SRINAGAR: A 27-hour gunfight between militants and government forces at Bamoo village in Pulwama district ended on Tuesday morning with the killing of third militant who engaged the forces for at least 17 hours after his two colleagues were gunned down on Monday. In the gunfight, two army officers including a major and a junior commissioned officer, a soldier and an officer of Central Reserve Police Force were also injured. At least 25 persons sustained injuries in fresh clashes near the encounter site, taking toll of the injured to 55 since Monday.
Two militants Jehangir Ahmad of Keller and Akhtar Alam of Reasi (in Jammu division) were killed at 12.30 pm on Monday. Later, another trapped militant Kifayat of Bamoo Pulwama engaged the forces for about 17 hours and kept on firing from different houses.
“He was actually in a dominating position. The houses were close to each other and he was managing to change his location. But he was killed this morning,” a police official said.
Five houses were reportedly blown up to kill the lone-surviving militant. The houses blown up and set ablaze belonged to Abdul Rasheed Wagay, Muhammad Yusuf Wagay, Muhammad Ramzan Wagay, all sons of Abdul Khaliq Wagay, and Mukhtar Ahmad Wagay and Ali Muhammad Wagay.
Senior superintendent of police Pulwama Choudary Muhammad Aslam said: “We suspect that there can be more bodies under the debris. But we could not clear it as bulldozers couldn’t reach the spot. It will take a couple of days to clear the debris manually.”
The forces recovered the body of Kifayat at about 11 am. The body was charred beyond recognition, locals said. Bodies of two militants killed were handed over to their families for the last rites, but the body of third militant of Reasi was taken to Police Lines Shopian where it was handed over to his family later, according to a police official.
Clashes continued at Bamnoo for the whole night as the gunfight was on. The youth were pelting stones at forces who in retaliation lobbed shells to stop them from reaching near the encounter site. The clashes continued till 2 pm on Tuesday until the forces left the spot.
At least 25 more persons sustained injuries today, taking the toll of injured to 55 since yesterday.
“We received 10 injured persons. They had pellet injuries. Nine of them were treated locally and one was referred to Srinagar. He had a deep pellet injury in eye” block medical officer Kellar Dr Sanaullah said.
Soon after forces left the village, thousands of people rushed to the spot and staged a massive pro-freedom demonstration. As the bodies of the slain militants reached their native villages, thousands were already waiting to participate in their funeral prayers.
Thousands of mourners participated in the funeral prayers of Jehangir Ahmad in Keller. Due to massive rush of people, the funeral prayers were offered at least five times.
However emotional scenes were witnessed at Bamnoo village after the charred body of the slain militant reached his home. The body was not shown to anyone. Thousands of people later participated in his funeral prayers, held at least four times.
Meanwhile, forces resorted to teargas shelling after some people from Pulwama and Shopian areas reached Police Lines Shopian to get the body of Alam. However the body was handed over to his family members.