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Three LeT militants shot dead in Srinagar encounter, civilian killed in after protests

The protester was allegedly run over by a police vehicle in Noorbagh. Separatist leaders have condemned the incident, and called for a bandh on Sunday.

india Updated: May 06, 2018 00:00 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Securitymen take positions as an encounter rages with terrorists in Chattabal area of Srinagar on May 5.
Securitymen take positions as an encounter rages with terrorists in Chattabal area of Srinagar on May 5. (Waseem Andrabi/HT Photo)

Three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed and four security personnel injured in an encounter at Srinagar on Saturday, amid protests and pelting of stones by local residents.

A protester was also killed after he allegedly came under a police vehicle in nearby Noorbagh. Although police initially denied the charges, they have now filed a case against the driver at the Safakadal station.

The encounter took place in the congested Chattabal area after security forces received inputs on the presence of LeT operatives there. As the search by a CRPF-police search party intensified, the militants began firing at them from a semi-constructed building in the locality.

“Encounter concluded in Chattabal Srinagar. Three bodies of terrorists recovered in a clean operation by J&K Police & CRPF. Well done boys,” director general of police Shesh Paul Vaid tweeted after the incident.

Three CRPF personnel and a special police officer were injured, said inspector general of police SP Pani, adding that their condition was “stable”.

After the gunfight, scores of youngsters surrounded the encounter site and began throwing stones. That was when Adil Ahmad Yadoo, a local resident, was crushed by a vehicle allegedly driven by security personnel. A video of the incident went viral on the social media.

A police spokesperson reported the recovery of incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, from the site of the encounter. “On the basis of the materials recovered from the site, we have concluded that the group intended to carry out a major terror attack in the near future,” he said.

One of the three militants was identified as Fayaz Ah Hamal, a local resident. Police identified another as Showkat Ahmad Tak, who was named by the army in its list of most wanted militants last year. A police spokesman said he was a district commander of the outlawed LeT.

“Showkat was active since October 2011 and was involved in the killing of civilians, namely Liyaqat Sultan Lone of Panzgam, and the recruitment of youth in the terror network. He was wanted for several serious crimes by the law,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, chaos erupted outside the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital as some youngsters tried to take possession of Yadoo’s body. Police resisted their attempts, triggering further protests and pelting of stones. Three photojournalists – Umar Asif, Javed Dar and Farooq Khan – were injured in the melee.

Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned Yadoo’s death on Twitter, accusing government forces of “crushing him to death during protests”. He also shared a video of the incident.

Separatist groups have called for a strike on Sunday to protest against the incident.

Srinagar has witnessed several encounters between militants and security personnel over the last few months. Two militants and a CRPF jawan were killed in a 30-hour-long encounter between security forces and terrorists holed up in an under-construction building at Karan Nagar near Chattabal in February. The same month, militants stormed the SMHS hospital to rescue a colleague – Naveed Jatt – from police custody. Two policemen were killed in the incident.

In March, two militants were killed in an overnight encounter on the outskirts of Srinagar. The encounter began after the militants fired at the security officers of a BJP leader and tried to escape.

First Published: May 05, 2018 08:39 IST

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