Four persons, including two suspected militants, were killed and 14 others injured in the Kashmir valley on Saturday.
“Four persons, two each on two motorcycles, were passing through the CRPF camp when they were asked to display their photo-identity cards. As one of the drivers pleaded that he had forgotten the ID card at his home, his pillion rider took out a pistol and fired upon the CRPF personnel. The driver swiftly snatched away the CRPF man’s [Insas] rifle. Another sentry fired on the duo. Both of them died on the spot,” Vijay Kumar, Deputy Inspector General of Police, South Kashmir, told The Hindu.
Mr. Kumar said that both youths on the following motorcycle were injured in the shootout. One of them died during evacuation and another at a hospital. “We are sure, the first two are Lashkar-e-Taiba militants as we have seized a pistol, two grenades and other articles from their possession. We have kept their bodies for identification. However, two more have been identified as Tauseef Ahmad Bhat of Shopian and Mohammad Yousuf Sofi of Durpora Zainapora. One of them is suspected to be a militant but we have returned their bodies to the two families,” the DIG said.
The DIG said that one unidentified militant, “most likely Ayatullah Khomeini of Chinigam, Kulgam”, escaped from the encounter. “We have, however, seized his mobile phone that contains the video clips of the two recent LeT attacks, showing how the militants shot dead two police and CRPF men at Arwani and Avnera and decamped with their service rifles,” the DIG said. He said that one of the militant’s Pakistani SIM card and a diary was also seized at Gagran.
Residents claimed that all the four were “innocent civilians.” They said Tauseef was a class 9 student. Pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans marked the widespread demonstrations as also the funeral of the youth in the evening.