Srinagar:The gunfight between government forces and militants in Heff-Shirmal area of southern Kashmir’s Shopian district has ended with the killings of three militants and injuries to one army personnel.
The gunfight started early today morning after government forces laid a siege to the orchards of Shirmal village in Zainapora belt of the district. “A joint team of forces including army’s 44 RR, CRPF and SOG of Jammu and Kashmir police launched search operation in the area. As the search operation was going on, the militants hiding in a hideout fired upon forces triggering a gunfight,” sources said.
A police official said that in the initial exchange of fire two militants were killed. However, the forces had inputs about more militants in the hideout. The search operation continued while there was a brief lull in the gunfire.
Sources said that the forces blasted the hideout using massive ammunition that also led to the killing of third militant. Bodies of all the three militants have been retrieved.
Latest reports said that the government forces are withdrawing from the gunfight site. However massive clashes are going on in the area.
By the time the gunfight erupted, local youths took to streets and pelted government forces with stones in a bid to break the cordon and help the trapped militants escape. The forces used pellets and tear smoke shells to disperse the protesting youth. Several protesters were injured in the forces action, sources said. The clashes continued till the filing of this report.
Earlier, four photojournalists were also injured near the gunfight site while performing professional duties. A local scribe informed that the government forces fired pellets towards the journalists injuring four of them. They were rushed to Primary Health Centre for treatment.
As the gunfight ensued, the authorities immediately ordered suspension of mobile internet services in the area and plugged all the exit and entry points to the belt.
Meanwhile reports said that the slain militants include Indian Police Service officer’s brother Shamsul Haq Mengnoo son of Mohammad Rafiq Mengnoo, a resident of Draggud village of Shopian district.
Haq, a BUMS student is younger brother of Inamul Haq, a 2012 IPS batch officer. Inam is posted in North East.