Kashmir: Army engaged in gunfight while also fending off stone-pelting youth
Security forces are engaged in an encounter with militants and at the same time are dealing with stone pelting youth who surrounded the site in a village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday evening.
Police said that a joint party of army and police launched a cordon and search operation in Hafoo area of Tral in Pulwama after getting inputs about presence of militants.
“As soon as they launched the cordon, encounter started with militants hiding in a house which is going on,” said an official manning the police control room Awantipora of which Tral is a part.
He said that heavy stone pelting was also going on in the area.
“We are dealing with militants and stone-pelters simultaneously,” he said.
A resident of Pulwama said that the protesters were clashing with police not more than a kilometer away from the encounter site.
Meanwhile, the official said, that an INSAS rifle was snatched from a CRPF personnel in Tral’s main chowk away from the encounter site.
The encounter in Tral comes hours after security forces called off an operation in the morning in Shopian district after a night-long standoff with militants.
Police said that the militants managed to escape from the spot in Shillipora Heff village. In Shopian also, youth pelted stones on security forces.
Off late, local youth have been flocking to encounter sites in the Valley during raging gun fights to help militants flee.
On February 15, army chief General Bipin Rawat warned of harsh measures if youths hampered counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir Valley.
Despite the warning, people have been flocking to the encounter sites to pelt stones. Tral is the fourth instance of stone pelting during a cordon and search operation since Rawat’s warning.
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