Shopian encounter: Two militants escape, one civilian and a militant killed

The over-night gunfight between militants and security forces at Khudpora in southern Shopian district culminated into the killing of a civilian and a militant. Two other militants, who were trapped in the village, are reported to have escaped safely from the encounter site.

The slain militant has been identified as Mohammad Irfan Bhat of Bundzoo village in Pulwama. Irfan had joined militant organization Hizbul Mujahideen, last year.

One civilian, named as Shahid Manzoor Mir, was also killed in encounter. Police has not denied Shahid as being a civilian. Beyond a militant-related case registered against him 2004, police has maintained silence on the activities of Shahid. The police statement did not refer to him as militant or overground sympathizer of worker of militants.

The family of Shahid and the local residents said that he was a working as a contractor dealing in construction of houses and building material. He is survived by a wife and one-year-old child beside aged parents.

Police statement

Police and security forces in Khudpora area of District Shopian, launched a cordon and search operation yesterday evening based on credible inputs about the presence of militants in the area.

The police spokesman said that as the search operation was going on, hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter.

Meanwhile following the SOP, civilians from the nearby area were evacuated to safer places. In the ensuing encounter, hiding militants fired on security forces. Consequently, post-encounter during the search two dead bodies were recovered from the site of encounter. The killed militant has been identified as Mohd Irfan Bhat of Pulwama who was associated with HM terror outfit since June 2017.

Moreover, the house where the encounter took place is intact albiet a hideout was found inside the house where militants were hiding.

Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police have registered a case and initiated an investigation in the instant matter for ascertaining the facts pertaining to militants hiding in the said house and other related matters to this incident.

Citizens are once again requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any.

(Photograph–representational)

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