SRINAGAR: Three militants were killed in an overnight encounter in Hakoora village of Kokernag. Two of them have been identified as locals and one is still unidentified, police said.
Informed sources told Kashmir Life that the operation was based on a “technical input” and was carried out by the Special Operations Group (SOG) Srinagar, possibly with the army offering an outer covering.
“The encounter took place in the open, in the courtyard of a local,” a senior police officer said. “It was brief and swift by 1:15 am, during the night it was over.”
By early morning the bodies had been handed over to the two families – one each in Srinagar and Kokernag. Authorities swiftly acted and imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar as Srinagar went into instant flash strike. Neither schools operated nor the businesses were open.
Police in its statement said they were searching area when the militants opened fire on them and in retaliation all the three militants were killed. Subsequently, it said, police recovered some arms and ammunition including AK 47 rifles, pistols, and hand grenades.
“It is pertinent to mention that among the killed militants, one was involved in a recent attack on a police guard post at Soura in which one police constable had attained martyrdom,” the statement said.
Interestingly, both the slain militants were classmates in the Gulam Shah Badshah University where they were pursuing Bachelors in Technology (B Tech). They, however, dropped out well before they could complete their degrees and joined rebels.
One of the two local slain militants was identified as Eesa Fazili, a resident of Soura. His father is a junior college principal and was desperate to get his son back after Fazili left his university in August 2017. He even had used social networking websites to appeal his son to return home.
The news about Eisa’s death was broken perhaps first by his father on Facebook. “As per reliable sources, my son Eisa Fazili has left for heavenly abode. Ina Lillahi Wa Ina Ilaihi Rajaoun,” the post reads. “It is for the information of all nears and dears that Namaaz e Jinaaza of my son Mohammad Eisa Fazili who left for heavenly abode today will be held at 3:00 pm sharp near his residence at Sharjah Ground, 90 Feet Road, Ahmednagar, Srinagar,” he wrote around noon.
Soura-Ahmadnagar belt witnessed massive gatherings that had come to join his funeral prayers. Police said almost ten thousand people join the slain young man’s Nimaz-e-Jinaza. This was despite the fact that most of the old Srinagar city was closed and movement was restricted.
The other slain militant was identified as Syed Owais Shafi, son of a retired school teacher. He had also dropped out of his university and joined militants in November 2017, police said. “We have reports that he had as many as six funeral prayers,” a senior police official said.
After the funeral prayers were over, there were some instances of clashes between police and angry protesters. Most of them were managed by the police without any damages. Protests were reported from parts of south and central Kashmir.