A Kashmiri civilian was killed while dozens of protesters sustained injuries during a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) at Guglaroo Pinjura village in this south Kashmir district on Wednesday.
The deceased civilian was identified as Sajad Ahmad Parray of Badrihama, Shopain.
A police official said that at around 2 pm a joint team of Army’s 44 RR, Special Operation Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) cordoned off Guglaroo Pinjura village, some 4 kms from Shopian town, following the credible inputs about the presence of militants in the area. “At around 7 pm the contact with the hiding militants was established, leading to an encounter.”
One of the residential houses, according to the official, was also devastated during the gunfight.
As the search operation was in progress, bands of young men poured into the streets and threw rocks on the security forces, another police official said.
The security forces responded by firing pellets and tear smoke shells causing injuries to many stone-petling youth.
A health official at district hospital Shopain told Greater Kashmir that they received dozens of people with both pellet and fire arm injuries. “Of them, eight persons were sent to SMHS, Srinagar given the sensitive nature of their injuries,” the official said.
He, however, said that one of the injured civilian with a bullet injury later died of his injuries enroute to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Scores of Kashmiri Muslims were injured in clashes with the security forces near the gunfight site at Tazipora- Mohamadpora village in this south Kashmir district on Wednesday.
The clashes broke out during the cordon and search operation launched by the security forces following inputs about the presence of militants in the area.
Superintendent of Police, Kulgam, Gurinder Pal Singh, said that three Jaish militants managed to escape after the initial round of firing. “One among them received bullet injury,” Singh told Greater Kashmir.
“We called off the operation in the afternoon after no dead body was retrieved from the encounter site,” he said.
However, eyewitnesses said that the locals rescued two militants from the debris of the house which was flattened after being blown up by the security forces.
A police official said at around 11:00 pm on Tuesday, Army’s 9RR, Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force ring-fenced Tazipora- Mohamadpora village in Kulgam district and launched searches. “The searches continued throughout the night. In the pre-dawn hours as the security forces closed in towards the house where a group of militants were holed up, they came under heavy fire. The fire was retaliated resulting in brief exchange of fire,” a police official said.
He said that all the three militants might have escaped then only.
A source, however, said that while three militants managed to flee under the cover of darkness two others were pushed back into the house.
“The security forces in the morning, started blowing up the house where they suspected more militants were hiding even as gunshots were heard intermittently,” he said.
The house was finally flattened to the ground and the security forces launched searches to retrieve any possible bodies of militants from the rubble. However, as the searches started in the wee hours, people in large numbers converged near the gun battle site and disrupted the operation by resorting to heavy stone pelting on the security forces. “They (security forces) in turn retaliated by lobbing teargas shells and firing metallic pellets. They even opened fire,” said a local Tariq Ahmad.
However, he said the locals kept on offering stiff resistance following which security forces called off the operation and left the gun battle site. “People then moved towards the house and dug out two militants alive from the rubble which was raised to the ground during the gun battle,” the witnesses claimed.
Scores of people were injured after security forces fired live ammunition on the protesters who pelted them with stones. The injured were shifted to Primary Health Centre Mahmoodpora and a few of them were taken to district hospital Kulgam for treatment.
The Chief Medical Officer Kulgam, Dr Fazil Kochak said, “Most of the injured had minor injuries and were treated at the health facility itself. Some injured persons were shifted to district hospital Kulgam,” the CMO said. “Among the injured, Yawar had received a bullet injury, while others had received pellets in eyes. They were referred to SMHS Srinagar for advanced treatment,” Dr Kochak added.
Doctors at district hospital Anantnag said they received three pellet injuries. Two among them were hit in eyes and were referred to SMHS. “He (Yawar) needed eight points of 0 negative blood and after arranging it, he was operated upon. His condition continues to be critical,” doctors at SMHS hospital in Srinagar said.
They said those with pellet injuries in eyes also need to be operated upon.
Meanwhile, mobile internet service in the district was suspended soon after the gunfight started.
Search Operation on Wednesday
The Indian forces also launched cordon and search operation in Chatergam village of Tral on Wednesday.
Security forces on Wednesday claimed to have detained a man who was missing since May 25 during a cordon-and-search operation in South Kashmir’s Nagpathri hamlet of Tral township of police district Awantipora.
A senior police officer told Greater Kashmir that a joint team of army’s 42 Rashtriya Rifles and Jammu and Kashmir police laid a cordon at Nagpathri hamlet on Wednesday morning.
“During the cordon, a missing person was detained by the joint team and an AK-47 rifle was recovered from his possession,” he said.
The person was identified as Muhammad Maqbool Ganaie of Gutangoo Laam Tral.
According to his family, Ganaie had gone missing on May 25. The family filed a missing report in concerned police station following which he was apprehended.
Two killed on Tuesday
Earlier on Tuesday Two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed in a gunfight with government forces in southern Anantnag district .
The gunfight broke out in Kachwan forest area of Shangas in the afternoon after the army and Special Operations Group (SOG) of police laid siege around the area following an input about the presence of militants.
Officials said that soon after the cordon around the forest area was laid a contact was established with the hiding militants who opened fire on the forces.
After a brief gunfight between the two sides, officials said that the militants managed to hide themselves deep into the forest.
However, they said, contact was established with the militants again after the forces launched fresh searches in the forest triggering fresh gunfight.
In the gunfight which last for several hours two militants were killed.
One of the militants was identified as Faisal Nazir of Anantnag while his another associate was identified as a Pakistani national.
Soon after the news about the killing of the local militant spread late afternoon, shutdown was observed in KP road area. Minor clashes also erupted in the area after the youth pelted the forces with stones.
Meanwhile, south Kashmir limped back to normal on Tuesday after four days of shutdown over the killing of Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind militant, Zakir Musa in Darsara village of Tral.
Earlier , clashes erupted during a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) at a village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on early Tuesday morning.
A police official said security forces laid a siege around Bongam area of Karimabad village following information about presence of militants in the area.
He said as forces started a search operation, groups of young men poured into streets and started throwing stones on the forces to disrupt the operation.
The forces, the official said, responded by firing pellets and tear smoke shells. The operation, however, was later called off as no militant was found in the area, the police official added.
Attack on Reserve police force
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) , which is looking into the March 30 failed car bombing attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Banihal, Jammu & Kashmir, has revealed that terror group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) was behind it, and that it was inspired by another terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammed’s February 14 Pulwama bombing, according to two officials aware of developments in the investigation.
The two officials, neither of whom wanted to be identified, added that the terror group thought the attack would “give international recognition” to it.
The agency learnt about the conspiracy during the questioning of the HM terrorists, including Hilal Ahmad Mantoo, Owais Amin (who drove the car into the CRPF convoy), Umar Shafi, Aqib Shah, Shahid Wani and Wasim Ahmed Dar. They were arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir police after the attack.