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Militant killed, 3 security personnel injured in Pulwama encounter

A militant was killed and two soldiers and a policeman were injured in a gunfight in south Kashmir’s Pulwama on Tuesday.

General Officer Commanding (GOC), Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lieutenant General B.S. Raju said any loss of life was sad and militants were being given an opportunity to surrender.

The encounter started in the morning when hiding militants opened fire on a search party in Pulwama's Goosu village.

“One militant has been killed in the encounter and one AK-47 recovered from the spot”, a police official said.

The two soldiers and the policeman sustained bullet injuries when they were conducting a door-to-door search in the area, the official said.

During the encounter, one Army personnel, identified as Naik Rajvinder Singh of 53RR, was critically injured.  "He was shifted to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries," the police said.

The operation was launched on Monday night following specific information about a group of militants hiding in the village.

The slain militant was not identified by the police.

Around 122 militants have been killed in the stepped up operations in Kashmir this year. Twenty-two militants were killed in June.

Civilians injured

According to locals and eyewitnesses, scores of local youths clashed with the security forces in an attempt to converge on the encounter site.

The locals said around four civilians were hit by pellets in the clashes. However, the police did not confirm the same.

One injured, identified as Basharat Bashir Pandit, was shifted to Srinagar for treatment “after pellets hit his eyes”.

Police to lodge FIR

Meanwhile, the police have lodged a First Information Report (FIR) and warned people against circulating “fake statements” attributed to separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, calling for a shutdown on the death anniversary of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani on July 8.

“As per the family sources of Mr. Geelani, the letter is fake and not issued by him. This is published from Pakistan”, the police spokesman said.

The police said they would take action against “those who are circulating it through different social media platforms to instigate violence and create law and order problems”.

An FIR under Section 13 ULA(P) Act, 505 IPC (public mischief) was filed in Budgam regarding the matter, the police said.

Loss of any life sad: Army

GOC Lieutenant General Raju on Tuesday said any loss of life was sad.

“Six-year-old boy who was killed in Bijbehara [Anantnag] and the recent incident at Sopore where a 65-year-old man was killed, were unfortunate. The picture [showing the grandchild of the slain man on the chest of his dead grandfather] elicited emotions. The only way for a militant to get back is to strike and engage us in populated areas. That’s what happened in Bijbehara and Sopore as both towns are busy places. Every loss of life is unfortunate. We don’t even want to kill militants, we give them an opportunity to surrender,” GoC Raju said, in a short video uploaded online.

The Army officer said militants were striking in populated areas, “seeking civil casualties because that gets attention”.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 7:40:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/encounter-between-security-forces-militants-in-pulwama/article32008746.ece

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