3 militants shot dead in encounter; Labourer, fruit merchant shot dead, 1 injured

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 10/17/2019 8:30:12 AM

Lt Gen Dhillon assures security to Kashmiri farmers

SRINAGAR, Oct 16: A non-local labourer from Chhattisgarh and a fruit merchant from Punjab were shot dead while another fruit merchant was injured by suspected militants in two separate incidents in Pulwama and Shopian districts of Kashmir on Wednesday.
Official sources said late this evening, suspected militants opened fire on two fruit merchants from Punjab in an apple orchard in Shopian district. “While one of the fruit merchants identified as Charanjit Singh resident of Ferozpur, Punjab died on the spot, the other one identified as Sanjay Kumar, also a resident of Ferozpur, Punjab sustained injuries,” they added.
Earlier in the afternoon, a migrant labourer from Chhattisgarh was also shot dead by suspected militants in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, the second such incident within three days, police said.
Sethi Kumar Sagar, a resident of Besoli area of Chhattisgarh, was a brick kiln worker.
He was walking with another civilian when two militants shot at him at Nihama area near Kakpora railway station, police said.
"We have fanned out teams in various parts to nab the killers," officers said, adding eyewitnesses said that there were two militants.
This is the second incident of targeting non-Kashmiri workers in the valley since Monday.
Two militants, including a suspected Pakistani national, shot dead a truck driver from Rajasthan at Shirmal village of Shopian district in south Kashmir on Monday.
In another incident, suspected militants targeted a moving forces vehicle with a grenade in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. However, the grenade missed the target and exploded on road.
Official sources said that a moving CRPF vehicle in Rajpora Pulwama area came under grenade attack. However, the grenade missed the target and exploded with a bang on the road without causing any damage to the vehicle or injuries any forces personnel.
Sources added that shortly after the attack, forces cordoned off the area. During the search operation, no arrests were made.
In the meanwhile, reacting to the killing of an apple trucker, Sharif Khan by militants in Shopian district, Lieutenant General KJS Dhillon, GOC-Chinar Corps Wednesday assured that all possible security would be provided to the farmers so that they could reap the harvest.
He said, “The farmers will be allowed to sell their fruits to whomsoever they want to. I would assure security to all farmers in Kashmir, it'll be provided by the state. It is our responsibility.”
Khan was killed by militants while he was loading fruit boxes on his truck.
The militants also thrashed the orchard owner and set fire to the truck. Khan’s murder in broad daylight left the Valley fearing more such attacks.
Meanwhile, three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Bijbehara area today. Suspected militants shot dead a non-local labourer in Pulwama district, police said.
Reports said the militants were killed in an encounter at Pazlipora, Bijbehara in Anantnag district.
According to reports, the encounter started after Rashtriya Rifles and SOG cordoned off Pazalpora village in Bijbehara.
The security forces were tipped off about the presence of the militants in the area last night.
After the security forces launched a search operation in the area, the hiding militants opened fire. In the retaliatory fire, three militants were killed.
“Three killed militants were identified as Nasir Chadru, Aqib Hajam and Zahid Hussain, associated with LeT. Involved in crimes as per police records. Arms and ammunition recovered. Case registered”, a tweet by Kashmir police said.
It was the second encounter between militants and security forces in south Kashmir since the revocation of Article 370 on August 5.
Three militants were killed last week in an encounter with security forces at Kawani, Awantipore in Pulwama.
Before August 5, 135 militants were killed by security forces across Kashmir since the beginning of this year.
Ten militants were killed in six encounters that took place after Centre imposed a lockdown and communication blockade on Kashmir.
Police source said the suspension of cellular phone services had impacted the intelligence gathering on militants by informers.



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