In Kulgam gunfight, only a ‘militant aide’ killed; police deletes tweets

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Srinagar: Only one “militant associate”, and not four militants as claimed by the government forces earlier, was killed at Guddar in the Devsar area of the south Kashmir district. The slain, Aqib Mushtaq Lone who had completed engineering recently from a college in Chandigarh, is a son of a police officer posted in Srinagar, sources told.

“There were four to six militants but only one militant was killed at Guddar area,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kulgam, Gurinder Pal told.

Asked whether the slain was an Over Ground Worker of militants or a militant himself, the police officer said: “He hurled grenades and fired from a pistol.” However, a police spokesman said that he was a militant associate.

To a question about the deleting of tweets by police regarding the encounter, first claiming two militants were killed and later followed it with as many more militants killed at Guddar, the SSP said: “Please see the twitter handles. It was not done by me.”

A resident of Shuch Kulgam, Aqib according to his uncle Bashir Ahmad had completed engineering from a college in Chandigarh. Some reports suggest that he had completed B.Tech.

“I saw him around 6:30 doing ablution. I told why you was doing ablution early there was still time for (Magrib) Nimaz. He told me it was better to be ready early,” the uncle of the slain told GNS over phone. At around 6:45 p.m., he said, some called him and he left.

“We called him at around 7:12 p.m., his phone was ringing but he did not answer. There was firing and I told them (family) he is killed.”

Bashir Ahmad said that body has been taken to Srinagar. “Mushtaq Ahmad (father of slain) is in Srinagar,” he added.

Meanwhile, a police spokesman said that in view of inputs regarding militants planning to abduct and murder police personnel, exhaustive domination was being carried out by joint forces of Kulgam Police, RR and CRPF from the last few days.

“On Sunday, 26 April 2020 at about 2000 hours one of such patrolling party of joint forces was attacked by militants numbering 4 to 6 in between villages Chehlan and Asthal,” the spokesman said.

“In the exchange of firing that ensued, one army officer received firearm injuries.”

The attack was followed by an exchange of firing between forces and militants in which forces confirmed having hit 2 to 4 militants. “The exchange of firing stopped around 2200 hrs. Due to expansive area of search, undulating terrain and total darkness, it was decided to carry out a search of the area after first light,” the spokesman said, adding, “When search started in the morning, the body of an unknown militant associate along with a pistol and a grenade were recovered.”

He said besides six SIM cards were also recovered from his pocket. “While a trail of blood was found leading out of the search area which proved that apart from the militant associate killed, one or more militants were injured. The search for injured militants(s) continues.” An FIR under relevant sections has been registered in police station Kulgam, the spokesman added. (GNS)

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