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Sunday, June 26, 2022

3rd day of Shopian gunfight: top militant commander slain, 4 houses gutted; toll 2

Shopian: A gunfight between pro-freedom insurgents and government forces raged for the third straight day in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Monday. 

Reports said that a Jaish-e-Muhammad militant was slain when the gunfight resumed in Rawalpora village of the southern district on Monday. 

The gunfight had erupted on Saturday after police, unit of army and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force, acting on a tip off, launched a cordon and search operation in the village, about 45 kilometers from Srinagar, the summer capital of the disputed region.

On Saturday night, the armed forces had installed search lights in the village and made a contact with the hiding militants on Sunday morning. While the gunfight had raged, groups of pro-freedom youth shouting slogans had clashed with armed forces in which a boy had received pellet injuries to his eyes. 

On Sunday after, a militant identified as Jehangir Ahmad Wani was slain.  Wani, a resident of Rakh Narapora in the district, was reportedly affiliated with Laskhar-e-Toiba and was active since September last year. A US-made rifle was recovered from the encounter site. The police also recovered AK-47 rifle with a UBL shell and 36 Armor piercing rounds from the from the encounter site.

The encounter started again on Monday, when fresh firing started between militants and armed forces. The Inspector General of Police in Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said, “Fresh firing resumed at the encounter site after a halt of 24 hours in which Sajad Afghani along with another militant was killed.”

Vilayat Hussain Lone, alias Sajad Afghani, is said to be a top commander of Jaish-e-Muhammad.

Meanwhile three youths and a policeman were injured in clashes which erupted during the encounter on Saturday evening near the encounter site. The police fired pellets, tear gas shells to disperse the protesters on Sunday.

On Saturday, 22-year-old Arif Ahmad Wagay sustained injury in the left eye and was shifted to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital, in Srinagar, for treatment. 

The internet service remains blocked in the district since Saturday night, and four houses were damaged in the encounter.

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