Protests Near Encounter Site

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Pampore:Government Forces on Wednesday fired tear-smoke shells to disperse protesters who were raising slogans in support of militants trapped inside Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) Building on the banks of River Jehlum in saffron town Pampore of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Reports said that the pro-freedom protests and sloganeering continued from the day one when government forces cordoned off the EDI Building to neutralize militants hiding inside the building. 

Last time in February also people had appeared on the banks of the River Jehlum to express solidarity with the militants when at least three militants had been neutralized by the government forces during 48 hours long gun battle in the same building. That gun fight had also claimed the lives of 5 armed personnel including two CRPF jawans, and army soldier Om Prakash and two Army Captains Tushar Mahajan and Pawan Kumar. An EDI employee Abdul Gani was was also killed during the gunfight. 

Eyewitnesses told news agency CNS that on Wednesday morning as the gun fight was going on, scores of youths rose up in pro-freedom protests across the Jhelum near the “encounter” site. “Scores of youths raised pro-freedom slogans on the opposite bank of Jhelum, from Shalina side, before police vehicles chased them,” eyewitnesses mostly scribes present at the spot said, “the protests and pro-freedom sloganeering continued for last two days as well.” 
“Forces even fired tear gas shells to disperse the protestors,” they said.

In recent past there has been surge in the incidents of protests during encounters in Kashmir Valley. In February this year, two civilians Danish Rashid (19), a B.Tech student of Islamic University of Science and Technology, and Shaista Hameed (22), a Master’s student in Maulana Azad University. were killed and 16 injured when the Government Forces allegedly opened fire on a group of protesters close to the site of an encounter between militants and forces in Kakapora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

The incident had prompted police to issue an advisory asking people to stay away from encounter sites. (CNS)

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