One militant killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district in encounter with security forces; gunfight still on

An encounter broke out on Sunday between militants and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, killing a militant in the gunfight, police said.

Upon receiving information about the presence of militants, security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Aripal village in the Tral area of south Kashmir on Sunday morning, a police official said.

The encounter broke out after militants fired at the forces, the official said. "As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired at the security forces triggering the ongoing gunfight," the police said, adding that the gunfight was still on and further details are being collected, he said.

The body of the unidentified militant was recovered from the encounter site in the Tral area of the district, a police official said.

The encounter comes a day after security forces began a large-scale search operation in the district. NDTV reported that security forces are conducting door-to-door searches in six villages in Pulwama, Armulla, Alliepora, Nowpora Payeen, Bhatnoor, Gadbugh and Hajidarpora. These villages have been cordoned off, according to the report.

The search operations are in response to the recent incident of Hizbul Mujahideen militants kidnapping three policemen from their homes in Shopian, south Kashmir, and killing them on Friday.

The news of the deaths prompted at least eight police personnel to issue video messages announcing their resignation from the force. The killings are believed to have triggered panic in the lower ranks of the police department with at least two policemen issuing video messages dissociating themselves from the force.

"My name is Irshad Ahmad Baba and I was working as a constable in the police.  I have rendered my resignation...," said one of them in a video being widely circulated on social media. Tajalla Hussain Lone, an SPO, said he had resigned from the police department on 17 September and was issuing the video to put to rest any doubts that he had done so. Police officials refused to comment on the resignations, saying they would verify the information.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 23, 2018 15:20:00 IST