In three separate encounters and subsequent protests in south Kashmir, at least 11 militants including top commanders and one civilian were killed on Sunday till now.
This is one of the biggest anti-militancy operations in a single day, since 2010-11, when militancy started regaining foothold in Kashmir Valley. The killings are a major blow for militants in south Kashmir, considered to be their stronghold.
J&K police is yet to confirm the final identity of militants however police officials say top commanders were among the killed. Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani–who was released from house arrest on March 30 and allowed to address a Friday congregation after eight years—Mirwaiz Umer and Yasin Malik have called for shutdown in wake of the killings today and on April 2. They have urged people across Kashmir to offer funeral prayers in absentia for those killed in the operations, at 4:00pm today. The government has again put Hurriyat leaders under house arrest and suspended mobile Internet in parts of south Kashmir to avoid any flow of communication and spread of rumors. All the business establishments in south Kashmir have closed and Srinagar has also witnessed instant closure of shops soon after the news of the killings spread.
Encounter at Dragad has ended while as at Kachdooru village of Shopian operation is still going on as police sources claim bodies of few more militants could be trapped in the house. In both the villages, militants were killed in the houses of police officials, including that of an IPS officer and a constable.
Intense protests are going on near both the spots, and police and paramilitary forces have resorted to heavy shelling and pellet firing to disperse the crowd. One civilian was killed and more than 50 civilians have been injured till now. At least ten youth have received pellet injuries in eyes, while another civilian has bullet injury. 20 injured including the pellet victims have been referred to hospitals in Srinagar.
J&K police chief S P Vaid confirmed that bodies of seven militants were found at encounter site in Dragad village of Shopian, while as one militant was killed in Dialgam of Anantnag, where another militant was caught alive.
“One terrorist killed in Dialgam, Anantnag after efforts of his family. J&K failed to surrender, one caught alive. In Dragad Shopian, 7 bodies of terrorists recovered including top commanders,” Vaid Tweeted.
In Kachdooru village police sources claim three militants were killed and three army personnel have been injured till now. The joint teams of Special Operations Group of J&K police, Army and CRPF are conducting the operations. J&K police chief and 15 Corps commander are addressing the presser in the afternoon.
In Dialgam area of Anantnag in South Kashmir, a militant Rouf Khanday, who had joined the militant ranks in last week of march was killed, while another was caught alive from the encounter site.
“The security forces made repeated requests on loud speaker asking them to surrender. One of the terrorists (name withheld) came out of the house and surrendered before the forces. He has been taken into custody. The other did not do so and instead resorted to firing on the forces which was retaliated and in which he was killed,” read the police statement.
After killing of Burhan Wani in 2016 militancy gathered steam and became deadlier, when Jaish-e-Muhammad came at the center stage in 2017. The government launched Operation All Out to wipe out the militancy and killed more than 213 militants in 2017. Even as the infiltration continued, around 124 locals joined militant ranks in 2017 and 27 boys joined the militant ranks in first three months of 2018.
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