Srinagar: Police on Monday claimed to have gunned down three militants on the outskirts of the summer capital in Indian Kashmir, one policeman was also killed in retaliation with the militants.
Giving details of the encounter, the second major in just over a month, police said three LeT militants were riding a motorcycle and attempting to enter the city ostensibly for killing policemen.
The militants were challenged by a team of policemen at Qamarwari check post and in the ensuing encounter constable Shabir Ahmed lost his life but only after killing the three motorcycle-borne militants, police officials said.
The firing erupted when the suspected militants targeted a police patrol in Srinagar, killing a head constable, a police spokesman said.
“In the retaliatory firing by the police, three militants were killed,” the spokesman added
The militants were part of the LeT team holed in Pattan area of North Kashmir and attempting to sneak into the city for killing policemen standing on duty on roads and various intersections. This modus operandi has been used by LeT earlier as well. Police couldn’t ascertain the identity of the three militants.
A civilian Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, who was also injured in the crossfire, has been hospitalised.
However raising the quarries about the incident, the eyewitnesses alleged that the shootout was carried in a planed manner.
“When I heard then gunshots I rush towards the spot there was not much police and I saw a policeman thrashing a youth who was well dressed, since there was so much crowd and police tried to keep us away from the spot and later I heard three militants have been killed there,” an eyewitness told Agence India Press.
“If the police were chasing the militants from the north Kashmir, despite killing, why didn’t they simply try to arrest them and how did they manage to spot them in a huge crowd.” He added.
Meanwhile addressing a press conference Inspector General of Police Kashmir Shiv Murari Sahai said a pistol, a grenade and some other ammunition have been recovered from the spot.
Kashmir valley has been in deep trouble since more than four months now. More than 110 people have been killed and many more handicapped since June 11 after teenager Tufail Matto of old city area of summer capital Srinagar fell to the teargas canister fired by a police man.
For more than 20 years, insurgents in Kashmir have fought Indian forces in the highly militarised region. The violence has left at least 47,000 people dead, according to the official count.
Copyright © 2010 AIPTV. All rights reserved. http://agenceindiapress.com