An encounter between security forces and militants in Rajwar area of north Kashmir resulted in the death of one militant. Four security personnel were injured. At least eight structures including three houses of villagers were destroyed in the gun battle.
The 15-hour long encounter left a trail of destruction in the village in north Kashmir village. Several families have lost their home and entire belongings in the devastating blaze during the gun battle between holed up militants and security forces.
"Operation started last week on Friday and has actually ended this morning, we have successfully reutilized one militant," said Brigadier A Arun, Commander, 7 sector Rashtriya Rifles.
The encounter was a part of larger operation that the Army and police have launched last week in Handwara area of north Kashmir. On Thursday three militants were killed at Makan village in Nowgam sector. This encounter started after forces launched a search operation in Bowan village following a information about presence of three more militants in one of the gutted houses. Sources say two of them managed to escape.
While the Army and police say they did their best to prevent collateral damage during the encounter, villagers say their lives are being put on risk during the operation against militants. A village head Mohammad Jamal Bhat says he was forced to be part of search operation and survived militant bullets, other villagers were made to remove the risky rubble of gutted houses where armed militants were holed up.
"We called locals to remove the debri only after the encounter was fully over. We wanted to be sure that before we allow the locals to come back and reoccupy there houses, which have been vacated, the area is fully safe. Our men were also working with the local men at that point in time" Brigadier Arun said.