In a repeat of the Lucknow-standoff, where the ATS commandos used the help of family members of slain terrorist Saifullah to urge him to surrender, CRPF soldiers took the help of the wife of a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant, who was holed up in a house in Kashmir's Pulwama district, to implore him to give up arms but in vain.
The two militants - Muhammad Shaffi Sher Gujri and Jehangir Ganai, a top LeT commander - refused to surrender and were shot dead after a nine-hour gun battle. A 15-year-old boy was killed in the cross fire and two more civilians got injured.
Security forces said they spared no efforts to capture the militants alive and took the help of the wife and son of Sher Gujri, a 32-year-old resident of Bandipora in North Kashmir. Upon ascertaining the identity of the two militants holed up inside the house, senior police officials decided to locate their families so that they could appeal to them to make him surrender, eyewitnesses said. The kin were brought to the scene in a bullet-proof CRPF Bunker vehicle. She communicated to her husband using the loud speaker but he refused to surrender despite her appeals.
A senior officer from CRPF told Mail Today, "The wife was brought from her native village. On arriving, we shifted her to our vehicle and took her to the spot to make an appeal but the effort failed."
Both Sher Gujri and Ganai were categorised as A-class militants of the banned outfit. "Please come out. Please take your son in your arms. He is missing you," the shriek of Aktara Begum, wife of Sher Gujri, pierced the uneasy calm at the encounter site. She even brought her five-year old son who cried aloud. Cops at the encounter site also supported the appeals of the family and promised a fair trial and humane approach. However, all the appeals fell on deaf ears and finally the security forces had to eliminate them.