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Indian forces surround Kashmir separatist

Gun battle on between Javed Salfi of the Hizbul Mujahideen group and security forces in Qazigund.

Last updated: 20 Jan 2014 08:12
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Separatists and security forces clash often in Indian-administered Kashmir

An armed separatist has been trapped in an ongoing encounter with security forces at  Qazigund in the south of Indian-administered Kashmir, reports say.

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According to reports on Monday, Indian soldiers along with special operations group of the Kashmir police had surrounded a house and a gun battle was on between them and Javed Salfi, the separatist belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen group.

Salfi was detected during a major cordon-and-search operation in Sempora village of Qazigund, said a report in The Hindu newspaper.

The report, quoting officials, said Salfi was a former counter-insurgency informant of the Indian army and state police and had been inducted into the Hizbul Mujahideen by its commander in jail Fayaz Talak.

Salfi had reportedly fired on a police constable in the Anantnag region last year and had fled with his service rifle.

Tip-off

On Monday, soldiers of the Indian Rashtriya Rifles 9th battalion along with the Special Operations Group of the state police launched the cordon-and-search operation on receiving a tip-off about Salfi’s presence there,  the report said.

"The encounter has begun at 9:40 am (local time). We have cordoned the locality", said the report, quoting Deputy Inspector General in South Kashmir Vijay Kumar.

An armed uprising broke out in Indian-administered Kashmir in 1989. Though the intensity of violence has somewhat waned since then, intermittent fighting breaks out often between armed separatists and Indian security forces in the Kashmir valley. 

Thousands, including civilians, have been killed in the unresolved dispute over the region.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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