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Pulwama Military Op: Family Says Slain Was a Civilian, Away From Home When Operation Started

Pulwama Military Op: Family Says Slain Was a Civilian, Away From Home When Operation Started

In a viral video, another sister of Mir, apparently at their home, responding to questions of someone (not in the video) said that her brother denied to surrender. Meanwhile,the IGP said the family of the slain, Inayat Ahmad Mir, will be booked under UAPA.


SRINAGAR — The family of one of the slain persons in overnight Pulwama military operation, Inayat Ahmad Mir, have contested the police claims that their son was a militant, and insisted that he was innocent.

Slain Mir’s sister, Roohi Jan, said that he was at his maternal home in Trisal village of Pulwama district when the operation took place in Naira village of the district. The two villages are 500 meters apart.

Mir’s father, Ghulam Qadir, said that his grandmother had recently passed away and he was there when the operation was launched. Qadir along with his family was waiting for their slain son’s body outside the Police Control Room in Srinagar on Sunday.

Jan said that on Saturday, in the evening, she saw a few men gathering outside her home in Naira village. A few men including my other brother [Naveed] entered the house and started searching the rooms, she said. They searched and left, but returned again three hours later.

“This time, Naveed told us [me and my pregnant sister] to stay in a single room,” Jan said. Soon after, the firing started, she recalled. It was during night hours that Jan and her sister managed to shift to a relative’s home, while the rest of the family was in Trisal.

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Naveed Mir, Jan’s brother, who was with the armed forces during the military operation, was let go at night but was arrested on Sunday morning, Jan said.

“He was arrested from our relatives home where we spent our night. He was then bundled into a vehicle.”

Mugli, Mir’s mother, who was in Trisal, said that she had no idea where Inayat was.

It was on Sunday morning that the family came to know that their son had been killed in the military operation inside his home, and was dubbed as “hybrid militant”.

In Srinagar, Inspector General of Police, Vijay Kumar, said that the house owner’s son Inayat Ahmed “was asked to surrender but he along with militants opened fire at the forces and got killed”. Kumar said Inayat was a “hybrid militant”. But the family contested the IGP’s claims and said that Inayat was innocent.

On Saturday, Qadir had asked Inayat, the younger son, to go home and feed cattle. There was no one else in the house except Inayat’s two sisters, one of whom is pregnant.

Around Isha prayers, Qadir said, he received a call from his elder son Naveed. “It was SP [Superintendent of Police] and he was inquiring about the presence of militants in our house,” he said. Qadir told the SP that he was in Trisal and did not know of any militant presence at his home.

On Sunday, the IGP also said that Qadir would be booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), with a punishment of not less than five years.

Meanwhile, a video of the sister of the slain Inayat made rounds on social media wherein she claimed that her brother denied surrender. Her video was apparently recorded at Mir’s home.

Someone (not in the video) asks her to narrate the events truthfully. She is seen saying: “They came at 10pm on the Thursday night. They were three. I, my sisters and mother came out when police called us out. Our father was out of home, at Trisal. One of my brothers was with him. My other brother was home and didn’t come out. I couldn’t tell the police about his presence due to fear. Our mother didn’t know anything about it. But I knew everything. My brother didn’t come out. He said ‘I will also die with them’.”

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Police Statement
In the afternoon on Sunday, a police spokesperson, in a statement, said that during the past night, five militants linked with Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed, in two separate military operations, including a top JeM commander Zahid Wani and a Pakistani national, Kafeel Bhai alias Chotu.

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The statement said that in Pulwama, acting on specific information regarding the presence of militants in village Naira, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Jammu and Kashmir Police, Indian Army’s 55RR and 182/183Bn CRPF.

While laying down the cordon at the suspected spot, the “hiding” militants fired indiscriminately on the joint search parties. “However, due to darkness and to ensure the safety of the civilians trapped inside the cordon area, the joint parties exercised maximum restraint.”

“After the evacuation of the civilians to the safer places, the fire was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, four militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter. They have been identified as Zahid Ahmad Wani @ Uzair [a top commander] resident of Karimabad Pulwama, foreigner Kafeel Bhari @Chotu, a resident of Pakistan, Waheed Ahmad Reshi, a resident of Khadermoh Kakapora and Inayat Ahmad Mir, a resident of Naira Pulwama.”

As per police records, the spokesperson said that the slain militants were linked with JeM and were part of a group involved in several cases including attacks on police and civilian atrocities.

Zahid Wani was a categorized militant active since May 2017 and was involved in several cases including attacks on security forces and civilian atrocities. “He was involved in an attack on a patrolling party of 44RR at Below Rajpora, attack on a patrolling party of 55RR at Tiken Pulwama, attack on a patrolling party of 50RR at Parigam, grenade attack on PS Pulwama, and firing upon CRPF camp at Rajpora. Besides, he was also involved in the killing of one civilian Azad Ahmad Dar of Kangan Pulwama. Moreover, Zahid Wani was also instrumental in motivating the gullible youth to join militant folds and other criminal activities.”

He said that Zahid Wani was one of the masterminds behind various IED attacks. The slain militant, Kafeel Bhai, was operating in the Pulwama and Shopian belts and involved in a series of cases. “Waheed Ahmad was active since 2021 while Inayat Ahmad had joined militancy recently.”

Meanwhile, the spokesperson said that another operation was launched in village Char-e-Sharif area of Budgam by Jammu and Kashmir Police, the Indian Army’s 53RR and 181Bn CRPF. As the joint search parties were approaching towards the suspected spot, the spokesperson said, the “hiding” militant started firing indiscriminately on the search parties which was retaliated leading to an “encounter”.

“In the ensuing encounter, Bilal Ahmad Khan, a resident of Chill Brass Khansahab was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter. As per police records, he was a categorized militant and linked with LeT [TRF] and part of groups involved in several cases.”

IGP Kashmir, while addressing a joint press conference at Army Headquarters Balpora, termed the killing of militants as a big success. He said that, during the current year, so far 21 militants including 8 foreigners have been killed in 11 operations and 13 militants among them were linked with JeM.

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