Anantnag encounter: Internet services restored in Srinagar, a day after four militants were killed

Internet services have been restored in Srinagar, a day after they were suspended on Friday as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order following an encounter in Anantnag, media reports said.

Mobile internet services were suspended in Srinagar, Anantnag and Pulwama districts of the Valley on Friday. A police official was quoted by PTI as saying that the decision to restore services was taken following an improvement in the situation.

The official said the services continue to remain suspended in Anantnag and Pulwama, and a decision on restoring them would be taken after assessing the situation.

The police on Friday killed four militants, including chief of the banned Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK), Dawood Ahmed Sofi, in a remote mountain village in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, officials told PTI.

A policeman and a civilian were also killed in the exchange of fire between militants and security forces at Khiram village of Srigufwara tehsil, police said.

The operation began before dawn at Khiram, 23 kilometres from the main national highway and overlooking the tourist town of Pahalgam, after intelligence reports about the presence of militants in the area, police said.

 Anantnag encounter: Internet services restored in Srinagar, a day after four militants were killed

Army personnel walk towards the house where militants were hiding during an encounter in Anantnag. PTI

One of the militants killed was identified as Dawood Ahmed Sofi, who headed the ISJK and is believed to be involved in several cases of murder and stone pelting, police said.

The other three, also believed to be with the ISJK, were identified as Aadil Rehman Bhat, Mohammad Ashraf Itoo and Majid Manzoor Dar, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Swayam Prakash Pani told PTI.

Giving details of the encounter, police said a joint patrol of security forces was fired at as they advanced towards a house where the militants were hiding. This resulted in the death of a policeman, Ashiq Hussain, and a civilian identified as 53-year-old Mohammed Yousuf Rather.

In the encounter that followed, four terrorists were gunned down and some civilians injured in the crossfire, an official said.

Giving details about Sofi, police said the 33-year-old, a resident of Srinagar's Zainakoot area, was involved in several stone-pelting cases in the area before he joined the ISJK. He is believed to be involved in the murder of assistant sub-inspector Ghulam Mohammad and head constable Naseer Ahmad at Bagh Ali Mardan Khan in Zadibal and also in the killing of a policeman and snatching his rifle at Tengpora Batamaloo in May 2016 besides other terror attacks.

The killing of the four militants is being seen as a major achievement, with security forces intensifying their operations against terror groups before the two-month Amarnath Yatra begins on 28 June.

According to a report in The Times of India, the ISJK was presumably planning an attack on the Amarnath Yatra as the four slain terrorists were holed up in Khirram, a village along the pilgrimage route.

Clashes broke out near the encounter site on Friday when a group of youth started pelting stones on the forces, a police official said. Security forces used force on the protestors and several civilians were injured, he added.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jun 23, 2018 14:15:05 IST