Three Hizbul Mujahideen militants have reportedly been killed and a policeman died during a fierce gunbattle in South Kashmir's Pulwama district on Monday.Four other jawans, two from Jammu and Kashmir police and two from CRPF have been injured in the gunbattle which lasted for hours.
After losing a constable, the police had to blow up the house where the militants were holed up when their latter refused to surrender even after repeated calls. Two militants were killed in the explosion whereas one was shot down in the morning. The operation was being conducted by a joint team of Awantipora police, CRPF and Army.
The gunfight stopped by afternoon and the security forces had launched a massive search operation to hunt down other militants possibily hiding in the area.
``Three militants are believed to have been killed in a gun battle in Tral. We have also lost a jawan of Jammu and Kashmir police,'' said Inspector General of Police,A G Mir. He said the residential house in which the militants were holed up had to be brought down.``We are trying to recover the bodies from the rubble and can ascertain the identity only after that,'' he added.
Mir however identified one militant killed in the encounter in the morning.``One of the militant has been identified as Shahnawaz Ahmad of Dadasara. The identity of the remaining two was being established,'' said Mir.
The encounter has taken place at mandoora village in Tral during a counter-insurgency operation launched by the security forces. The operation according to police spokesman was launched following a specific information about presence of militants in the area.
Sources say three militants are trapped in a residential house in the area. The operation is being jointly conducted by Jammu and Kashmir. ``We got information about the presence of militants. When we approached the area, the militants opened fire resulting in the gun battle,'' said Mir.
Police claimed all the three were local boys and Shahnawaz was wanted in killing of four army men in tral in May this year.
On May 24 , 2013 militants had killed four army men in Buchoo village of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama. A Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant was later gunned down by the forces in an encounter that followed the incident while two other militants reportedly managed to escape from the scene.
``Shahnawaz was among the militants who escaped the scene,'' the official said.Meanwhile all injured policemen have been shifted to hospital. However, the one who was rushed to the hospital in the morning succumbed to injuries later. He has been identified as Mushtaq Ahmad.
Of the five injured cops, three have been identified as S-I Jaswant Singh, constable Manoj Kumar and constable Manzoor Ahmed, police said.
A wreath laying ceremony was held for the martyred Constable Mushtaq Ahmad at District Police Lines Lethpora.IGP Mir led the officers and jawans on the wreath laying ceremony.