three to four militants involved in the attack.Sources told dna that there was intelligence on such attacks on security forces after the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) on September 29, killing around 40 terrorists. “Taking advantage of the darkness the terrorists fled,” said an official.Following the attack, in which one BSF jawan was killed, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar chaired a high-level meeting that was attended by Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, Air Force Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. Sources said the subject of the terrorists’ escape was discussed, along with other aspects of concern, such as the possibilities of Pakistani terrorists using the sea route to carry out attacks in India.Officials say they had been prepared for an attack from the Pakistani side of the LoC. “It was not a surprise attack as there was information that terrorists are in Baramulla and looking for targets,” BSF Inspector General (Kashmir) Vikash Chandra told dna. “We could have detected them (terrorists) early. Yet timely retaliation from the BSF prevented them from entering the camp.”Informed sources then reconstructed the scenario for dna. Around 10:30 pm BSF constables Nitin Kumar and Varun guarding bunker no 11 – the first one in the camp just after the civilian area – suspected some movement in the area. When challenged, militants opened gunfire at the bunker.In the following gunfight between BSF and the militants, constable Parminder got hit in the ankle. The militants threw a grenade that entered bunker 11 where Kumar was firing from. As he came out of the bunker, another grenade by the militants landed close to him, hitting his groin area.Constable Varun then took the gun from Kumar and continued firing. Around this time, Army forces also joined in and the gunfight with the militants lasted around an hour and was restricted to the area of the bunker.While the militants were prevented from entering the camp, the 24-year-old Kumar succumbed to shrapnel injuries in hospital a few hours later.Sources say that the high intensity hit-and-run strike was not a fidayeen (suicide) attack as the terrorists escaped through the adjoining civilian area of the Army-BSF camp at Janbazpora when confronted with heavy firing.”Ideally, we should have killed them. But no bodies were recovered,” IG Chandra said. Preliminary observations conclude that the terrorists are likely to have escaped from the same route they came.The BSF has recovered GPS trackers, compass and wire-cutters used by the terrorists which point to their intention to enter the camp and inflict maximum casualties. The camp, along the banks of the Jhelum river, is shared jointly by the 46 Rashtriya Rifles and one company of the BSF for accommodation. Both the Army and BSF troops share responsibility of securing the camp and the troops’ bunkers.Post the LoC strike, the Centre had warned of a possible ‘suicide attack’ on Army establishments and had directed states bordering Pakistan to remain on high alert.

Baramulla attack kills one jawan: How the militant assault on BSF, army camps unfolded

On Sunday evening, I was sitting in my parents’ home in Baramulla town, when few hundred metres south of our house, a volley of gunshots broke the evening calm. This was followed by at least a dozen blasts for the next two hours, and firing continued till midnight.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Majority of residents with whom I spoke to on the phone thought it was Kashmir police shelling the old town of Baramulla and trying to arrest stone-pelters. But as the firing intensified, it was clear that militants had either attacked the 19 Infantry division of Baramulla or the 46 RR Headquarters; both face each other across the river Jhelum.

Baramulla is a garrison town. It is also the headquarters of 46 RR, which was attacked by militants on Sunday evening at around 10:20 pm, and is located on Baramulla-Kupwara national highway and few hundred metres from old town, but is guarded from four sides by soldiers round the cloak.

“The sound of the gunfire was so heavy that I thought the militants had attacked DC office in our neighbourhood. We could not muster the courage to peep through the window,” Sajad Haider, a resident of Dewan-Bagh, which faces the RR camp from across the river Jehlum, told Firstpost on Monday morning.

We will only know how the militants managed to come even close to the camp after investigations are over. But what we know is that one BSF jawan was killed while another injured in this ‘fidayeen’ (suicide) style attack on a BSF and adjoining army camps in Baramulla.

In the 27 years of the insurgency in Kashmir, despite being so close to the once hub of militancy in early nineties, the militants have never been able to strike this camp, which also houses a cricket stadium in a locality called Stadium colony.

“It was surprising, even during the worst years of militancy and being so close to old town, never was this camp attacked. As far as I remember correctly, this is the frist,” Yakoob Ahmad, a resident of Azad Gunj, told Firstpost outside his home early on Monday morning.

When an armed insurgency started ebbing in the Valley, locals had requested the army to open the stadium for cricket tournaments. The stadium lies inside the fenced wall of the camp. Not only did the army allow the people to play cricket inside the stadium, but it also organises many cricket tournaments for local boys throughout the year. Few years back, the army had also started providing free coaching to students in winters in a building adjacent to the camp and the cricket ground.

Locals said the army had recently used boats to ferry its soldiers from the new town of Baramulla occasionally to avoid clashing with stone-pelting crowds on three bridges, which connect the old with the new town of the Baramulla.

Throughout the night, the army illuminated the entire area, perhaps to give less chance to militants to enter the camp and also to see that they don’t run away and manoeuvre around.

At the time of the filing of this report, the army could be seen carrying out combing operations around the camp and on the banks of river Jhelum, which crisscrosses through Baramulla town before entering Pakistan.

Sources, however, maintain the number of the militants was not known but they maintain that militants were not able to breach the RR camp.

Unconfirmed reports had earlier said that two militants have been killed, while two managed to flee from the site. It is quite possible the militants might have used the large swaths of land filled with vegetation, which is cultivated by local people, to flee from the spot.

Helicopters hovered over the area throughout the night illuminating the entire area after the firing stopped no was able to move towards the Azad Gunj area.

Kashmir attack: Militants target Baramulla Indian base

Militants attack an Indian army camp in Indian-administered Kashmir with gunfire and grenades, killing one border guard and wounding another.

Militants fire on Indian army base in Baramulla | Reuters

Militants fire on Indian army base in Baramulla | Reuters

Oct 2, 2016 23:47 IST

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SRINAGAR, India Militants opened fire on an Indian army camp in north Kashmir on Sunday night, the army said, two weeks after a similar attack killed 19 soldiers and ratcheted up tensions between India and Pakistan.An army spokesman said the camp at Baramulla, a frontier district, had come under fire. “Exchange of fire on,” the spokesman said.Baramulla Superintendent of Police Imtiyaz Hussein said heavy firing was going on near the camp of India’s 46 Rashtriya Rifles. Abid Nabi, who lives nearby, said: “We are hearing huge explosions and firing.”

It was not clear whether the attackers had breached the army camp perimeter, nor how many casualties there were.

India launched what it called “surgical strikes” after a September 18 attack on the Uri army base near the Line of Control with Pakistan. India said it inflicted significant casualties. Pakistan denied any such attack had taken place.

(Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari; Writing by Douglas Busvine/Ruth Pitchford)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Indian Army steps up vigil on LoC following spurt in infiltration bids

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Army has stepped up vigil on the Line of Control (LoC) after two more infiltration bids were foiled in the Naugam sector of north Kashmir.The infiltration bids were foiled even as the operations against infiltrators along the LoC in Uri and Naugam sectors entered into the third day on Thursday.Indian Army said two infiltration bids were successfully foiled by the army at two different places in the Naugam sector on Wednesday night.Troops guarding the LoC noticed suspicious movement on the LoC and challenged the militants. A brief exchange of gun fire ensued forcing the militants to take a hasty retreat into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).”Wednesday night there were two infiltration bids in the same area of Naugam sector. There was a brief fire fight and they (militants) retreated back,” Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar, told dna.Sources said the army has conducting the operation in the area of 10 to 15 kilometer stretch along the LoC in Naugam sector to hunt down the militants if any in the sector. Naugam operation apart, the Uri operation, which started on September 20, entered into the third day with troops still busy in combing of the area.Sources said Pakistan is trying to push in as many as militants into Kashmir valley post fidayeen attack on 12 brigade headquarters at Uri in which 18 soldiers were killed and 20 others. Four fidayeens were also killed in the retaliatory action.Since September 20, four infiltration bids have been foiled in Uri and Naugam sectors. A soldier has already lost his life while foiling one of the infiltration bids in Naugam sector.”Army has enhanced its vigil in view of the increased Pakistan abetted infiltration attempts along the LoC. On the intervening night of September 21 and 22 two separate groups trying to sneak in were intercepted and forced to flee back,” said an army spokesman.Official figures reveal around 17 infiltration bids have been foiled by the army along the LoC this year. Of the 110 terrorists killed in Jammu and Kashmir, 31 have been slain while they were trying to infiltrate into Indian side from across the LoC.Meanwhile, Indian Army launched a major operation against militants in the Bandipora area and killed an unidentified ultra.Police said following specific information about the presence of militants in Chapran village of Bandipora, security forces cordoned off the area and launched search operation.”The cordon and search operation turned into an encounter when the search party was fired at. In the retaliatory fire one militant was killed whose identity is being ascertained,” a police spokesman said.Violent protest rocked the area after the killing of the militant. Protestors pelted stones on the forces which used force to disperse the mob.Police soon after the encounter around 150 miscreants assembled in the area and pelted stones on the police and security forces. “To chase them away the security forces used some force which caused injuries to a few miscreants,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir: Encounter breaks out in Bandipora

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An encounter broke out between militants and security forces in Bandipora district of north Kashmir this morning, army said.Acting on specific intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in Aragam village of Bandipora, security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation, an army official said.He said as the forces were conducting the search operation, the hiding militants fired upon them, triggering an encounter.Firing was going on at the encounter site when last reports came in, the official said, adding more details about the operation were awaited.

Operations against Pak-backed infiltrators enters second day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the second day on Wednesday, the operations against the Pakistan-backed infiltrators are continuing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri and Naugam sectors of North Kashmir, even as the investigators look for more leads in the Uri fidayeen attack.Army troops intercepted a group of 10 to 12 ultras near the Line of Control and foiled an infiltration bid in the Uri sector. Another infiltration bid was foiled in Naugam sector when troops detected another group of militants trying to sneak into the Indian side of LoC on Tuesday evening.Thirty-seven-year-old Havildar Madan Lal of Dogra Regiment was killed at Naugam when he came under heavy fire from the infiltrators. With 17 years of service, Havildar Madan Lal hailed from Pathankote and is survived by six year old daughter and two year old son.”The operations are continuing at both Uri and Naugam sectors along the Line of Control,” said an army spokesman.So far troops have not retrieved any body of the militant. Sources however said there is a possibility that they might have fallen into the deep ravines along the LoC.Even as the troops battle it out on the LoC, the investigators probing the Uri Fidayeen attack are looking for more leads. Investigators have found that the barbed wire fence of the 12 brigade headquarters was cut at two places which have given a new twist to the probe.Sources said investigators are baffled whether the militants made the entry from one point or used two points to enter into the camp.Sources said the four fidayeen were wearing the army uniforms and had divided into two groups to attack the tents and shelters in which the troops were sleeping. The militants used incendiary munitions which are used by regular armies to set the tents and shelters on fire.Investigators are working overtime to identify the slain militants who could help the centre to expose Pakistan before the international community. “We are trying to identify the militants with their addresses so that we can expose Pakistan by placing the proof before the international community,” said a source.

J&K: Army continue to engage in gunbattle with militants along LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian army is still in a gunbattle in along LoC with militants to foil infiltration bid. The encounter has been going on for 20 hours.The two counter-infiltration operations along the Line of Control in Kashmir on Wednesday entered the second day, the Army said here. “The operations along the LoC in Uri and Naugam sectors continue,” an Army spokesman said. One soldier was killed yesterday as Army foiled two infiltration bids in Uri and Naugam sectors of KashmirThe army had killed at least 10 infiltrators on Tuesday when they foiled two major infiltration bids on the LoC in Uri and Naugam sectors of North Kashmir, even as the Pakistani army violated the ceasefire by indiscriminately firing on the Indian posts in Uri sector. The infiltration bid was foiled just hours after Pakistan violated ceasefire and fired at the Indian posts using small and automatic weapons for around 20 minutes.”Ten to 12 militants terrorists attempted to infiltrate in Uri sector. They were intercepted and the infiltration bid was foiled and operations are on,” Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar told dna.Later in the evening, the troops noticed suspicious movement of militants along the LoC in Naugam sector. Army immediately swung into action and launched the operation. Militants opened fire on the troops in which one soldier was killed. “Infiltration bid has been foiled in Naugam sector. One soldier has been martyred. Operations are continuing,” said Col Kalia.

Curfew clamped in Pulwama, Baramulla districts of Kashmir as separatists call for protests

Srinagar: On Monday, curfew was clamped in Pulwama and Baramulla districts of Kashmir, while it remained in force in some other areas of the Valley including in parts of Srinagar, in view of the separatists call for a protest march to the three districts.

Normal life also remained disrupted in the Valley for the 73rd straight day.

A police official said that curfew has been imposed in Pulwama and Baramulla districts on Monday, while it remains in force in Shopian and five police station areas of downtown (interior city) along with Batamaloo in uptown Srinagar.

He said the curbs have been imposed to maintain law and order in view of the separatists call for a march to the three districts of Baramulla, Pulwama and Srinagar.

The official said restrictions on the assembly of people continued to remain in force in the rest of the Valley.

Representational image. APRepresentational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The separatists, in the weekly protest programme, have called for a march to the three districts Baramulla (in north Kashmir), Srinagar (in central Kashmir) and Pulwama (in south Kashmir) on Monday.

They have asked the people of north Kashmir districts of Bandipora and Kupwara to march towards Baramulla, people of south Kashmir districts of Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag to march to Pulwama and people of Central Kashmir districts of Ganderbal and Budgam to march towards Srinagar.

Meanwhile, normal life continued to remain paralysed in Kashmir for the 73rd consecutive day due to restrictions and separatist sponsored strike.

The separatists, who are spearheading the current agitation in the Valley, have extended the protest programme
till 22 September.

Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps continued to remain shut, while public transport was off the roads. Schools, colleges and other educational institutions also continued to remain shut.

Mobile telephony, except the postpaid connections of BSNL, and the mobile Internet services continued to remain snapped across the Valley.

As many as 81 people, including two cops, have been killed in the unrest that broke out a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in South Kashmir on 8 July.

Jammu & Kashmir: Militants break into BJP leader’s home, snatch AK-47 from security guard

Srinagar: Four militants reportedly broke into BJP leader Ghulam Mohammad Chopan’s house and snatched an AK-47 rifle from a security guard posted with the leader in Jammu and Kashmir’s Badgam district on Tuesday and fled from the spot.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to DNA, initial reports stated that the incident happened in the morning around 9am when Chopan was at his home in Chandoora, Budgam district. It is around 17 kilometers from Srinagar.

Police said the militants overpowered Constable Bashir Ahmad, snatched his rifle and ran away. The entire area has been alerted and all entry points to the village have been sealed, reported DNA.

“The snatching of the weapon has been reportedly done by militants who overpowered the guard. A search has been launched to trace the militants,” a senior police officer told IANS in Srinagar.

The incident comes just days after militants opened fire on security personnel and a nearby CRPF camp in Pampore. Eight CRPF personnels and two militants were killed in the attack.

With inputs from IANS.

Kashmir terror attack: Eight CRPF troopers killed in Pampore ambush

In one of the deadliest attacks of this year, eight Central Reserve Police Force personnel were martyred and 24 injured on Saturday after militants opened fire at a convoy belonging to the paramilitary force in Pampore on the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Two militants were also shot dead in retaliatory fire.

The attack happened on the busy Srinagar-Jammu national highway when the security personnel were returning from a training exercise, police said, according to the latest reports from CNN-News 18.

Rajesh Yadav, CRPF commandant also said that 20 jawans injured in the attack were taken to the Army’s 92 Base hospital in Srinagar. He told ANI that the jawans were returning from firing range practice when the attack took place.

“A CRPF convoy on way to Srinagar was attacked by militants at Namblabal near Pampore town on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway,” a senior police officer told IANS.

Nalin Prabhat, IG, CRPF said that both the terrorists killed in the attack appeared to be from Pakistan and from Lashkar-e-Taiba.

“Firing exchanges are still going on at the attack site as two militants are still reported to be firing at the security forces,” he said, adding reinforcements have been rushed to the area to ensure that the surviving militants don’t escape.

Traffic on the busy highway came to a halt immediately after the attack, while tension has gripped nearby Pampore town. There is a high security alert issued in Srinagar and search is on for the two escaped terrorists. The DG is likely to visit Pampore on Sunday.

According to ANI, security personnel recovered arms and ammunition, including two AK-47 rifles, 11 hand grenades from the two terrorists killed in the attack.

With inputs from IANS

Kashmir: Six militants killed in two encounters in Kupwara district

Six militants were killed on Thursday in two separate encounters with security forces that broke out in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Three militants were killed in the first encounter in Lolab area after a joint team of army and police, acting on a tip-off, launched a search operation in Dobwan forest area, an army official said.As the search operation was going on, the militants opened fire on the security personnel who retaliated.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the ensuing gunfight, three militants were killed, he said. In the other encounter, three militants were killed in Drugmulla area in the evening, the official added. He said security forces launched a search operation in Waterkhani forests of Drugmulla following information about presence of militants there.The exchange of firing is going on intermittently, the official said adding the operation is still on.

Security forces kill three militants in an encounter in north Kashmir

Srinagar: Three militants were on Thursday killed in an encounter with security forces in Lolab area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Acting on a tip-off about the presence of militants in Dobwan forest area, a joint team of police and army launched a
search operation, an army official said.

As the search operation was going on, the militants opened fire on the security personnel who retaliated.

In the ensuing gunfight, three militants have been killed, the army official said.

He said the operation was on when reports last came in.

Meanwhile, another encounter broke out between security forces and militants in Drugmulla area of Kupwara district
this evening, a police official said.

He said security forces launched a search operation in Waterkhani forests of Drugmulla following information about
presence of militants there.

“The exchange of firing was going on intermittently,” he said, adding there was no report of any casualty so far.

Militant killed in gunfight between terrorists and security forces in Kashmir

Srinagar: A militant was killed during an ongoing gunfight on Sunday between security forces and militants in a village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, police said.

“Following specific information about the presence of some militants in Ladoo village of Pulwama district near Pampore town, security forces started an operation on Sunday. When a cordon was being laid around the place where militants were reportedly hiding, security forces were fired upon. The security forces retaliated and a gunfight started in the area,” a senior police officer told IANS here.

One militant has so far been killed, the officer said, adding reinforcements have been rushed to the area to augment the strength of the security forces engaged in the operation.

Jammu and Kashmir: One militant killed in gunfight between security forces and militants in Pampore

An encounter broke out between the security forces and the militants in Pampore area of Pulwama district on Sunday afternoon.One of the two militants holed up has been killed in the encounter. Another militant is still holed up. Further details awaited.

Jammu and Kashmir: Militant killed in encounter in Bomai

A militant was killed today in an ongoing encounter with security forces in Sopore town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, police said.Security forces launched an anti-militancy operation in Bomai area of Sopore this morning following information about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said. He said militants opened fire on the advancing security forces, who retaliated. In the ensuing gunfight, one militant has been killed.The official said the operation was in progress when reports last came in.

Srinagar: Infiltration bid foiled, 4 soldiers injured; gunfight on

Army on Tuesday intercepted a group of terrorists near the Line of Control (LoC) when they were trying to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, triggering an encounter in which four soldiers were injured.The infiltrators were attempting to sneak in through the Macchil sector of Kupwara district of Kashmir when they were confronted by the army and the gunfight was still underway.Alert army troops foiled an infiltration bid in Machhil sector this afternoon, an army official said here. He said the militants have been engaged by the soldiers and exchange of firing was going on till reports last came in.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four soldiers were injured in the ongoing operation, the official said.

Army’s fresh offensive leaves two militants dead

Stepping up their offensive, the army on Thursday foiled a major infiltration bid and killed two militants on the Line of Control (LoC) in Naugam sector of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.Army sources said troops guarding the LoC intercepted a group of militants at wee hours near Toot Mari Gali in the Naugam sector. When challenged, they opened fire on the troops ensuing in a fierce gunfight between the two sides.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have killed two militants so far. The operation in the area is continuing,” Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar, told dna.Army has rushed in reinforcements and sealed all exit points to block all possible routes for militants to escape. “The contact (gunfight) is still on with the militants. We can only confirm the number of militants when the firing stops and bodies are retrieved,” said a senior army officer.The infiltration bid was foiled at a time when the army has put in place a multi-tier anti-infiltration grid to thwart militants’ plan to sneak into the valley after the snow melts on the mountain passes along the LoC.Official figures reveal, there were 24 infiltration attempts from across the Line of Control from January 1 to March 31 this year of which 18 were successful. In 2015, around 118 infiltration bids were made of which 33 weresuccessful.”Army is doing an excellent job at the borders by stopping infiltration (from across the line of control),” said Mehbooba Mufti, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister.Sources said around 17 groups of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants are waiting on the other side of line of control and international border to be pushed into this side of Jammu and Kashmir.Of them, 11 groups of militants are waiting across the Line of Control opposite Pir Panjal range comprising Rajouri and Poonch districts in Jammu division. Four groups are waiting across the LoC opposite Kupwara sectors. Two groups are waiting on the IB in Jammu division.

Cop-killing in the heart of Srinagar shows security establishment’s cluelessness

It is about time the officers and retired professionals of India’s security establishment pulled up their socks.

The cold-blooded killing of three policemen in Downtown Srinagar is ample indication that the various sections of this security establishment have been quite wrong, yet again. For a long time now, they have confidently insisted that there are no militants in Srinagar.

Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police Personnel inspecting the spot where militants killed a policeman at Tengpora Batamallo in Srinagar on Monday. PTI

Jammu and Kashmir Police Personnel inspecting the spot where militants killed a policeman in Srinagar on Monday. PTI

According to their wisdom, there are many militants in south Kashmir, but they insist with equal vigour that they have the situation under control.

Until the sudden bursts of fire that killed those policemen, this blasé confidence about the city passed for the wisdom of the Army, the police, and the various intelligence agencies. The same institutions also had little knowledge about what had been afoot between January 1988 and December 1989. (The first batch of militants crossed the Line of Control in January ’88 to train in Pakistan, and Dr Rubaiya Sayeed was kidnapped in December ’89.)

Much public money has been spent on firming up the intelligence and other apparatus of these institutions. The Comptroller and Auditor General’s offices generally have little access to their workings, but it is time for Parliament to call them to account. This country can not afford to sustain such ridiculous levels of continuous incompetence.

Not only did none of these institutions of the state have an idea of the militancy when it emerged in ’88 and ’89, none of them could predict the explosion of anger in 2008 or in 2010. They have consistently underestimated the challenge of this new militancy over the past six years. And let’s not speak for the moment of the think-tanks in Delhi. They are generally far removed.

I had been convinced since at least the winter of 2012-13 that some of the new crop of young militants must be lurking in the inner city of Srinagar – which is locally called Downtown. I had no specific information about this but, based on my reporting of Kashmir for a quarter-century, trends that had become visible elsewhere in the Valley made it obvious.

The slaughter of policemen – they were unarmed, directing traffic – indicates that those militants who might have been lurking (‘sleepers’ in the jargon of security wonks) in the city are getting ready to show their hand. Rather, it indicates that their masters (‘handlers’ in the security wonks’ jargon) might be ready to ‘launch’ them.

I told several analysts in Kashmir last summer that it seemed as if we were being shown Burhan Wani, the iconic young militant – as if some of his ‘handlers’ wanted the focus to be on him and his activities in south Kashmir. Security strategists should be trained to suspect that field action might be a side-tracking attempt, a feint, or even a trap. But apparently, those in the security establishment could only see what they were being shown.

Over the past month or so, the propaganda machinery of the security establishment has publicly patted itself on the back – for having knocked off most of Burhan’s comrades in south Kashmir. They have indeed had many ‘encounter’ successes in south Kashmir – although it is worth noting that many Kashmiris suspect that some of those ‘encounters’ were staged after the militants had been captured elsewhere and killed.

However, they still seem to have as little idea of the dimensions of the new militancy as their predecessors had towards the end of the ’80s. Only when they begin to understand what they face can they start the urgent task of preparing strategies to face it. Tragically, it appears that, like the government of the state in September 2014, they will only wake up to what is happening when the flood is upon them.

Jammu and Kashmir: Top JeM commander among 2 militants killed

A top commander of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad was among two militants killed in a gunbattle with security forces in Maharaja Bazaar area of the city tonight, police said. Security forces launched an operation in Maharaja Bazaar following information about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said. He said a gunfight broke out between security forces and militants. “So far, one militant has been killed,” he said adding the operation was still in progress. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Encounter in Sarai Bala, J&K; 2 militants gunned down (visuals deferred by unspecified time) pic.twitter.com/2UFXmA2BrC
May 23, 2016One of the dead militants was identified as Saifullah, a top Jaish commander in the Kashmir Valley, while the identity of the other is yet to be ascertained. Militants today carried out two strikes within as many hours in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, killing three policemen, including an officer, and decamping with service rifle of one of the slain cops.These major attacks in the city come after nearly three years. The last such attack took place on June 22, 2013 when two policemen were shot dead at Hari Singh High Street.With PTI and ANI inputs.

Srinagar terror attacks extremely worrying: Rahul Gandhi

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the two terror strikes in Srinagar in which three policemen were killed were “extremely worrying”.”News of terror attacks in Zadibal & Tengpora in Srinagar extremely worrying. My condolences to families of policemen martyred in these attacks (sic),” Gandhi tweeted. Militants today carried out two strikes within as many hours in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, killing three policemen, including an officer, and decamping with service rifle of one of the slain cops. These major attacks in the city come after nearly three years. The last such attack took place on June 22, 2013 when two policemen were shot dead at Hari Singh High Street.

Jammu and Kashmir: Militants disarm policemen, decamp with four riffles in Kulgam

Militants disarmed heavily armed policemen and decamped with four weapons when they stormed into a police picket guarding the minority Hindu inhabited Adijan village in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Saturday night.Police said the incident occurred when a group of heavily armed militants overpowered the cops in the bunker and fled with four weapons including two INSAS and two SLR riffles along with six magazines full of bullets. “Four policemen were deployed in the picket. They did not fire (when ultras stormed into the bunker). They (militants) have decamped with four weapons,” Mohommad Irshad Khan, senior superintendent of police, Kulgam told dna.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police have launched a massive manhunt to nab the militants responsible for the incident. Investigations have also been started to probe as to why policemen did not act despite having enough weaponry to take on the militants. “We are looking into it. We will take action. It will take some time,” said Khan. Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Simiti (KPSS), an apex body of pandits who did not migrate from the valley at the onset of militancy, said there are around 15 to 20 families of Rajput clan putting up at the Adijan village.”Like Uri, the Rajputs living in this village did not migrate. After the Nadimarg pandit massacre, the government established a police picket for the protection of the minority community in the village in 2003,” Sanjay K Tickoo, president KPSS, told dna.On the night of March 22-23, 2003, militants mowed down 24 Kashmiri Pandits including infants in a gruesome manner at Nadimarg village of Kulgam district sending shock waves across the nation and triggering migration of minuscule minority community members from this hamlet. KPSS figures reveal that there are 654 Kashmir Pandit families comprising 3,000 people who did not migrate and are putting up in different places across the valley. “These pandits are living at 182 different places across the valley. There are around 110 places where police pickets have been established for the security of the minority community,” said Tickoo. This is not the first time that militants have disarmed the policemen deployed for the security of minorities in Kashmir. On May 4, 2012 militants in broad day light stormed into the police picket guarding a pandit-inhabited village of Parguchi in south Kashmir and decamped with two self-loading riffles.On May 25 2012, militants decamped with three self-loading and one INSAS riffle when they disarmed the cops deployed for guarding the minority Sikh-inhabited Aarigam village in Tral area of south Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir: 1 terrorist dead in Pulwama encounter, search operations on

Security forces were on Tuesday night locked in a gunbattle with some militants holed up in a house in a village about 30 kms from here and were simultaneously battling violent mobs which tried to march towards the encounter site, leaving at least eight people injured.One terrorist killed in ongoing encounter between security forces and terrorists in Pulwama (J&K), search operations underway. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In late afternoon, security forces cordoned off Gadoora village in Pulwama district after getting specific information about presence of some militants in a house, officials said. The hiding militants opened fire on security personnel, triggering an encounter, the officials said, adding the exchange of fire was going on when last reports were received.Meanwhile, groups of youth staged protests and tried to march towards Gadoora village where the encounter was underway, the officials said. Their march as thwarted, leading to clashes in which eight people were injured. While six sustained pellet injuries, two others were injured after getting hit by tear smoke shells, the officials said. The clashes were still continuing when last reports were received.The officials said reinforcements have been rushed to maintain a tight cordon around the village to prevent the militants from fleeing the scene. Additional deployments were also made to deal with any law and order situation, they said.Meanwhile, security forces were hunting for some militants who had fired at a patrol party this morning in Sheikhpura village in Kupwara district. A brief exchange of firing took place between security forces and militants in the village, 100 kms from here, a police officer said.He said while no casualties were reported in the brief firing, security forces were carrying out search operations in the area to track down the militants.

Jammu and Kashmir: Two militants killed in encounter at Kupwara

Two unidentified militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Friday.”Two terrorists have been gunned down so far by the army in an ongoing operation at Petha Wadar of Handwara area in the district,” an army official said.Acting on specific information about the presence of militants in the area, security forces last night launched a search operation there, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The hiding militants fired upon the security forces triggering an encounter in which the two militants were killed, the official said.He said the identity of the slain militants has not been ascertained yet.The operation is in progress and further details are awaited, the official said.

Two NDFB(S) militants killed in police encounter in Assam

Guwahati: Two NDFB (Songbijit) militants were killed in an encounter with police at Hatipota village in Udalguri district of Assam today.

File image of Assam police. Reuters

File image of Assam police. Reuters

The encounter took place at about 1.15 am between a group of NDFB(S) militants and a police party comprising Udalguri Superintendent of Police, Addional SP, Mazbat PS Officer in Charge and other police personnel, IGP Dr L R Bishnoi said.

The two Myanmar trained cadres from NDFB(S) were identified as Daoharu and Jackpot, Bishnoi said.

The arms and ammunition recovered from the spot included two 7.65 mm pistols, two 7.65 mm magazines, four 7.65mm ammunition, five empty cases of 7.65 mm ammunition, four 9mm empty cases, besides one SIM card.

A search operation is on in the Assam-Arunachal border area against the underground outfit, Bishnoi said.

PTI

Militants attack Tunisian forces near Libyan border, 53 killed | Reuters

TUNIS Dozens of Islamist fighters stormed through the Tunisian town of Ben Guerdan near the Libyan border on Monday, attacking army and police posts in a raid that killed at least 53 people, including civilians, the government and residents said.

Local television broadcast images of soldiers and police crouched in doorways and on rooftops as gunshots echoed in the centre of the town. Bodies of dead militants lay in the streets near the military barracks after the army regained control.

Authorities sealed off the nearby beach resort town of Djerba, a popular destination for foreign and local tourists, imposed a curfew on Ben Guerdan and closed two border crossings with Libya after the attack.

“I saw a lot of militants at dawn, they were running with their Kalashnikovs,” Hussein, a resident, told Reuters by telephone. “They said they were Islamic State and they came to target the army and the police.”

It was not clear if the attackers crossed the border, and no group immediately claimed responsibility. But it was the type of militant operation Tunisia’s government has feared as it prepares for potential spillover from Libya, where Islamic State militants have gained ground.

Since its 2011 revolt to oust ruler Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia has struggled with Islamist militancy at home and across the border. Militants trained in jihadist camps in Libya carried out two attacks last year in Tunisia.

“This attack was an unprecedented, well-organised. They wanted to try to control the Ben Guerdan region and name it as their new Wilaya,” President Beji Caid Essebsi said, referring to the name Islamic State uses for regions it considers part of its self-described caliphate.

Soldiers killed 35 militants and arrested six, the Interior Ministry said. Hospital and security sources said at least seven civilians were killed along with 11 soldiers.

Troops also later discovered a large cache of rifles, explosives and rocket-propelled grenades in Ben Guerdan, a security source said.

“If the army had not been ready, the terrorists would have been able to raise their flag over Ben Guerdan and gotten a symbolic victory,” said Abd Elhamid Jelassi, vice president of the Islamist party Ennahda, part of the government coalition.

REGIONAL JIHADISTS

More than 3,000 Tunisians have gone to fight with Islamic State and other groups in Syria and Iraq. Tunisian security officials say increasingly they are returning to join the militant group in Libya.

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi five years ago, Libya has slipped into chaos, with two rival governments and armed factions struggling for control. Islamic State has grown in the turmoil, taking over the city of Sirte and drawing foreign recruits.

Tunisian jihadists are taking a lead role in Islamic State camps in Libya, Tunisian security sources say.

Tunisian forces have been on alert for possible militant infiltrations since last month, when a U.S. air strike targeted mostly Tunisian Islamic State militants at a camp near the border in Libya’s Sabratha.

Western military advisers are starting to train Tunisian border forces to help better protect the frontier with electronic surveillance and drones and authorities have built a trench and barrier to help stop militants crossing.

Islamist militant gunmen trained in Libyan camps carried out two of the three major attacks on Tunisia last year, including assaults on the Tunis Bardo museum and a Sousse beach hotel targeting foreign tourists.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Janet Lawrence, Larry King)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

3-day-long siege of Jammu and Kashmir building ends as Army kills all 3 militants

The three-day-long gun battle between three holed-up militants and the Indian Army ended on Monday evening after the unidentified militants were neutralised in the multi-storey building of the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) here in Pulwama district.”It was a very successful operation.We have eliminated three hard-core terrorists and recovered war-like stores. They were terrorists from across the border. We had no specific intelligence information about the three coming to attack this specific place,” said Major General Arvind Dutta, general officer commanding (GOC), Victor Force of the Indian Army.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The encounter started late on Saturday afternoon when militants attacked a CRPF convoy, killing two jawans and injuring 13 others before taking shelter in the building.More than 120 trainees and employees were rescued by security forces. A gardener of EDI was killed when people were being evacuated.The Indian Army lost three commandos, including two captains of the elite Para (Special Forces) units, when they came under heavy gunfire while they were securing rooms inside building during the last three days.The operation was one of the fiercest in the recent past in Kashmir Valley. During the last three days, security forces made three attempts to storm the building and gun down the militants, who were hiding at vantage positions from where they were able to see troop movement.”Initially, the CRPF tried to get inside the building from the ground floor. The moment they attempted that, the terrorists threw grenades and fired on them. This party had to withdraw,” said Maj Gen Dutta.Thereafter, the army worked out a plan to localise the terrorists and neutralise them. However, the troops did not have the exact location of the terrorists as the latter had occupied a large space.On Saturday night, the army threw a tight cordon and lit up the area to launch a crack operation to gun down the militants. A 10 Para Special Forces commando team was given the task to storm the building and neutralise the terrorists.”Their first task was to occupy the top of the building. They did a marvellous job. Captain Pawan was part of this team. They successfully manoeuvred through the ground, first and second floors. As they were entering the third floor from where they wanted to enter the roof, a brief contact was established with the terrorists. In the ensuing fight, Pawan was martyred,” said the GOC.On Sunday morning, the army decided to storm the building with a large force to secure each floor gradually and eliminate the terrorists.”We launched the 9 Para commandos on Sunday morning and they successfully cleared various floors. In that process two brave commandos — Capt Tushar Mahajan and Lance Naik Om Prakash – got martyred,” Maj Gen Dutta said.Security forces were able to corner the militants in the upper storey of the building. Since Monday morning, forces used rockets, rifle-propelled grenades, mortar bombs and other ammunition to pulverise the positions of the militants.Late on Monday afternoon, there was a brief lull in firing, indicating that the militants might not be alive anymore. Crack teams of the forces immediately went inside and found the three bodies lying on the floor of the upper storey.”In every operation, we have to see what the challenges are. This building had so many rooms and corners and places to hide. Time was not a problem for us. Our aim was to proceed stage by state and neutralise them in the end,” said Maj Gen Dutta.

J&K stir: Fresh firing between militants and security forces in Pampore

Srinagar: Fresh firing broke out today between militants and security forces as the operation against extremists holed up in a government building in Pampore town on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway entered the third day. “Militants inside the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building, which is up in flames, have engaged security forces in intermittent exchange of fire since 5.30 am,” said a police official.

Representational image PTIRepresentational image PTI

Representational image PTI

He also said that there were no fresh casualties so far in today’s operation as security forces have adopted a strategy of wearing down militants physically as well as in terms of ammunition reserves. Two CRPF jawans and a civilian were killed and nine other jawans injured when militants opened fire a on a CRPF convoy on Saturday afternoon. After attacking the bus, the guerrillas had entered the JKEDI complex and taken shelter in the multi-storeyed building, triggering a stand-off.

 Nearly 100 civilians — staff and students of EDI — were evacuated to safety by the security forces from the building. As the security forces mounted an assault on the building yesterday, they met with stiff resistance from the ultras who are holding various vantage points inside the building. Those killed in the firing include Abdul Gani Mir of Gundipora Pulwama, JKEDI gardener, captain Pawan Kumar of 10 para regiment belonging to Jind (Haryana), captain Tushar Mahajan of nine para regiment belonging to Udhampur town of Jammu region, Lance naik Om Prakash of nine para regiment, head constable Bhola Prasad and driver constable R. K. Rana, both of the CRPF.

A CRPF spokesman who initially told reporters that a guerrilla had been killed in the gunfight later denied it saying there had been some confusion about it.

With inputs from agencies

‘Kuchh nahi chahiye, bas apni razai’: Pampore martyr Capt Pawan Kumar’s life was shaped by JNU and Jind

Captain Pawan Kumar, of 9 Para Special Forces of the Indian army, studied for his under-graduation at Jawaharlal Nehru University. A Jat from Jind district of Haryana, Kumar died in his early twenties while fighting militants in Sempora area of Pampore on the outskirts of Srinagar on Saturday evening.

According to Army officers who worked with him, Kumar loved riding bikes, vintage cars, and clicking pictures in remote areas. It is ironic that the man whose life was shaped by two places — JNU and Jind are mired in controversy these days. Kumar tried to downplay their influence on him in his sarcastic best, recently in a Facebook status:

“Kisiko reservation chahiye to kisiki ko azadi bhai. Humein kutch nahin chahiye bhai. Bas apni razai.” (Some want reservation and some want independence. I do not want anything, except my blanket.)

Kumar was the only child of his parents. Rajbir Singh, his father, said in a chocked voice on Sunday that he is proud of his son’s achievement, “I had only one child. I gave him to the Army, to the nation. No father can be prouder.”

Captain Pawan Kumar.Captain Pawan Kumar.

Captain Pawan Kumar.

The Army officials said on Sunday that Kumar was head of a Para Special Force team that stormed the building in Pampore to flush out militants holed inside. The militants first attacked a Central Reserve Police Force convoy coming towards Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, at around 3.45 pm on Saturday.

After killing two CRPF jawans, the militants sneaked into the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) complex in Pampore town located on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. Like every young officer, he led from the front and stormed the building in wee hours of Sunday but the operation failed.

Kumar was born on 15 January, 1993. He has served less then three years in the Army. When the militants stormed the EDI complex on Saturday, they directed employees towards the exit gate and closed its doors. In the ensuing firing, a poor gardener also lost his life.

Roop Kumar Singh, Kumar’s friend, told Firstpost from Jind on phone that his friend rarely talked, “but whenever he did, he would made others burst into laughter.”

“The courage shown by his father is exemplary. Despite losing a young and only son, he hardly cried and is proud of his sacrifice. It is frightening because one should let out the sorrow, but he has kept to himself. His courage is remarkable,” he said.

An army officer said in Srinagar that Captain Kumar had refused to go on sick leave to take part in the operation and led from the front. He had recently participated in the 15 February Pulwama encounter in which two militants were killed.

“Pawan Kumar was a young and a dynamic officer, He was a true commander”, Lt. Gen. SK Dua, General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said.

On Sunday afternoon when the black smoke billowed out from one of the whitewashed buildings of EDI, news trickled in that another Para Capitan, Tushar Mahajan, has been killed, after being hit by a volley of bullets during the mopping-up operation.

Tushar MahajanTushar Mahajan

Tushar Mahajan

Majahan, 24, a resident of Udhampur district of Jammu, was killed along with Lance Naik Om Prakash in the operation which has been a black day for the Indian army in Kashmir. Tushar is son of Prof Dev Raj, a retired Principal and Lecturer of Physics in Udhampur. Before getting selected for National Defence Academy training in 2010, he had completed his schooling from Little Flowers School, KV and APS Udhampur. Tushar was a bachelor and his only brother works abroad.

“He had joined the army against the wishes of his mother and father; they wanted him to be an engineer like his elder brother, but he followed his passion,” one of Tushar’s school friend in Udhampur told Firstpost.

Abdul Gani Mir, a resident of Pinglina village of Pulwama, who also died on the first day of the encounter, worked in JKEDI as a gardener. He fell to the bullets when the firing started on Saturday and the forces started evacuating the trapped employees.

The story of Mir is no less tragic. His brother-in-law, Mohammad Maqbool, a policemen, was killed by militants in 2013. The family of Maqbool was now dependent on Mir along with two daughters and minor son. With nobody to take care of Maqbool’s family, his widow and kids moved to Mir’s place. Mir had his own family to sustain – two grown up daughters already in college and a minor son.

“Who will take care of such a big family now. Did they not think of that before killing you,” Mariyam, the daughter of Mir, shouted as his coffin was being carried out for funeral prayers.

The encounter meanwhile continues even after three days between security forces and militants. Intermittent exchange of fire again started on Monday morning.

So far, six people, including two captains and soldier of Para, two paramilitary troops of the CRPF and a civilians have been killed in the gunfight.

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