3 militants, soldier killed in Jammu
Three militants and a soldier died in a gunfight on Saturday in Jammu’s Ramban district during which the security forces reportedly rescued a civilian, who had been held hostage, after a nine-hour standoff.
The Jammu gunfight took place on a day a militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kashmir’s Ganderbal district and a grenade was lobbed by insurgents in Srinagar.
Police said an elderly person, tailor Vijay Kumar, had been held hostage by militants in his house near Bhagla Dam in Ramban before the terrorists were shot dead.
Police sources said the encounter broke out when security forces received inputs about the presence of militants in the area.
“The militants tried to stop a private vehicle on Batote-Kishtwar Road in Ramban district, near Bhagla Dam, on Saturday morning. The driver fled and informed the forces about the militants,” an official said.
The forces rushed to the spot soon after and launched the operation. In the meantime, the militants barged into Vijay’s house and allegedly held him hostage. A calibrated operation was launched to ensure the civilian was safe and after nine hours of standoff the forces rescued Vijay, the police said.
The militants were killed after Vijay was rescued, indicating that the insurgents did not harm him while he was with them.
The security forces later asked the holed-up militants to surrender but they refused. They lobbed a grenade at the forces, sparking the gunfight. In the ensuing encounter three militants were killed. An army soldier was also killed.
Jammu division police chief Mukesh Singh said two of the slain militants, Osama and Zahid, were from Kishtwar, while Bilal Dar was from Shopian.
“All the three belonged to the Hizbul Mujahideen. We have rescued one civilian,” he said. The officer said the slain militants were part of the group that was involved in a weapon snatching in Kishtwar.
Osama was the brain behind the killings of senior BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar on November 1, 2018, and RSS functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his PSO on April 9, officials said.
In a separate incident, security forces killed an unidentified militant in a gunfight in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. The gunfight erupted at Nara Nag Gangabal, 45km from Srinagar, when joint teams of the forces were combing a forest area after an input about movement of militants.
“One terrorist killed. Weapon and warlike store recovered. Operation in progress,” tweeted Chinar Corps of the Indian Army.
It is suspected that the militant killed in the operation was part of a larger group of insurgents.
Militants lobbed a grenade on a CRPF patrol at Nawa Kadal in the old city when they were busy handling law-and-order duties. A CRPF official said the grenade exploded some distance from the troops but there was no loss of life or injury.
The increase in militant violence came two days after national security adviser Ajit Doval asked security forces to resume operations.