Srinagar/Sept,17: Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh Thursday said that all the three militants killed in a gunfight with government forces in Batamaloo area of uptown Srinagar were locals from South Kashmir adding that this year so far 177 militants were killed in 72 operations in different parts of Kashmir valley. He termed the killing of a 45-year-old woman in “cross firing” as unfortunate and expressed sympathy with the bereaved families.
Addressing a press conference at Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar, DGP Singh said that early Thursday morning, joint teams of police and CRPF while acting on a lead zeroed in on a house where three militants were hiding. “They were given a chance to surrender but they refused and fired. One CRPF officer and another CRPF man sustained injuries in the initial exchange of firing. The officer is critical and we are praying for his recovery,” the DGP Singh said . He said that the forces conducted the operation in a professional manner and killed all three militants. “However, in a woman was caught in the cross firing. Her killing is very unfortunate and we express sympathy with the bereaved family,” the DGP Singh said. He was flanked by IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar and new IG CRPF Srinagar sector Charu Sinha. The slain woman was identified as 45-year-old Kousar Jan.
About the identification of the three slain militants, the DGP Singh said that all three were local militants from South Kashmir. “Arms and ammunition was recovered from them,” he said. He said that militants from other districts of South and north Kashmir keep on visiting Srinagar to carry out attacks on government forces. “On August 14, they targeted our party and killed two policemen at Nowgam. Before that, they had killed two BSF men at Pandach on city outskirts. And then they made another attempt at Pantha Chowk where we lost a brave SoG man,” the DGP Singh said. He said police and CRPF teams are alert and whenever they get a lead about presence of militants in Srinagar, efforts are always put in to ensure zero collateral damage. “Today’s operation was seventh one in Srinagar in the recent past, but biggest success was the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Junaid Sehrai,” the J&K Police chief said.
He said that this year so far 177 militants have been killed in 72 operations which include 22 foreign militants as well. He said that Pakistan is trying to float new outfits to create confusion while efforts are being made to revive Al-Badr. “We are aware of this and counter programs and strategies are being adopted,” the DGP Singh said, adding that despite huge efforts by militants and their handlers across, 20 youth who had tread the wrong path returned back.
The DGP termed the alleged assaults on media men at encounter sites as unfortunate saying that “such incidents shouldn’t take place, but at times, during operations, our men have high temper which result in such incidents. I reiterate that media and policemen are each other’s good friends”. Speaking on the occasion, new IG CRPF Srinagar Sector Charu Sinha said that there is a huge difference between the situation in Naxal areas and Kashmir especially Srinagar. “We will work professionally in collaboration with police and other agencies,” she said