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regular-article-logo Thursday, 30 May 2024

Soldier and two militants die in gunfight in Shopian

Congress veteran and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday linked the blood-letting to the dilution of Article 370

Muzaffar Raina Srinagar Published 21.10.21, 12:43 AM
 A  youth is frisked at a  check point in Srinagar  on Wednesday.

A youth is frisked at a check point in Srinagar on Wednesday. PTI

A soldier and two militants, including the alleged killer of a non-local carpenter, died in a gunfight in Shopian on Wednesday, in continuance of violence that has marked this October out as Kashmir’s bloodiest month in over two years.

In Kulgam, also in south Kashmir, two more militants were killed in an encounter with the security forces. One of them was identified by police as Gulzar Ahamad Reshi, who was suspected to be involved in the killing of two migrant labourers from Bihar on October 17.

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Police said three soldiers were injured in a gunfight with militants in the Dragad area of south Kashmir’s Shopian, with one of them succumbing later. The soldier was identified as Sepoy Karamveer Singh.

A dozen civilians, 10 soldiers and 15 militants have died in the first three weeks of October, the spurt in violence emerging as the biggest challenge for the security establishment in the Valley after the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in 2019.

Union home minister Amit Shah is likely to visit the Union Territory in the last week of October to review the security situation and inaugurate development projects.

Congress veteran and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday linked the blood-letting to the dilution of Article 370.

A police officer said two militants were killed in the Dragad operation. One of them was identified as Adil Wani, the Shopian chief of the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Kashmir police chief Vijay Kumar said Wani was involved in the killing of “a poor labourer at the Litter area of Pulwama”, referring to the death of Uttar Pradesh carpenter Sageer Ahmad.

Ahmad is among the dozen civilians killed this month. Seven of them were non-Muslim, mostly migrant workers. It is widely believed the militants targeted these people to drive non-locals out of the Valley and scuttle the purported plan of the central government plan to facilitate the settlement of outsiders in Kashmir.

Ahmad was killed on a day Arvind Kumar Sah, 30, who hailed from Banka in Bihar, was murdered in Srinagar. Labourers Raja Rishideo and Yogendra Rishideo from Bihar were shot dead at Wanpoh in Kulgam district a day later on Sunday.

The Valley is on the edge following these killings. The authorities have arrested hundreds on the mere suspicion of involvement in the murders. Hundreds of two-wheelers belonging to ordinary citizens have been confiscated over the past few days after reports emerged that the suspected militants targeting non-locals were using motorcycles.

The residents have complained their bikes and scooters are being seized without any reason, preventing them from attending to daily chores. People have been queuing up outside police stations seeking the return of their vehicles.

In Jammu’s Poonch and Rajouri districts, security forces on Wednesday continued searches in a vast forest area for the 10th day for militants involved in the killing of nine soldiers, including two junior commissioned officers. Officials said the last contact with militants took place on Saturday.

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