Srinagar encounter – Security forces appealed to terrorists to surrender several times, reveals video; Propaganda to demonise security forces falls flat

Security forces combing the Lawaypora area on the outskirts of Srinagar where the December 30 encounter took place

The three terrorists who were killed in an encounter on December 30 in Lawaypora on the outskirts of Srinagar city were given several opportunities to surrender by the security forces, reveals the video released by J&K police. The Jammu and Kashmir Police has released a video of the Lawaypora encounter where it clearly shows that the security forces appealed to the terrorists several times to surrender. The video proof corroborates the earlier claim of the security forces that they made every effort to save the terrorists.

According to the police, the three terrorists hiding in a house did not surrender and continued to fire on the security forces. When all efforts failed to convince them, a team of security forces killed all the three terrorists in retaliation. It is to be noted that this operation lasted more than 12 hours. 

The slain terrorists were identified as Ijaz Maqbool Ganai, resident of Pulwama, Athar Mushtaq and Zubair Lone, both residents of Shopian. An AK-47 rifle, 2 pistols and several grenades were recovered from them.

However, in the aftermath of the encounter, a propaganda war was unleashed at the national and international level. Without waiting for the enquiry and proof from the security forces, many leaders including Mehbooba Mufti began to give a political twist to the encounter. The families of the terrorists based on the propaganda of the politicians refused to cooperate with the police and resorted to a demonstration on Monday. 

(Click on the image to view the video)

The family pleaded that the bodies of their children be returned to them so that they could see them one last time and bury them with respect. Athar’s father said he wished to see his son’s body. According to Athar’s sister, her brother left the house at one o’clock on Tuesday but did not inform as to where he was going. She said that the next morning a police officer called her and asked for a picture of her brother. Later, he informed her that he had been killed in the encounter.

At the same time, the family of Zubair has also demanded a fair investigation into the encounter. JammuKashmirNow reports that Zubair’s brother is in the police.

Instead of assuaging the families, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti has indulged in politics over the encounter. She said that what would be more painful than a mother who could not see the face of her child at the last moment. She asked whether such things do not matter to the rulers in Delhi and the Lieutenant Governor in J&K. Mehbooba said that if such incidents happen, the hearts of common Kashmiri people cannot be won. Mehbooba appealed to the Lieutenant Governor to intervene in the matter.

Several local news outlets, national news portals and international media organisations like Al Jazeera, BBC resorted to lopsided reporting on the encounter without ascertaining facts from the security forces. These media organisations portrayed the encounters as killing of innocents based only on the claims of the relatives and local politicians. However, with the release of the video of the encounter which shows that the security forces had given many opportunities for the three to surrender, their propaganda has fallen flat.

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