JEHANGIR ALI | 12 OCTOBER, 2016
Pompore Encounter Ends, Two Militants Killed
SRINAGAR: The three-day long encounter at Jammu Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute near the saffron town of Pampore came to an end today with the killing of two suspected militants, officials said.
The Army said on Wednesday that the bodies of two suspected militants were recovered during the combing operation of the seven-storied building which suffered extensive damages during the last three days of encounter.
Earlier today, a joint team of forces stormed the state-of-art building in Sempora locality and started floor-to-floor searches. According to sources, one militant died late last evening while another was killed in today's raid.
The identity of the suspects was not immediately confirmed by the officials who claimed to have recovered two assault rifles from their possession. "A joint team of J&K Police, CRPF and Rashtriya Rifles conducted the operation. The elite para-troopers were also involved," Rajesh Kalia, a Srinagar based defence spokesperson said.
The institute, located near the sprawling saffron fields of Pampore on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu highway, was commissioned by then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2007.
The twin buildings of the institute; five storied administrative office and seven storied hostel complex spread over 40 kanals of prime land flanked by Jhelum River and saffron fields in south Kashmir, have been damaged severely in the two assaults this year.
While the administrative block was badly damaged in over 48-hour long encounter in February during which three militants were killed, the new group of suspects reportedly crossed Jhelum using a boat and then sheltered themselves inside the hostel complex. The forces pressed in choppers and drones into service to locate the position of the suspects.
Built at a cost of nearly Rs 27 crores, the JKEDI has so far enrolled more than 4000 students from Jammu and Kashmir with around 1700 from the valley alone. The institute specialises in developing and polishing the entrepreneurial skills of the mushrooming young and well-educated population in the cash-starved state who are looking to secure their future.
"It was a bad dream," Dr MI Parray, the JKEDI director said, "And like all dreams, it has come to an end. We were not able to work in the valley over the last three months due to the strikes and shutdown. The attack is bad omen for our youngsters who want to stand up on their own feet".