On a day when Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was scheduled to hold a united headquarters meeting of all security agencies, a grim reminder from his home constituency Ganderbal district, where five militants were killed in an encounter in Kangan forest area on Monday.
The encounter started early in the morning in a remote forest area of Phali Nard Wanghat. The army claims it was working on a tip off.
“Five militants were killed in an encounter that lasted couple of hours,” Srinagar-based defence spokesman J.S Brar told the Hindustan Times.
The forest range is located in Wanghat area of Ganderbal district, which is a traditional home constituency of the Abdullah’s, and now of the chief minister.
Preliminary reports suggest all the five militants were foreigners. According to the police, four militants identified are Abu Bakar, Abu Khalid, Murtaza and Abdul Gazi.
“The identification of fifth one is being ascertained. The group belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen,” said a police spokesman of the Srinagar zonal headquarters.
The Ganderbal Police along with the army’s 24 Rashtriya Rifles had carried out the the operation. Five AK-47 rifles, 15 magazines, 2 under-barrel grenade launchers and bullets were recovered from the encounter site.
Incidentally, the major encounter, where the army achieved a major success against the militants, came on a day when the chief minister was to preside a unified headquarters meeting in the afternoon.
The security of panches, sarpanches in the wake of two killings in the valley, situation in hinterland and infiltration bids by militants were among the major issues discussed in the meeting.
The government and the army are on different page regarding infiltration bids and militant presence in the state. While the army recently claimed bids of infiltration and put the infiltrating militants' number at 100 in Uri sector, police denied the same.
"There is no rise in militancy in Kashmir for sure. If there is anything happening in hinterland, the army has to answer," Omar said on Friday.