Srinagar, Oct 17 (UNI) Top Lashkar-Toiba ultra Mehrajudin Bangroo was among three militants neutralised as a policeman was martyred in an encounter in downtown Srinagar on Wednesday morning, official sources said.
Four other security force personnel, including two policemen and as many Central Reserve Police Force jawans, were injured in the exchange of fire.
Authorities ordered closure of all colleges and schools in the summer capital, Srinagar, where mobile internet services had also been suspended to prevent the spread of rumours.
About a dozen video and photo-journalists besides reporters — representing local, national and international media houses — were allegedly thrashed by security forces when they were covering the encounter in downtown Srinagar.
Clashes erupted at several places after the news of the death of the militants spread.
Briefing media, state Director-General of Police Dilbag Singh said two militants had been identified as the top LeT ‘commander’ and Faid Mushtaq Waza. ‘The identity of the third militant is being ascertained,’ the DGP told reporters after the wreath-laying ceremony of the policeman, at District Police Lines, Srinagar.
Locals alleged that the third person killed was a civilian and was the son of the owner of the house in which the militants were trapped.
The third person had been identified as Rayees Ahmad who was part of the group which provided shelter and logistics to the militants, a police official said.
‘Incriminating materials, besides arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site,’ he added.
The DGP said on a tip off, a joint search operation was launched in the small hours of Wednesday by the Special Operations Group of state police, Army and CRPF at Fateh Kadal in downtown Srinagar.
The encounter commenced when militants hiding in a house fired with automatic weapons at security forces personnel moving towards a particular area.
‘Three militants were killed in the encounter,’ the DGP said.
Official sources said five security forces personnel, including 3 SOG and two CRPF jawans, were injured in the exchange of fire. They were immediately taken to a hospital but Kamal Kishor from Reasi in Jammu region, was declared brought dead.
The sources said the house in which the militants were trapped was blown up by the security forces. A number of adjacent houses were also damaged. Clashes erupted at several places in the down town, where security forces burst teargas shells and also resorted to lathicharge to disperse the demonstrators pelting stones.
All educational institutions were closed.
The Kashmir University and Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora, suspended class work.
Business and other activities was affected in most part of summer capital, Srinagar, including civil lines today.
Separatists called for a strike on Thursday against the ‘killing’ of a civilian besides raids, arrests of youths and other alleged atrocities.
In a tweet, moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq condemned the ‘killings and thrashing of journalists by security forces.’