Shopian : Three terrorists were gunned down on Sunday during an encounter between the terrorists and the security forces in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.While congratulating the police and other security forces for showing patience during the operation, the Kashmir range Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar appealed to all the misguided youths, who have joined the terror ranks, to shun the path of violence and return to mainstream.He said the society needed them and most importantly their parents wanted them by their side.”We will welcome and accept them with open arms,” he said.Police said on Saturday on a specific input generated by the Shopian Police regarding the presence of terrorists in orchards of the Reban Bandpawa area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by the police, the Army’s 34 RRA and 178 Bn of the CRPF.During the search operation, as the presence of the terrorists got ascertained they were given an opportunity to surrender. However, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which retaliated leading to an encounter. In the initial retaliatory firing, one terrorist was killed, but the operation was suspended to give the trapped terrorists another chance to surrender.”
The joint teams exercised maximum restraint and facilitated the presence of family members of a holed up terrorist Faisal Gulzar to the encounter site so as to persuade him to surrender. However, despite repeated appeals by his family members and assurances by the security forces, the other terrorists didn’t allow him to surrender. Ultimately in the wee hours, during the fierce gunfight both the trapped terrorists were killed and bodies of all the three killed terrorists were recovered from the site of encounter,” police said.They have been identified as Aasif Ahmad Ganai and Faisal Gulzar Ganai both the residents of Chitragam Kalan. However, the identity of the third killed terrorist is being ascertained.Police said as per its records they were part of groups involved in many terror crime cases and linked with proscribed terror outfit Al Badr.Arms and ammunition, including one AK-56 rifle, two pistols and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes.Police said the last rites of the killed terrorists shall be performed after conducting medico-legal formalities at Handwara and their nearest family members shall be allowed to participate in the last rites.Police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated.