Five out of the six militants killed on Sunday in a gunfight with the government forces in Batagund village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district have been identified.
An official identified them as Umar Majid Ganai alias Hanzullah son of Abdul Majid Ganie of Shuch Kulgam (HM commander), Waseem Wagay son of Abdul Hamid Wagay of Amshipora, Shopian (Hizb), Abbas Sheikh of Mantribug Shopian (Hizb) and Mushtaq Ahmad Mir of Chak-e- Choland (LeT commander), Khalid Farooq Malik of Alyalpora Shopian (HM).
The identity of the sixth militant is yet to be ascertained.
While Umer and Mushtaq had joined Hizb and LeT in 2015 and 2014, Abbas and Waseem joined the militant ranks in 2016 and Khalid had joined the militant outfit in April this year.
Pertinently, a picture of Umar Majid Ganie had gone viral on social media earlier this week which was reportedly taken by him near Ghanta Ghar, Lal Chowk, Srinagar.
However, police said that they are verifying the facts and said that the picture could be morphed or taken long back before going viral on social media.
Meanwhile, one civilian was killed and several others were injured in clashes with the government forces near the site of the gunfight.
An official said that a joint team of army’s 34RR, CRPF, and SOG Shopian launched a cordon-and-search operation in Batagund village during pre-dawn hours following “credible inputs” about the presence of Hizb and LeT militants in the village.
He said that the cordon was laid soon after the joint team intensified the searches and fired some warning shots towards the suspected spot, the group of militants hiding inside a residential house opened indiscriminate fire and tried to escape, the officer said, adding that the militant group was engaged in a gunfight by the joint team.
After several hours of the firefight, six militants were killed and two army soldiers received bullet wounds, he said.
The injured soldiers Nazir Ahmad of 162 territorial army (TA) and Sepoy Sunil of 34 RR were immediately taken to military hospital for treatment. However, Nazir, a former Ikhwan commander of Check Ashmuji, Kulgam later succumbed to injuries.
Meanwhile, as soon as the gunfight broke out, mobile internet service was suspended in parts of south Kashmir including Shopian and Kulgam districts.
Authorities have also suspended the train services to and fro south Kashmir while as there was also a spontaneous shutdown in Kulgam and Shopian.(GNS)