Fate of minor ‘captive’ not known, 8 family members rescued: Police
A militant was killed in a 12-hour-long gunfight with troops in Hajin area of Bandipora on Thursday evening.
Police said the fate of 12 year old Aatif Ahmed Mir, who was allegedly taken hostage by militants, was not known while his uncle and seven family members were rescued.
The operation, according to police, was suspended in the evening to avoid any damage to ‘captive’ minor boy.
Police said they rescued seven family members, who were taken hostage by militants in the house.
“Four were rescued early in the morning while one was rescued later in afternoon during the encounter,” a top police officer told Rising Kashmir.
Two of the family members Aatif Ahmed Mir s/o Muhammad Shafi Mir and his uncle Abdul Hamid Mir were holed up in the house till massive gun fight broke out.
Police claimed to have rescued Hamid amid encounter while fate of Aatif was not known.
The locals quoting Hamid said he escaped from the house after two militants were busy in attending to injuries sustained by them during the encounter.
“I managed to escape from the house when two militants were attending to their injuries. I jumped out but Aatif was with them,” local quoted him as saying.
Earlier, a joint team of Army's 13 RR, Police and paramilitary CRPF launched a massive Cordon-and-Search Operation (CASO) in Wahab Parray Mohalla and Baniyari area of Hajin in the early hours today after receiving inputs about presence of militants there.
Later the CASO was extended to Mir Mohalla, where militants were hiding in a residential house.
"One militant has been killed so far. Another militant is still holed up inside a house where a 12-year-old boy is also believed to be stuck. Another civilian was safely evacuated from the house during the operation," a police officer said.
He said the operation has been suspended for the night.
Police said they prioritized rescue of eight family members. “They were taken hostage by two militants hiding in the house”.
“Six family members were rescued in the morning, one was rescued late in afternoon during encounter while a minor was stilled holed up,” the police said.
Sources said top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Ali Bhai is among the militants trapped in the house.
“Ali Bhai, who is said to be District Commander of LeT in Bandipora, is active in Hajin area from last four years,” they said.
A senior police officer said after hard efforts, forces succeeded in rescuing seven family members.
He, however, refused to divulge further information about the operation.