J&K Budgam encounter: SPO turned militant escapes, his aide caught alive

Security forces in action after the encounter in Budgam today (Pic via arrangement)

(Updating earlier copy)

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): A Special Police Officer (SPO) turned militant managed to escape while his aide was caught alive in a search operation conducted after an encounter that broke out at Chadoora area of Central Kashmir’s Budgam district this morning, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said today.

Addressing a press conference at police station Pantha Chowk, Srinagar, IGP Kumar said that SPO Altaf Hussain who fled from his unit on October 13 (Wednesday) along with his friend Jehangir Ahmed Bhat, fired at a security forces party at Chadoora, Budgam in the morning. “However, security forces cordoned off the area and cornered the militants. They had emptied a full magazine of AK-47 while firing at the forces,” the IGP said.

IGP Vijay Kumar addressing a presser in Srinagar today (Pic via arrangement)

He said that SPO Altaf managed to escape from the cordon amid firing but security forces caught Jehangir alive. “One Ak-47 rifle and a magazine have been recovered from Jehangir,” the IGP said.

He said that security forces exercised maximum restraint by catching the militant alive. “Jehangir was missing since past four days and had got the AK-47 rifle from SPO Altaf, who had decamped with two AK-47 rifles from his unit,” the Kashmir police chief said.

He said police brought the family members of Jehangir to the encounter site who appealed him to surrender. “We urge parents to keep a close watch on the children and ensure they don’t tread on wrong path,” said the IGP. “We could have killed Jehangir but we conducted the operation professionally and caught him alive,” he said.

He said a massive manhunt is on to catch the SPO too. “If he doesn’t surrender, he will be killed,” the IGP said.