A fresh encounter started between army and militants at Manigah forest area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Friday. Official sources told Srinagar based news gathering agency GNS that army’s 41 RR, and commandos from 4 PARA, 9 PARA who had launched massive search operation in number of forest areas in Manigah following killing of army colonel on Nov 17, intercepted the fleeing militant group today in the afternoon at Peer Mohalla area of Haji Naka in Manigah, triggering off an encounter. “The operation is continuing in Manigah since last thirteen days”, SP Kupwara Aijaz Ahmad Bhat while talking to reporters said. He said that since then the joint team of forces had established contacts with the militants intermittently resulting into the killing of one militant so far. “A colonel also lost his life while fighting with the militants”. “The joint team of forces while intensifying the combing operation in the area today morning when suddenly the contact was established again with the militants hiding inside the local mud house (Kothar)”, SP said. He said that the tight cordon is in place to prevent the militants from escape. Meanwhile, sources said that the some mud houses were blasted and were razed into rubble. “Two militant who are said to be hiding inside the house at Peer Mohalla were part of the group infiltrated inside this part of Kashmir on Oct 30/31. The group has already lost two of its members one died due to severe cold while another one killed in an encounter”, official sources told GNS. Before being intercepted, the group was trapped in the mountainous terrain due to heavy rains and snowfall, they said. Pertinently, the said militant group had managed to escape many times since Nov 13 in different locations in Manigah sector. On Nov 17, militants also killed an army colonel of 41 RR in forest area of Behak near Sonwali in Manigah area of the district. On Nov 23, an unidentified militant was killed in an encounter at Manigah. On Nov 10, the army’s 41 RR had recovered the body of a militant in Kumkadi forests of Manigah who is believed to have died due to severe cold.
2015 Kashmir Despatch