15 Yr Old Shot Dead In Kulgam

Was part of crowd demanding bodies of 2 local militants
SRINAGAR:  A 15-year-old boy was killed and three other civilians were injured in Frisal Kulgam, where government forces, returning from an overnight gunbattle, fired upon protesters demanding bodies of the two slain local militants. 

The deceased who has been identified as Tariq Ahmed Bhat of Nawbal Batapora Kulgam was related to one of the militants who had died the previous night in an encounter with the govt forces.

Two local militants, identified as Muhammad Abbas Malla resident of Nowpora Frisal and Malik Manzoor resident of Chenigam were killed in a night long fight with the Govt forces.

Locals alleged that the government forces razed five buildings to ground while 14 houses suffered partial damage in the shelling. “It was war like situation. The intensity of government forces attack was such that for a moment I felt as full fledged war had broken out. Even cattle stock became prey of bullets,” said a resident of Dar Mohalla Channapora, Muhammad Ismail Dar whose house was completely destroyed.

Eyewitnesses said that as soon as government forces comprising of various Army units, CRPF and SOG ended the cordon and began leaving the encounter site, people who had gathered at a round-about, started to march towards the village to retrieve bodies of the militants. 

Government forces however stopped them near Kharpora crossing where people assembled in hundreds and amid pro-freedom slogans attacked the troops moving on foot and armoured vehicles with stones. 

“People from different localities of Kulgam district including Kawdrang, Kujar, Frisal, Shirpora, Arwani, Nawbal Batapora, Mushipora, Khudwani, Reidwani, Havro etc had gathered at Kharpora and were chanting slogans in favour of slain militants,” an eyewitness said. 

Witnesses said that to counter the ‘intense’ stone-pelting attack of the protestors, government forces resorted to direct firing.

Besides Tariq, a 9th class student Ashiq Hussain, was hit by bullets reportedly in head and stomach.  Also other three persons were injured during the tear gassing and lathi charge.  

Traiq was immediately shifted by locals to the nearest primary health centre but he breathed his last at the gate of the health centre.

Later, when the news of Tariq’s killing spread, people from adjoining areas headed to Frisal. 

The family members of the slain youth alleged that government forces fired directly upon him after they failed to control the protestors. They said that Tariq was not a part of the protest. Reports said that the slain youth was a close relative of one of the deceased militants, Muhammad Abbas Malla, and was on way to encounter site along with his friends to know about the latest situation about the encounter.

Earlier according to police, government forces killed two local militants at Chanapora Chenigam in Kulgam. Police identified these militants as Muhammad Abbas Malla son of Ghulam Mohiuddin resident of Nowpora Frisal and Malik Manzoor son of Muhammad Ramzan resident of Chenigam. Police said that arms and ammunition was also recovered from their possession.

Locals alleged that the government forces razed five buildings to ground while 14 house suffered partial damage. “It was war like situation. The intensity of government forces attack was such that for a moment I felt as it was Kargil war. Even cattle stock became the prey of bullets,” a resident of Dar Mohalla Channapora Muhammad Ismayil Dar whose house was completely destroyed  said

The five houses that were completely destroyed during the encounter belonged to Muhammad Ismayil Dar, Abdul Hamid Dar, Abdul Jabbar Dar, Sanaullah Dar, and Ghulam Hasan Dar. The houses which suffered partial damage belonged to Muhammad Shaban Dar, Ghulam Nabi Dar, Ghulam Rasool Dar, Muhammad Shafi Dar, Ghulam Muhammad Dar, Shiraz Ahmed Dar, Bashir Ahmed Dar and Muhammad Arif Dar.

A police official said that two Army soldiers and a CRPF personnel was also injured during the encounter.  He said that the condition of CRPF man and a army man is stable, however, condition of one Army man is serious.He said that situation in the area was tense but under control. With inputs from CNS

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