A curfew was imposed in parts of south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Thursday to contain protests over the killing of an alleged militant in a gunfight with the army on Wednesday.
The body of Tawseef Hassan Dar, allegedly a member of militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, was handed over to his family on Wednesday night. Hundreds of residents of Prichoo area of Pulwama, nearly 40 km south of Srinagar, participated in Dar's funeral, which was followed by protests that were further fuelled by reported pictures of Dar's mutilated face going viral on the Internet.
Incidents of stone pelting were also reported at several places, including parts of Pulwama town. "It is highly condemnable that security forces disfigured the face of my brother even after his death," said Fayaz Ahmad, Dar's brother. He, however, appealed to people to maintain calm.
Security forces used public address systems and mosques to announce the curfew in the area. People were asked not to venture out. However, scores of people defied the curfew and engaged the security forces in pitched stone battles, which continued for the most part of the day.
A protester was grievously injured in stone pelting at Pirchoo. Protesters alleged rgar Maisar Ahmad Bhat, a local, was hit directly by a tear gas canister. However, the police maintain he was injured while lifting the shell. "Bhat, a notorious stone-thrower, was injured while attempting to thrown back a tear-smoke shell lobbed by police. The shell exploded in his hand causing injuries to his fingers," said a Srinagar-based spokesman. The injured was shifted to a Srinagar hospital for treatment.
Several areas of Budgam district also observed a spontaneous shutdown after the killing of the militant. According to the army spokesman, an army patrol party was moving towards village Dalwan of Chrar-i-Sharief area of Budgam district on Wednesday when it came under fire. "During the ensuing fire fight one gunman got killed. The PAN card recovered from the body was in the name of Tauseef Ahmad Dar," he added.