Kashmir

Balhama militant toll 3, spontaneous shutdown in Pulwama parts

Srinagar: Body of a third militant was recovered from the debris of encounter site at Balhama area of Khanmoh in outskirts of Srinagar city, taking that toll to three.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar district Imtiaz Ismail Parray told news agency GNS that the body was recovered by the search party.

The officer identified the slain militant as Abu Hamas, a top commander from Pakistan.

“It took us time to sanitize the encounter site due to apprehensions of the presence of explosive material amid protests going on in the area,” SSP said.

A police spokesman in a statement issued here said that the police started a sanitisation operation in which the area was to be cleared of any unexploded shells and mines after the encounter ended.

In this process the teams of police and other forces including the bomb disposal squad were put for the job, the spokesman said.

The area was sealed to carry out further searches on cooling of rubbles immediately after the encounter ended to ensure no damage was caused by any explosive material left over at the encounter site, the spokesman said.

Earlier, two militants were killed in the encounter that ensued on Thursday after a group of militants made an abortive bid to snatch a rifle of the personal guard of BJP leader Mohammad Anwar Khan near Arsh medical institute in Balhama Khanmoh on Thursday. A policeman was injured in the attack.

Meanwhile, a spontaneous shutdown was observed in Awantpora and Tral areas against the killings.

All shops and other business establishments remained closed in these areas.

Reports of clashes were received from Balhama and Pampore areas. In Balhama a youth Farman Ali Mir son of Ghulam Hussain sustained injuries after a tear gas shell hit him. He was immediately hospitalized where his condition is said to be out of danger.

At Pampore, scores of school going children staged a protest demonstration against the killings.

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