Tral Encounter Jawan hurt, no body of militant found yet

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/6/2019 11:31:32 AM Front Page

1 dead, 2 injured in Fratricide

SRINAGAR: A paramilitary CRPF trooper was injured critically in a gunfight in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district even as holed-up militants are believed to have escaped since no body was recovered even after hectic ongoing search operations.

In a separate incident of fratricide, a CRPF personnel shot himself dead after injuring two of his colleagues following heated exchange of words over some issue in a paramilitary camp at Pantha chowk in outskirts of Srinagar on Saturday night.

The second encounter of the year in Pulwama district began on Saturday as a joint team of army’s 42 RR, CRPF and SOG launched a cordon and search operation early morning at Arpal area of Tral.

Soon after the cordon was tightened, the holed-up militants opened fire at the security forces, leading to an encounter.

In the initial gunfight, a CRPF trooper Manesh Kumar Meena of 180 suffered bullet wound in his neck. The injured has been shifted to army’s 92 base hospital Srinagar for treatment, police said.

As the house in which the militants were hiding was destroyed in the encounter, the firing exchanges stopped. As the firing stopped from the militants’ side, the security forces launched a search operation in the area but were not able to recover the bodies of the militants.

Later in the day, the cordon amid searches was extended in adjoining areas and lighting facility was also installed to trace out the militant, who could not be traced till filing of this report.

Reportedly, an announcement was made at the masjid loudspeakers in Seer Hamdan, the native village of the militant Umer Fayaz alias Hamad Khan—who was believed to be holed up in Tral encounter that he has managed to escape and is alive.

Hamad, according to sources, is active since last more than three years.

Meanwhile, security forces resorted to aerial firing on Saturday to disperse scores of protesters trying to march towards the site of the gunfight.

Police said the security forces fired in the air after people from adjoining villages started marching towards Aripal village in Tral area.

The protesters assembled as news spread that a Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Hammad Khan, had been killed.

There was no official word on the killing as police said the operation against the militants was still going on.

Meanwhile, a CRPF personnel shot himself dead after injuring two of his colleagues by firing on them following a heated argument between the trio on Saturday late evening in a paramilitary camp at Pantha chowk in outskirts of Srinagar.

Reports said that three CRPF personnel identified as Mukesh Babu, a resident of Madhya Pradesh, Ranjeet Tewari, a resident of Jharkhand and Jaafarudin Qureshi, a resident of Madya Pradesh, belonging to 29 battalion, A&F coy, stationed at paramilitary camp at Pantha Chowk, in outskirts of Srinagar, had a verbal brawl around 9:25 pm, triggering Mukesh Babu to fire at Ranjeet Tewari, and Jaafarudin Qureshi, injuring them both.

Both of them, who received bullet injuries at the leg and hand, were shifted to army’s 92 base hospital at Badamaibagh.
Later, the sources said that Mukesh shot himself dead with his service Insas riffle and was found dead in the bathroom.

A senior police officer confirmed the incident and said that cognizance has been taken.

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