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  India   All India  23 Jan 2019  J&K: Militant brother of IPS officer gunned down

J&K: Militant brother of IPS officer gunned down

THE ASIAN AGE. | YUSUF JAMEEL
Published : Jan 23, 2019, 12:42 am IST
Updated : Jan 23, 2019, 12:42 am IST

The encounter in Shopian on Tuesday followed a cordon and search operation in the village to flush out militants.

The gunfight at Heff Shirmal came a day after a similar clash in Zinpanthal Hapatnad woods in central district of Budgam in which an equal number of militants were killed. (Representational Image | PTI)
 The gunfight at Heff Shirmal came a day after a similar clash in Zinpanthal Hapatnad woods in central district of Budgam in which an equal number of militants were killed. (Representational Image | PTI)

Srinagar: A brother of a 2012 batch IPS officer was among six militants killed in two separate gunfights in Jammu and Kashmir’s southern Shopian and Pulwama districts, police said on Tuesday. A large number of people, including four scribes, and six security force personnel were injured in clashes that erupted after the incidents.

Slain militant Shams-ul- Haq Mengnoo, a resident of Shopian’s Draggud village and a student of a unani medicine and surgery college in Srinagar, was the younger brother of 2012 batch IPS officer Inamul Haq who is posted in the North East, police said.

He, along with two unidentified militants, was killed in fighting that broke out in Heff Shirmal village of Shopian district. A fourth accomplice of the trio escaped, police said.

The gunfight at Heff Shirmal came a day after a similar clash in Zinpanthal Hapatnad woods in central district of Budgam in which an equal number of militants were killed. The slain militants belonged to Al-Badr Mujahideen outfit and were residents of Pulwama and Shopian districts, the police said.

The encounter in Shopian on Tuesday followed a cordon and search operation in the village to flush out militants. The security forces, including the Army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles and 23 PARA, J&K police’s counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), started the operation following “credible inputs” about the presence of militants in the area, police said.

The militants hiding in an orchard opened fire at the security forces triggering the encounter, the official said.

He added that there was a momentarily lull in firing before a fierce gunfight broke out between the two sides. The security forces used explosives and mortars to blow up the hideout of the militants, a report received here said.

The killings sparked protests in several parts of Shopian and Pulwama. At places in the twin districts irate crowds of youth clashed with the security forces who used live ammunition to quell stone-throwing mobs, lea-ving many people injured.

Four photojournalists and reporters were also injured in security forces’ pellet firing while covering clashes near the site of a gunfight at Heff Shirmal. The incident has been widely condemned by the various organisations of media persons.

Reporters Without Borders or Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), an international body for journalists, called upon the Indian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. In a statement on Twitter, the RSF said, “Unacceptable violence by #India’s security forces against photojournalists covering a gunfight in south. We call on #Indian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation on this blatant attack on press freedom. #JournalismIsNotACrime.” Former chief minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah also took to micro-blogging site to condemn the pellet firing on journalists.

“Highly unfortunate reports about journalists injured, including some with pellet injuries, while covering clashes in South Kashmir. I condemn this incident. The indiscriminate use of force, often without any accountability, will always be counterproductive.”

Tags: ips officer, jammu and kashmir