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Militant or civilian: Police statement vague regarding one among 2 slain in Shopian

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Srinagar: Police on Sunday identified two slain persons killed during the encounter with government forces in Shopian, confirming one to be a militant Mohammad Irfan Bhat from Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit while “the other one was identified as Shahid Mir who as per the police records was part of case FIR 201/2004 under section 7/25 Arms Act of police station Shopian for militant related incident.” Whether Shahid was a militant, over ground worker or a civilian is not forthcoming from the statement even as the version alludes to him being a militant sympathizer when reference has been made to FIR registered in 2004. While locals maintain that Shahid was a civilian, the police statement is silent about the fate of the FIR registered 15 years ago. The statement is silent whether Shahid was charged, whether trial in the case was ongoing or whether the case has been closed as untraced or has culminated into conviction or acquittal of the persons who along with Shahid might have been named in the FIR.
The police also claimed that two militants have managed to escape from the encounter site, citing blood trails.
The police statement is reproduced entire here as under: Police and security forces in Khudpora area of District Shopian, launched a cordon and search operation yesterday evening based on credible inputs about the presence of militants in the area.
As the search operation was going on, hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter.
Meanwhile following the SOP, civilians from the nearby area were evacuated to safer places. In the ensuing encounter, hiding militants fired on security forces.Consequently post encounter during the search two dead bodies were recovered from the site of encounter.The killed militant has been identified as Mohd Irfan Bhat of Pulwama who was associated with HM militant outfit since June 2017. The other one was identified as Shahid Mir who as per the police records was part of case FIR 201/2004 under section 7/25 Arms Act of police station Shopian for militant related incident.A couple of militant managed to escape from the site as blood trails have been seen at the site.
Moreover the house where the encounter took place is intact albiet a hideout was found inside the house where militants were hiding.
Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police has registered a case and initiated investigation in the instant matter for ascertaining the facts pertaining to militants hiding in the said house and other related matters to this incident.
Citizens are once again requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any.

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