Pampore attack: One soldier injured in ongoing gunfight; Army chief briefs Manohar Parrikar

On Monday a gunfight in erupted Pampore town of south Kashmir's Pulwama town, after two-three militants opened fire at security forces from a government complex, reported police and eyewitnesses. According to Times Now, one soldier and one police officer have been injured in the exchange between terrorists and security forces.

Following the developments, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh briefed Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Times Now reported.

In the ongoing gun-battle, the militants are trapped inside the seven-floor hostel building of Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) located on the banks of the Jhelum river, some 12 km from the Srinagar city centre, officials said. According to India Today, intermittent firing is still heard around the area.

"Security forces have surrounded the building and all escape routes of the militants were sealed," a police officer said.

 Pampore attack: One soldier injured in ongoing gunfight; Army chief briefs Manohar Parrikar

Representational image. PTI

A soldier was hit by a bullet and has been evacuated to a nearby hospital, the officer said.

Residents living near the conflict area told IANS that the militants entered the institute complex from the river side and captured the hostel building and set fire to it at around 6 on Monday morning. Following this, the security forces cordoned off the area and engaged in a gun battle, according to Times Now. The fire tenders, who were rushed to the spot, were however not allowed to enter the building due to security reasons, officials told PTI.

According to another report by NDTV, the terrorists apparently used boats to cross the Jhelum river, which flows in Pakistan, to reach the building. They later set-off the hostel complex on fire to lure the security forces as they holed up into the complex.

There were some JKEDI employees inside the complex at the time of the attack but most of them said they were not sure how the militants got inside.

"We don't know exactly what happened. We saw smoke coming out of the top floor of the hostel and called the fire brigade and police," a JKEDI employee told IANS, speaking on anonymity.

"When the security forces arrived and militants began firing at them and suddenly there were guns roaring from all sides," he added.

Reacting to the incident, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah hit out at militants for targeting the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), saying the ultras don't want young Kashmiri boys and girls to stand on their feet.

The main building of the institute was razed down in a February shootout when militants had captured it and launched a major attack on the security forces.

Militants had killed six persons — a civilian, three soldiers, and two paramilitary troopers before three militants were gunned down in the battle that raged for nearly three days in February.

The institute, situated on the strategic arterial road connecting Jammu and Srinagar, has three buildings - a guest house, a hostel complex and the main office building — on a large swath of 3.5-acre land on the Jhelum.

The road on which the institute is located is the lifeline not only for local supplies but is the only all-weather link used by the army to reach the Srinagar-based 15 Corps headquarters that is the nerve centre of the fight against militancy in the state.

The area around the building houses a government-owned joinery factory and a highly secured complex of medium and shortwave radio transmitters of Radio Kashmir, Srinagar.

With inputs from agencies


Updated Date: Oct 10, 2016 12:35:31 IST