|Seven civilians killed as protesters clash with police, security forces in different areas |
|Three militants, army man killed in encounter at Sirnoo-Pulwama|
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Dec 15: Situation took an ugly turn in South Kashmir's Pulwama district as seven civilians were killed following an encounter in which three militants were killed while as a soldier also laid down his life during the gunfight.
Reports said that a joint party of Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu & Kashmir Police, 182 and 183 battalions of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and 55 Rashtriya Rifles launched a cordon and search operation (CASO) in Monghama area of Pulwama district after receiving inputs that some militants are hiding in the area.
As the joint party of police and security forces was carrying out their operation they were fired upon by the militants who were hiding in the area. This led to a full-fledged encounter between the two sides. The encounter culminated with the death of three militants including a deserted soldier and an army man.
The slain militants were identified as Zahoor Ahmad Thokar, Adnan Hamid Bhat of Kareemabad and Bilal Ahmad Magray of Rajpora. Zahoor had left the army and joined the militant ranks. The killed militants belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen. The army man who lost his life in the encounter has been identified as Kishan Singh Rajput.
As the encounter was going on groups of youth tried to march towards the encounter site and they entered into clashes into police and security forces. Police and security forces fired pellets and bullets on the protesters in order to break the protests. The protests spread to the other areas and in the firing seven civilians were killed while as dozens others were injured and they are receiving treatment in different hospitals.
The civilians who lost their lives in the firing incident have been identified as Liyaqat Ahmad Dar, resident of Parigam-Pulwama, Suhail Ahmad, resident of Bellow-Pulwama, Shahbaz Ahmad, resident of Monghama-Pulwama, Aamir Ahmad Paul, Abid Hussain Lone, residents of Kareemabad-Pulwama and Touseef Ahmad Mir, Urchersoo-Pulwama.
In a statement a police spokesman said that a search operation was launched jointly by the forces based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Monghama area of village Sirnoo in district Pulwama today morning. "During the search operation, which was an open field with hideout made by the militants, hiding terrorists fired indiscriminately leading to an encounter," the spokesman said.
Consequently army personnel got injured and one army jawan succumbed to his injury while others are being treated at a hospital, the police spokesman said. The spokesman said that while the operation was going on, a crowd who came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site got injured.
"The injured were evacuated to a hospital where unfortunately seven persons succumbed to their injuries and others who were admitted in the hospital are stated to be stable," said the police spokesman. He said in this encounter three militants were killed. Bodies were handed over to the legal heirs after completion of medico-legal formalities.
"One of the killed militants has been identified as Zahoor Ahmad Thoker son of Abdul Majid Thoker resident of Sirnoo Pulwama," he added. Pertinently, Zahoor had deserted from the army last year and joined HM militant outfit.
"He was a known militant commander and was wanted by law for his complicity in a series of crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities," he said.
"Several cases were registered against him and the prominent among them are case FIR No. 37/2018 U/S 307 RPC 7/27 I.A.Act P/S Rajpora, Case FIR No. 105/2018 U/S ¾ Exp Sub Act, 427 RPC, 3 P.P.T Act P/S Pulwama, Case FIR No. 124/2018 U/S 7/27 I.A. Act, 148,336,149,307 RPC P/S Pulwama, Case FIR No. 128/2018 U/S ¾ Exp Sub Act 307 RPC P/S Pulwama, Case FIR No. 139/2018 U/S 307 RPC 7/25 ULA of P/S Pulwama pertaining to the killing of policemen Aqib Ahmad Wagay of Puchal Pulwama," said spokesman in a statement.