Umaisar Gull Ganie
Kulgam, Jul 6: Two newly recruited local Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants surrendered during a gunfight in Hadigam area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Wednesday morning after an appeal from their parents, police said.
A senior police officer said that on a specific information about the presence of militants’, a joint team of forces including Army’s 9 RR, CRPF and police launched Cordon-and-Search-Operation (CASO) in Hadigam area of the district.
He said that as the joint team approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon forces, triggering off an encounter. “After it came to the fore that both the militants are locals, their families were brought to the spot, who persuaded them to surrender, eventually they surrendered before security forces,” the official said.
“During the #encounter, 02 local terrorists #surrendered on the #appeal of their parents & police. #Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition recovered,” Kashmir Zone Police tweeted.
Quoting IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, Kashmir Zone Police in another tweet said “If every parent appeal to their militant sons to shun the path of violence, whether they are trapped during live encounters or have joined the militancy, many lives can be saved as in today’s encounter two lives were saved”.
“Based on specific input from police about the presence of unidentified terrorists in the general area of village Hadigam, Kulgam, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by the army and police on Tuesday at 11:30pm,” defense spokesman, Colonel Imron Masuvi said. “The recently recruited module of Lashkar comprising Nadeem Abbas Bhat of Reshipura, Qaimoh and Kafeel Mir of Mirpura, Qaimoh, surrendered during an operation at Hadigam village in Kulgam district.”
Meanwhile, police in a statement said that based on specific input generated by Police about the presence of militants in the general area of village Hadigam, Kulgam, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police and Army (9RR) in the said area.
During the search operation as the presence of militants got ascertained, they fired indiscriminately upon the search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter. Initially, the civilians trapped around the encounter site were evacuated safely to the safer place by the joint team.
In the meantime as the identity of the trapped militants got ascertained, the joint team showed utmost restraint and provided the trapped terrorists an opportunity to surrender. Their family members were also called to the encounter site to motivate and persuade them to surrender. After repeated surrender appeals made by their parents, police & security forces, both the trapped terrorists finally surrendered before the joint team of police & security forces.
They have been identified as Kafeel Ahmad Mir son of Javid Ahmad Mir resident of Mirpora Qaimoh and Nadeem Abbas Bhat son of Mohammad Abbas Bhat resident of Reshipora Qaimoh.
Incriminating material including arms & ammunition and other war like substances have been recovered from their possession. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation.
As per police records, both the militants were part of recently recruited module of militant outfit LeT. These youth were brainwashed and tasked to carryout anti-national activities and killings at the behest of LeT militant outfit.
IGP Kashmir reiterated his appeal to the parents to keep strict vigil on their wards to prevent them from indulging in any anti-national activities especially joining the militant ranks. He further said that if every parent persuades and appeal their militant sons to shun the path of violence, be it soon after joining militant ranks or during the time they are trapped during live encounters, many lives can be saved as two lives were saved in today’s encounter.
In this connection, Police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any, police said.
Giving further details about the operation, Army spokesman said that cordon was laid by 1:00am on Wednesday. “Search of the suspected houses commenced at 2:30am, during which the militants opened fire on the forces from inside the house. At the same time, it was ascertained that both militants were newly recruited local youth and their families were desperate to get them back into the mainstream”, the official said.
The army spokesman said the forces showed restraint and did not engage the militants. “The militants were kept contained in the house with utmost restraint displayed by the army and police. The families of both militants were brought to the encounter site to appeal for their surrender. Repeated surrender appeals were made by the parents and security forces till morning. Both militants finally surrendered by laying down their arms in the morning. They were subsequently handed over to the police. Warlike stores were also recovered from their possession,” the spokesman said. He said that the youths were brainwashed and tasked to carry out anti-national activities and killings at the behest of LeT. “Security forces remain committed to encourage and facilitate the return of misguided youth from the path of militancy.”
Several videos in which the family members and security officials were seen requesting youth to surrender have gone viral on social media.
“Nadeem, I am your mother, if you have done something wrong, I will seek pardon from the officers. SSP and CO who are here with us are asking you to come out and surrender,” said the mother of one of the militants. Similar pleas were made by his father and parents of another militant as well.
Moreover, former J&K chief minister and PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti thanked the security forces for extending support to families of youth. “Two lives saved thanks to the efforts of their families & the support extended by security forces. These kind of efforts must be continued so that youngsters who join militancy are given a second chance to live their lives,” tweeted Mehbooba Mufti.