Jawan wounded, efforts on to neutralise terrorists holed up in govt building

Heavy exchange of fire continued between security forces and militants holed up inside a government building in Pampore area on the outskirts of Srinagar on Monday in which a soldier has been injured so far, the second terror strike at the complex in less than eight months.

Two to three militants stormed into the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) complex in the wee hours today and took positions inside one of the buildings, a police official said.

The official said the ultras could have entered the complex from the riverside but that can only be ascertained once the operation is over.

After getting inside the complex, the militants set on fire a few mattresses inside a hostel room to attract the attention of the police and other security forces, who arrived within minutes of the smoke emanating from the building, the official said.

He said in the initial exchange of fire, a soldier was injured.

The security forces used mortar shells, Light Machine Guns and small arms in a bid to flush out the militants but their efforts have not been successful so far, the official said.

He said EDI complex has been cordoned off and the operation is likely to drag on till tomorrow.

“A vigil will be maintained around the complex to prevent the militants from escaping during the night,” he added.

Militants had targeted the EDI building in February this year as well.

Five security force personnel including two young army officers and a civilian employee of the Institute and three militants were killed in that operation that lasted 48 hours.

Curfew enforced in some parts of Srinagar

Authorities on Monday clamped curfew in 11 police station areas of Srinagar as a precautionary measure in view of the eighth day of Muhurram.

A police official said the police station areas in which the curbs on the movement of people have been imposed are Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Maharaj Gunj, Maisuma, Ram Munshi Bagh, Kralkhud, Shaheed Gunj, Karan Nagar and Batamaloo.

The official said the curbs were imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.

The traditional Muharram procession used to pass through these areas, but have been banned since eruption of militancy in 1990 as authorities maintain that the religious gathering has been used for propagating separatist politics.

Meanwhile, normal life remained affected for the 94th consecutive day in the rest of the Valley following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.

The unrest, which has claimed 84 lives including that of two cops and left thousands of others injured in clashes between protestors and security forces, is in its fourth month as shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions remained closed, while public transport continued to be off the roads.
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