Five local militants killed in Kulgam encounter

SRINAGAR (KIMS) — At least five militants were killed in an encounter in Kulgam district of South Kashmir on Friday morning.

The encounter broke out between government forces and militants at Samnoo village in Damhal Hanjipora area of Kulgam district on Thursday evening after which the encounter was halted for night due to darkness. The encounter resumed on Friday morning which led to the killing of five militants.

Earlier, a joint team of government forces including Indian Army, J&K Police and CRPF had launched Cordon-and-Search-Operation (CASO) at Samnoo village in DH Pora area of the district following the inputs about presence of militants in the area.

As the joint team of forces approached the suspected spot, militants fired upon them which was retaliated, triggering an encounter.

The militants who were slain have been identified as Sameer Ahmad Sheikh from Check Chollan Shopian, he was affiliated with People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), Hanzullah Yaqoob Shah from Rawalpora Shopian, Danish Ahmad Thokar and Ubaid Ahmad Padder — both from Chakoora Shopian and Yasil Bilal Bhat from Wanpoh Kulgam — all were affiliated with The Resistance Front (TRF).

Sameer had joined militant ranks in 2021, Danish, Yasil and Ubaid joined last year and Hanzullah joined the militant ranks this year.

Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including 04 AK-series rifles, 4 Grenades and 2 Pistols were recovered from the site of encounter.

The killed militants were categorized militants and involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on Police/SFs and civilian atrocities. They were also involved in number of attacks on minority pickets, Jammu and Kashmir Police said in a statement.

The killed militant Sameer Ahmad Sheikh and Danish Ahmad Thoker were involved in attack on a Kashmiri Pandith Sonu Bhat of Chotigam Shopian. Danish Ahmad Thoker alongwith Hanzullah Yaqoob Shah were also involved in militant attack on outside labourers at Gagren Shopian on 13/07/2023, in which three outside labourers got injured, the statement said.

Sameer Ahmad Sheikh was also involved in instigating and luring local youth to join militant ranks, besides was involved in attack on minority picket at Heepora Batagund Shopian, the statement added. — (KIMS)