Jammu and Kashmir Police maintains ‘3 killed in Srinagar gunbattle’ had terror links

Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar, Jan 1 : The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday maintained that the three persons killed in an encounter in Srinagar city’s Lawaypora area had militant connections, and refuted the claims of the family members of one of those killed that he had gone to the university to fill a form.

The three, Aijaz Maqbool Ganai, Ather Mushtaq and Zubair, were killed during an encounter with the security forces on Thursday.

According to the police statement, the Lawaypora-Srinagar encounter started after army inputs and eventually fructified into a joint operation of the Army, CRPF and the Police.

Read: Mehbooba writes to L-G, seeks inquiry into Srinagar encounter

The police said after the cordon was laid, terrorists lobbed grenade from inside and fired upon the search party. Police said although as per the SOP, the terrorists were repeatedly appealed by the troops to surrender in the evening and again in the morning. However, instead of surrendering, they fired upon the troops and eventually got neutralised in the gunfight.

“In so far as claims of the parents that Aijaz Maqbool Ganai went to the university to fill up a form is concerning. The same was verified and cross checked through the modern techniques, including records of the telecom department. Contrary to the claims, the verified digital evidence revealed and corroborated that Aijaz and Ather had gone to Hyderpora and from there to the place of the occurrence only,” the police statement said.

The police statement also added that Zubair had first gone to Pulwama, then to Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and finally to the place of the occurrence.

“Background check also reveals that Aijaz and Ather Mustaq, both OGWs (Overground workers) variously provided logistic support to the terrorists. Antecedents and verifications too show that both were radically inclined and had aided terrorists of LeT (now so-called TRF) outfit,” the police statement said.

The statement said that one of the OGW, presently under police custody, has also corroborated Aijaz’s association with LeT terrorist Faisal Mustaq Baba who was killed in Meej (Pampore) encounter in June last year. Pertinently, Ather was a relative and OGW of Hizbul Mujahideen top commander Rayees Kachroo, who was killed in 2017.

“Nevertheless police are investigating into the case from all possible angles,” the statement added.

Pertinently after the encounter, the families of those killed assembled in Srinagar and staged a protest claiming that their sons were not militants.

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