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J&K: 2 Suspected Militants Killed, Attack on Agniveer Recruitment Rally Thwarted, Says Police

Anees Zargar |
The fresh encounters come ahead of Union home minister Amit Shah’s visit to the UT from October 4.
J&K: 2 Suspected Militants Killed, Attack on Agniveer Recruitment Rally Thwarted, Says Police

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police on Friday said they killed two militants in North Kashmir’s Yedipora village of Baramulla who were allegedly planning an attack on the ongoing recruitment rally for Agniveer candidates.

Senior superintendent of police Baramulla Rayees Mohammad Bhat told reporters that they also recovered an AKS-74U rifle with three magazines and a pistol with a magazine from the slain militants, believed to be affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

The police officer said they received an input earlier in the morning about the presence of some militants in Yedipora village following which a joint team of Baramulla Police, Army 29 RR and 2 Bn SSB launched a cordon and search operation in the area. “During our search, the hiding terrorists fired from a residential house that was retaliated immediately triggering an encounter,” Bhat said.

The SSP said they worked on the intel that indicated that the two militants had specifically come to attack the ongoing Agniveer recruitment rally going on in the nearby locality. “Their plan was to disturb the recruitment in such a way that the youth aspiring for joining the Indian Army could be deterred,” Bhat told reporters after the encounter ended.

The first ever Army recruitment rally in Kashmir under Agnipath scheme for recruitment of candidates as Agniveers into Indian Army was conducted at Haiderbeig, Pattan from September 17 to September 29, covering the districts of Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Pulwama, Budgam, Kupwara, Shopian, Ganderbal, Bandipora and Kulgam and also from Union Territory of Ladakh, according to a statement from the Army. The Army claimed it had received an “overwhelming positive response from all over the region.”

“We were successful in repulsing their plans to target the rally,” he said. The official added that the encounter had ended but urged locals of caution while going close to the encounter site until the site was sanitised.

More than a dozen militants have been killed in September in as many as seven encounters across the valley. Since last week at least six militants have been killed, including two at Machil border area of Kupwara near the Line of Control (LoC) on September 25. Earlier, two Jaish militants were killed in Kulgam area of South Kashmir on September 27.

In September, at least five suspected militant or militant aides were arrested by Shopian Police while police in Bandipora claimed to have cracked the killing of a migrant labourer in Sadunara Hajin following which three of their suspected associates were apprehended. The violence, officials say, has ‘ebbed’ as compared to what was witnessed in peak summer in which a spate of targeted killings heightened tension in the region.

This month, three such attacks were witnessed in which a civilian identified as Manzoor Ahmad Nengroo was killed in a Shopian orchard. Suspected militants also targeted non-local labourers in two separate attacks in Pulwama on September 2 and September 24, respectively, however, the three victims survived the attacks.

The fresh encounters in Kashmir come days ahead of Union home minister Amit Shah’s visit to the region which is scheduled from October 4. Shah is expected to address a rally in North Kashmir’s Baramulla.

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