Two militants and a policeman were killed in south Kashmir’s Tral on Sunday in an encounter that began Saturday evening and continued over night.
Director general of the state police SP Vaid told Hindustan Times that one of the militants killed in the encounter was a Pakistani and the other was local.
“The local militant was Aqib Maulvi, a local top commander,” Vaid said.
The slain cop has been identified as Manzoor Ahmed Naik. He was a native of Salamabad area of Uri.
“Manzoor Ahmed was an outstanding jawan of the SOG (special operations group) and the J-K police,” Vaid said.
On Saturday night, a joint search party of police and army had started a cordon and search operation in Hafoo area of slain militant Burhan Wani’s hometown, Tral, in Pulwama district on specific inputs of presence of militants in the area.
Police had said there were inputs of a top commander named Sabzar Ahmed Bhat being trapped at the site, of which they could be certain only after his body was eventually found.
The security personnel of the cordon and search party came under firing from the house where the militants were trapped and the gun-battle began.
Simultaneously, stone pelting protests had begun in the area to distract the security personnel away from the encounter site.
An INSAS rifle was also snatched away from a CRPF jawan at the main chowk of Tral away from the encounter site.
Police said that last evening there were “minor” incidences of stone pelting while in the morning the law and order situation was under control.
People running towards a site of gun-battle and pelt stones at security forces to distract them and hamper the counter-insurgency operation has become a cause of worry for the security establishment.
On February 15, army chief General Bipin Rawat warned of harsh measures to those running towards encounter sites and causing difficulties in the operations.
Despite the warning, Kashmiri youth have been flocking to the encounter sites to pelt stones.
The stone-pelting last evening in Tral was the fourth instance of such during a cordon and search operation since Rawat’s warning.