A civilian died after security forces fired their guns to break up demonstrations in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Wednesday.
The protesters had taken to the streets in Naina Batpora village after the security forces shot dead a militant in an overnight firefight on Tuesday.
A police statement said Parvez Ahmad Guroo, 25, was hit by a “fire arm”. Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir, Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gilani, told HT: “The encounter was already going on. There was cross firing near the site and the protesters burnt down a police vehicle. A civilian was killed during the clashes.”
Police said the protesters started pelting them with stones as security forces resumed the operation on Wednesday morning. Witnesses said protesters also burnt down a police van a few hundred metres away from the encounter site when it got stuck and its driver fled. Four other youths were also injured after security forces fired their guns, and were shifted to summer capital Srinagar for treatment.
The authorities also suspended train services after the violence.
On Tuesday evening, a joint team of the army, the police and the paramilitary CRPF laid siege to a house in the village after they received a tip about the presence of militants.
“One local militant was killed in the encounter in the morning,” Gilani said. The militant has been identified as Shariq Ahmed Bhat, a resident of Brow Bandana, Awantipora, and belongs to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. The house where the militant was holed up was destroyed.
Army spokesman NN Joshi had earlier claimed that the two militants were killed in the encounter. Gillani, however, said only one body had been recovered from the debris of the house. “We have stopped searching following the law and order situation,” Gillani said.
Police also said 17 security force personnel, including a deputy superintendent of police, were injured in the clashes. They said more than 50 civilians, who were trapped in a nearby mosque during the encounter, were rescued safely.