No confirmation on militant deaths as encounter at Srinagar school rages on
The Pantha Chowk encounter has turned the spotlight on how the Kashmir unrest continues to affect children’s education in the state. Over 30 schools were either completely or partially gutted by miscreants last summer.india Updated: Jun 25, 2017 18:03 IST
An encounter between security forces and militants holed up in a prominent school on the outskirts of Srinagar entered its second day on Sunday.
Authorities did not officially confirm the killing of any militant on the Delhi Public School premises till Sunday afternoon. Denying reports that two militants were shot dead by security personnel, the state police tweeted: “Some media outlets are misquoting director general of police SP Vaid regarding the Pantha Chowk encounter. We will confirm once the bodies are recovered.”
However, Army sources confirmed that two soldiers have suffered minor injuries in the ongoing encounter.
Sources said security forces were still conducting a room-to-room search of the school building until late that evening. The windows of one of the main structures in the complex were reportedly shattered in the encounter.
A CRPF sub-inspector was killed and a jawan injured when militants opened fire at a road-opening party passing through Pantha Chowk on Saturday evening. The attackers then fled into the school building.
The wreath-laying ceremony of the deceased CRPF sub-inspector, Sahab Shukla (50), was held at the Recruit Training Centre in Humhama. Top civil officials, besides a number of paramilitary and police personnel, attended the ceremony to pay their respects to the fallen officer. Shukla hailed from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.
The Pantha Chowk encounter has turned the spotlight on how the Kashmir unrest continues to affect children’s education in the state. Over 30 schools were either completely or partially gutted by miscreants last summer.
“We want to ensure that the building remains intact because the enemy seems intent on destroying our schools. They want students to abandon their education, but we will ensure that nothing like that happens,” Vaid told mediapersons on the sidelines of Shukla’s wreath-laying ceremony.
The ruling PDP agreed with the police officer’s contention. “The attack on #DPSSrinagar is another attempt by these anti-Kashmir elements to push the youth of the state towards illiteracy,” it tweeted. “Destroying schools is a heinous ploy of anti-Kashmir elements who don’t want kids here to study and prosper.”