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Kulgam Gunfight: Al-Badr Commander Zeenat-ul-Islam Among Slain Militants

Zeenat ul Islam in this file picture

Srinagar, Jan 12: Two militants of Al Badr including outfit’s top commander have been killed in a gunfight with the government forces at Katpora in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Saturday.

Reports reaching GNS said that a joint team of army’s 34 RR, SOG and CRPF laid a siege at Katpora area of Yaripora at around 5:30 p.m.

An army officer also confirmed it and said that soon after the joint team approached the suspected spot, a group of militants believed to be three in number, who were coming out from the residential area while trying to break the cordon and opened fire upon them, triggering off a brief gunfight.

“In the gunfight which lasted for some time in an open field, two militants were killed and the operation has been suspended as of now in wake of darkness, “the officer said.

He said that the bodies are visible, lying on the ground near the encounter site and are yet to be recovered.

“The operation was launched in the area following the specific inputs about the presence of the group of militants led by Zeenat ul Islam Shah alias Dr Usman,” the officer said, adding that so far it seems that Zeenat has been “gunned down.”

Official sources also confirmed the death of Zeent-ul Islam Shah of Sugan Zainapora, Shopian. The second militant has been identified as Shakeel Ahmad Dar alias Faisal of Chilipora, Shopian.

Zeenat was earlier affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit and later he joined Al Badr militant outfit. Following the gunfight, authorities snapped internet services in the Kulgam district.

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Police Version:

“Apropos our earlier press release regarding the encounter at Kathpora, it is further informed that the killed miitants have been identified as Zeenat-ul-Islam alias Zeenat alais Usman son of Ghulam Hassan Shah resident of Shopian and Shakeel Ahmad Dar son of Abdul Rasheed Dar resident of Chillipora Shopian,” said a spokesman, in a statement.

He said both the slain militants were affiliated with proscribed outfit Al-Badr and were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of crimes including attack on security establishments and ‘civilian atrocities’.

Zeenat-ul-Islam, according to police records, had a long history of crime records since 2006 when he got affiliated with Al-Badr and was later arrested, said the spokesman.

However after he was released, he again got recycled in 2016 and subsequently got affiliated with proscribed outfit HM and recently he joined Al-Badr outfit in Shopian District. Consequently he became the chief of the said outfit.

Several cases were registered against him including FIR No17/2016 under section 307 RPC, 7/27 I A act of PS Zainapora, FIR No 45/2016 under section 147,148,149,307,336,332,188,427 RPC, 7/27 I A act, 3 PPD Act at PS Zainpora, FIR No 02/2017 under section 307 RPC, 7/27 I A act at PS Zainpora, FIR No 10/2017 under section 307 RPC, 7/27 I A act at PS Zainpora, FIR No 26/2017 under section 447,427,506 RPC, 16 ULA (P) Act ,7/25 I A act at PS Zainpora and FIR No 50/2017 under section 7/27 I A act , 16 ULA (P) act at PS Zainpora.

“He was also involved in a weapon snatching case at Tukroo Shopian and case FIR No 319/2016 under section 380 RPC, 7/25 IA Act, 30 Police Act, 3 PEPO is registered at PS Shopian in this regard,” said the spokesman.

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Similarly, he said, Shakeel Ahmad Dar was also involved in militancy related crimes as well.

Incriminating material such as arms & ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation.

Pertinently, no collateral damage took place during the encounter. Bodies of the killed militants were handed over to their families after completion of medico-legal formalities.

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