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Police collect DNA samples of five militants killed in Kupwara

The J&K Plice have collected DNA samples of five slain militants killed in Kupwara’s Keran Sector on April 4-5, and three of the “battle hardened and tough fighters” may be the three missing youth from south Kashmir.

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A top police official told The Hindu that the encounter, which started on April 1 and ended on April 5, witnessed the five infiltrators “withstanding heavy snowfall for four days and were having enough training to taken on elite PARA troopers of the Army despite the inclement weather” near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara’s Keran Sector. Five PARA troopers of the elite force, which carried out the Uri surgical attack, died in “a very close range gunfight”.

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Two identified

Three families from south Kashmir’s Shopian and Kulgam have claimed the slain militants were their kin. The two militants identified by the families were Sartaj Ahmad Dar, a resident of Kulgam’s Hangir Yaripora who was missing since December 20, 2017; and Sajad Ahmad Hurrah, a resident of Shopian’s Daramdora-Keegam area, who was missing since April 10, 2018.

“Both of them exfiltrated from India to Pakistan and later went to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on valid passports. There are fears that the handlers in Pakistan were upgrading the training of locals after a major dent was inflicted to local militants’ striking capabilities in the last three years,” the police officer said.

The police have buried the five slain militants in a forest area of Zurhama in the Shalbatoo-Jumgund range. According to the Kupwara police, DNA samples have been collected and will be matched to establish the identification. One family, the police said, identified one of the slain militants from photos uploaded online.

Hideout busted

One user of social media, believed to be close to the militants, claimed the slain militants belonged to the recently floated The Resistance Front (TRF) militant outfit. The TRF is believed to be working in tandem with the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and has managed to set up bases in north Kashmir. The police said it busted a hideout of TRF on April 5 in north Kashmir and recovered eight rifles and around 100 hand grenades.

Hurrah’s uncle Sheeraz Ahmad Hurrah said, “A few youth came to our house and delivered the news that Hurrah died in the gunfight near LoC recently. We appeal to the authorities to return the body for the final rites.”

The family demanded Hurrah’s brother, also arrested by the police, should be allowed to participate in the funeral prayers.

The third militant, according a family, could be Umar Nazir. Not much is know about him, the police said.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 11:19:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/police-collect-dna-samples-of-five-militants-killed-in-kupwara/article31291983.ece

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