3 militants killed in encounter, 1 civilian dies and 8 injured in clashes in Kashmir’s Pulwama
A joint team of the army and Jammu and Kashmir police’s special operations team shot dead three militants in South Kashmir’s Pulwama on Friday, stepping up a counter-insurgency drive they resumed after the end of Ramzaan, the holy Islamic month of fasting, on 16 June.
A young man was killed and eight other civilians were injured in clashes between the police and local residents who tried to break the security cordon in the area to help the militants, who were holed up inside a house, to escape.
Personnel of the army and the police’s special operations team surrounded the house in Chatpora neighbourhood soon after the Friday prayers after receiving information about the presence of militants, locals said. As the army and police personnel were combing the area, the encounter started.
Residents of different neighbourhoods rushed towards the encounter site to break the cordon, but were prevented by the police. In the ensuing clashes, a young man identified as Faizan Ahmad Khan was hit by a bullet and killed. Khan, the son of a doctor and student of class IX in a private school, was living with his father, who is posted at District Hospital, Pulwama.
Medical Superintendent, Pulwama, Rashid Parra, confirmed the death of Khan, whom he identified as the son of a doctor posted in his hospital. “I am accompanying body of the student to his home,’’ he said. Two injured were referred to a Srinagar medical facility for advanced treatment, Parra said.
J&K’s director general of police S P Vaid said three militants were killed in the operation, adding that the police was trying to ascertain the identities of the slain men.
Army spokesman Rajesh Kalia said four militants were killed in two different operations in Kashmir. “Three militants were killed in Pulwama and one in Kupwara. The search operation in Pulwama is still underway,’’ he said.
Following the killings, the authorities shut down the internet in Pulwama district.
Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the killing of civilians was continuing in Kashmir, which came under Governor’s rule earlier this month after the collapse of a Bharatiya Janata Party-People’s Democratic Party coalition government. The withdrawal of support to the PDP-led government by the BJP forced chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to resign.
Since Governor’s rule was imposed on 20 January, 10 militants, two policemen and three civilians have been killed in different parts of the Kashmir Valley..
‘As operation “wipe out” by Govt forces against Kashmiris continues unabated, one more civilian,16 yr old Faizan Ahmad Khan, resident of Khrew Pampore Killed by forces as live ammunition and pellets were used to disperse protesters in Chatpora Pulwama, Dozens injured!,’’ Mirwaiz wrote in a Twitter post.
In Kupwara, officials said a patrolling unit of the army noticed the movement of some militants in the forests early on Friday. As the army challenged them, an encounter broke out in the area, and a militant was killed.
In another incident, militants lobbed a grenade at an army patrolling party in Shopian’s Ahagam, injuring three soldiers.
“Militants lobbed a grenade on a group of army personnel when they were busy opening the Good Will Public School in Ahagam area of Keegam village in Shopian on Friday morning, followed by firing on army personnel,” a police spokesperson said. He said the three injured army personnel were evacuated to a hospital and that their condition was stable.