3 Civilians Killed While Trying To Save Trapped Militant

0Shares

SRINAGAR: Three civilians were killed while as many as sixteen others were injured after armed forces opened fire on people who rushed towards an encounter site to rescue a trapped militant in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Tuesday.

According to reports a large number of army soldiers backed by contingents of paramilitary CRPF and J&K police cordoned off Durbugh village in tehsil Chadoora (Budgam district) Tuesday morning to catch a lone militant who was present there. 

As the troops pressed ahead towards the house where the militant was present, they came under fire from inside the house resulting in a fire fight.  As gun battle raged thousands of people from surrounding areas marched towards the encounter site to help the trapped militant escape, eyewitnesses and police sources said.

However, the armed forces including Rashtriya Rifles, SOG and CRPF who had laid cordon of the area, stopped marching crowds from reaching near a three-storey building where the militant was trapped.

 

[[{“type”:”media”,”fid”:”14830″,”view_mode”:”wysiwyg”,”instance_fields”:”override”,”attributes”:{“height”:”147″,”width”:”220″,”class”:”ko-image medium-responsive img-responsive”}}]]

Eyewitness and police sources said that the civilians, mostly youth, undeterred moved ahead, forcing armed forces to open fire. Three civilians were killed. While clashes between Govt forces and people were on troops blasted the house where militant was putting up resistance, killing him on the spot.

The slain militant was identified as Tawseef Ahmed Wagay, a resident of Yaripora, Kulgam in south Kashmir. He was associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen. 

“The encounter started at 6 AM and announcements were made by locals through loudspeakers asking people to come out of their homes to help the militants escape the army dragnet,” local sources said.

“As soon as the news of encounter spread in the area, people particularly youth started marching towards the encounter site amid pro-freedom and anti-Indian slogans and soon clashes started as Govt forces did not allow anyone to move nearer the house where the militant was trapped,” locals said.

Govt forces intercepted the protesters and fired teargas and pellets. As people continued to march ahead armed forces opened fire.

Many civilians were hit and one of them identified as Zahid Rasheed, son of Abdul Rasheed Ganaie was shifted to a local government hospital with a serious bullet injury. 

BMO Chadoora hospital, Dr Diler Bhat said that Zahid had bullet injury in his neck and was referred to Srinagar for specialised treatment. But doctors at State (SMHS) Hospital, Srinagar pronounced him dead on arrival.

 

[[{“type”:”media”,”fid”:”14831″,”view_mode”:”wysiwyg”,”instance_fields”:”override”,”attributes”:{“height”:”147″,”width”:”220″,”class”:”ko-image medium-responsive img-responsive”}}]]

Later two more injured succumbed to their wounds taking the death toll to three.

Medical superintendent of State Hospital, Dr Nazir Choudhary confirmed death of three civilians who were hit with bullets.

“19 injured civilians were brought to our hospital, out of whom, three succumbed to injures while as 16 others are undergoing treatment in the hospital,” Dr Choudhary told the Kashmir Observer. 

“Out of 16 injured persons under treatment, 13 have been hit by bullets,” he added.

The slain civilians were identified as Aamir Fayaz Waza, Zahid Rasheed Ganaie and Ishfaq Ahmad.

Zahid Rasheed, only son of his parents with five sisters was resident of Chadoora while another deceased youth Aamir Fayaz hails from Kralwari Chadoora. Ishfaq Ahmed is the resident of Rengreth, Srinagar. He was in Chadoora when clashes erupted.

 

[[{“type”:”media”,”fid”:”14832″,”view_mode”:”wysiwyg”,”instance_fields”:”override”,”attributes”:{“height”:”159″,”width”:”220″,”class”:”ko-image medium-responsive img-responsive”}}]]

The killing of civilians during the encounters has risen over recent months against the backdrop of Indian army chief, Bipin Rawat, warning people attacking armed forces during anti-militancy operations.

In a stern warning, Gen Rawat called all those attacking forces during anti-militancy operations as “over Ground Workers” and said “they will be dealt with harshly”.

Following Rawat’s warning, the J&K government shot advisory asking people no to venture in to the areas where armed forces are engaged in fire fights.

A police official said, “security forces had launched an early morning cordon-and-search operation in Chadoora following information about the presence of militants in the area. The operation turned into a gun battle after militants opened fire on the security forces.” He however did not specify the number of militants and whether any one managed to escape.

Talking to the Kashmir Observer, Director General of Police (DGP), Dr SP Vaid said, “we are trying best to avoid casualties during the encounters but when the situation is hostile, we can’t do anything.”

Reports said that the army and police used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to blast the house where the militant had taken shelter. The house owner has been identified Ghulam Qadir Baba.

The 10-hour-long gunfight ended with the death of a militant and injuries to a soldier, army spokesperson Rajesh Kalia said. 

Meanwhile police identified some of the injured as Mubasir Dar, Bilal Ahmad Dar, Nazir Dar, Sakib Ahmad, Ashraf Yatoo, Owais Hassan Dar and Sakib Ahmad Bhat.

Direct Firing On Protestors

Videos from the scene reveal Govt forces firing live ammunition directly at the protesters who were pelting stones.

As the protesters clashed with the forces near the encounter site pelting stones, the forces besides firing teargas shells were seen aiming AK-47 guns directly at the protesters.

The men in uniform were seen firing  while chasing the protesters, a video carried by a news outlet which has gone viral on Facebook and other social networking sites reveals.

Three civilians died due to bullet injuries and a number of others were injured. In SMHS Hospital alone 13 injured being treated have been hit by bullets.

“The forces were firing directly towards the civilians who were pelting stones,” said a photographer who was at the scene. “In today’s encounter there was no stray bullet,” he said.

Mehbooba Anguished

Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday expressed “deep anguish and grief” over the death of youth at Chadoora today. “It is highly painful to see the young boys losing their lives,” she said.

Terming these killings as “highly unfortunate”, the Chief Minister said, “the people in Kashmir continue to suffer massive collateral damage due to violence of past three decades or so. Violence has given people of the State innumerable miseries and it is high time that peaceful means are given a chance for the resolution of the issues.”

“We know there are issues that need to be addressed and resolved but no one will be able to do anything at a point when violence becomes a norm. There is a need for restrain from all sides so that conducive atmosphere is created and dissent is expressed in peaceful way,” she said and added, “the solution to problems can be found only through political means and not through violence.”

Be Part of Quality Journalism

Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.

ACT NOW
MONTHLYRs 100
YEARLYRs 1000
LIFETIMERs 10000

CLICK FOR DETAILS


Observer News Service

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

KO SUPPLEMENTS