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UJC chief Syed Salahuddin (File Photo)
UJC chief Syed Salahuddin (File Photo)

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin hailed three slain Lashkar-e-Taiba militants for giving “a tough fight” to Indian security forces during the Pampore encounter even security forces safely evacuated his younger son from the building.

“Salahuddin has decided to confer bravery award ‘Hilal-e-Shujhat’ to the three militants, who gave tough fight to Security forces in Pampore,” said a statement issued by UJC Spokesperson Syed Sadaqat Hussain.

Syed Mueen, son of United Jihad Council supremo Syed Salahuddin, was among the nearly 100 employees and trainees trapped inside the government building attacked by Lashkar-e-Toiba militants in Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu national highway last week.

Mueen, who works as an Information Technology (IT) manager at Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI), Pampore was offering late afternoon prayers with colleagues when three militants entered the campus on Saturday after firing on a CRPF convoy on the highway, officials said.

As the militants made their way into the multi-storey main building of the campus, about 20 employees, including women, present there became frightened and some, including Mueen, broke their prayers to rush downstairs, they said.

The militants asked them to drop their mobile phones and leave the building. The employees walked out from the back side to the nearby hostel building where more employees and trainees were hiding.

All of them, except a gardener who was hit by a bullet and succumbed to his injuries later, were assisted by security forces out of the campus to safety.

After the campus was evacuated of all civilians, the encounter between security forces and holed-up militants started and went on for three days at the end of which the three militants, all foreigners, were killed.

Three army men, including two captains of the Special Forces and two CRPF personnel were also killed in the encounter which left the main building badly damaged.

(With PTI inputs)