SRINAGAR: Curfew was clamped in Pulwama town and adjoining areas on Friday following crowd violence and forces firing after a fierce encounter left two Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militants dead and two army officers and a member of the police Special Operations Group injured.
Eight civilians were injured, at least two of them critically, as police and paramilitary men opened fire on two separate occasions when tear gas shelling and cane charges failed to break up belligerent crowds, police and reports said.
Out of the injured, six were hit when forces opened fire on furious crowds surging towards the cordoned Bubgam village the scene of the encounter – and two more received serious gunshot wounds 12 km away in the Pulwama town later where furious mobs attacked vehicles carrying an army major injured in the encounter to hospital.
The stone-pelting attack in the town left two army vehicles, two police vans and two Sumo wagons extensively damaged, and the assistant commissioner (revenue) for Shopian, his driver, security guard and several policemen injured.
Locals said that forces personnel had used tear gas shelling and opened fire on protest demonstrations in Pulwama.
All civilians injured in the forces firing have been shifted to Srinagar for treatment where they have been admitted to the SKIMS and the Bone and Joint Hospital.
According to reports, 18-year-old Suhail Ahmad Malik is in a critical condition at the SKIMS with a gunshot wound in his head, while two other injured civilians, 13-year-old Muhammad Younis and 22-year-old Nisar Ahmad Wani were said to be in a serious condition.
The assistant commissioner (revenue) Parvez Sajjad, his driver, Gulzar Ahmad, personal security officer Imtiyaz Ahmad, and IRP 8 Bn member Manzoor Ahmad, injured in stone-pelting by mobs have been admitted to the SMHS Hospital.
Earlier Major Tinmay Rathore, Captain O Gopal and SOG head constable Imtiyaz Ahmad had been injured in the Astan Mohalla of Bubgam during a gun battle with militants holed up in a residential house.
A district commander of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Imtiyaz Ahmad Teli, alias Fahadullah Kashmiri, and his associate Muhammad Aamir, alias Khalid, nee Khursheed, were killed in the fighting breaking out early today after an overnight siege.
The armys 55 RR, the CRPFs 182 Battalion, and SOG personnel from Srinagar and Pulwama had sealed the area off on Thursday night after reports of militant presence, the police said.
The house of one Dr. Bashir Ahmad Kaar was destroyed in mortar shelling during the several-hours-long battle.
According to the inspector general of the police (IGP) for Kashmir, SM Sahai, Fahadullah Kashmiri was a local-trained militant who had been arrested by the Srinagar police over two years ago, but had been released after ten months in June 2010.
According to the IGP, Fahadullah had joined the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba in 2011, had been recruited by groups divisional commander Rahman Bhai.
The militant was involved in grenade blasts in Narwal (Jammu) and Bijbehara in South Kashmir, and in attacks on panchayat leaders in the Pulwama district and nearby areas, the police officer said.
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