The Jammu and Kashmir Police's Special Task Force tried every trick in the book including bringing relatives of three holed up young terrorists to convince them to surrender, but had to launch an operation as emotional appeals failed to break the deadlock in the city's Zoonimar area.
The operation began late Saturday night and on Sunday, officials said, the trio was killed by security forces in an encounter.
Two of the terrorists were identified as Shakoor Farooq Langoo of Bharthana in Srinagar and Shahid Ahmad Bhat of Semthan Bijbehara, while the third was a youth from Soura. They were affiliated to the banned Hizbul Mujahideen terror group.
When reasoning and emotional appeals failed to convince the terrorists, the police launched the final assault to save civilians in the congested downtown area, eliminating the trio in a smooth operation.
The terrorists, believed to have been behind the killing of two BSF jawans in Soura during Ramzan, were cornered in a house.
During the operation on late Saturday night, Superintendent of Police of the task force, Tahir Bhatti, made repeated appeals to the terrorists to lay down their arms and surrender.
"The terrorists were cornered during the night and the first task was to rescue civilians. We successfully managed to pull out the house owner and people from nearby houses," a senior police officer said on the condition of anonymity.
During the encounter, which took place at Zoonimar in the Zadibal area of downtown Srinagar, senior officers located the parents of the terrorists and brought them near the site to appeal to them to surrender.
"Your mother is suffering from a heart ailment. Come out and surrender. They will help you," the uncle of one of the terrorists said, while the mother of one of the militants, with tears in her eyes, urged her son to lay down his arms.
The owner of the house, where they were hiding, also made appeals to them to surrender.
"I don't have money, please come out. I can't make the house again. My daughter is getting married soon. I will not be able to bear this loss," the owner of the house was heard saying.
Bhatti, while talking to the parents of one of the holed up terrorists, requested them to bring him out with love and assured that "no harm will come to them".
"We have been trying for the past 10 hours and the purpose why you have been called here is to make an appeal with love and care so that he is saved," Bhatti was heard telling the sobbing parents.
However, repeated appeals were responded to by gunshots and police had to launch a final onslaught. They stormed the house and killed the terrorists.
After the operation was over, the house owner was seen thanking the police officers for ensuring that there was no damage to his home. "Everything is fine inside," the owner said.
Langoo was involved in the killing of two BSF personnel at the 90ft road in Soura on May 20. The snatched AK rifle belonging to the killed BSF Jawan was recovered from the site of encounter.