SrinagarAuthorities Tuesday ordered closure of all educational institutions across Kashmir, blocked mobile internet and decided to lockdown urban areas of the Valley on Wednesday, to prevent public protests in the wake of killing of top militant commander Abu Dujana in an encounter with the army in Pulwama.
Authorities decided to impose restrictions in entire South Kashmir and parts of capital Srinagar and in urban centres of North and Central Kashmir to prevent any protests as separatist conglomerate Joint Resistance Leadership called for day long Kashmir Bandh on Wednesday.
Authorities, as the first step, suspended internet service across Kashmir Valley, ordered closure of schools and colleges and shut the train service.
Lashkar-e-Taiba Divisional Commander Abu Dujana along with his associate Arif Nabi of Lelhar Village in Pulwama was killed in Hakripora in South Kashmir in a military operation in the wee hours of Tuesday.
27 year old Dujana, a resident of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan controlled part of Kashmir, was active for past nine years in South Kashmir and had dodged army ever since, despite a constant chase.
The cordon-and-search operation was launched by army, CRPF and JK Police during pre-dawn hours in the area following a specific information about the presence of Dujana and his associate, a police officer said.
As the joint team was zeroing in on the target house, the militants opened fire which was retaliated, triggering off a gunfight, the official said.
The house in which the militants were trapped was targeted with heavy shelling setting it on fire.
People in large numbers assembled near the encounter site and were pelting stones at security forces. Fierce clashes between residents and forces broke out soon afterwards, the reports said.
Reports said that after receiving inputs about the presence of militants, troops from 50 and 53 RR along with CRPF and Special Operation Group of Jammu Kashmir Police cordoned off the Hakripora village at around 4 in the morning. As the search party approached the house, militants reportedly fired upon them, triggering an encounter.
Reports said that locals from surrounding villages including Lelhar, Pahoo, Newa, Begumbagh hit the roads to disrupt the operation. However, government forces used pellets and live ammunition to keep them at bay. Two civilians from Kakapora and Begumbagh identified as Jahangir Ahmed and Firdous Ahmed were wounded when they were hit with bullets.
Reports added that Firdous Ahmad Bhat s/o Mohammad Subhan, a resident of Begumbagh, Kakapora succumbed to his injuries later. Doctors said that Firdous had received a bullet in his chest. Another civilian Jahangir Ahmed who suffered bullet in his abdomen was shifted to SMHS Hospital.
Dozens of wounded were referred to hospitals for treatment.
Eyewitnesses said that people staged massive protest outside District Hospital Pulwama while government forces according to witnesses resorted to firing resulting in the injuries to scores of people, including a hospital nurse, who has been identified as Gulzara Bano.
Other injured identified as Urfi Mushtaq, Muhammad Aslam Lone and Jahangir Ahmed were shifted to SMHS Hospital Srinagar.
Following militant killings, clashes and protests erupted in different parts of South Kashmir.
1000s Join Funeral
Thousands of people participated in the funeral of local slain militant Arif Nabi at his native Lelhar village. He was laid to rest amid pro-freedom and Islamic slogans.
The body of Abu Dujana was reportedly shifted to Boniyar and handed over to local Auqaf Committee for burial. Non-local militants are buried in Boniyar Baramulla grave yard.
Reports said that heavy contingent of police and para-military personnel were deployed across Pulwama district. A police official confirmed that situation was tense but under control.
Dujana is the third top militant leader killed in Kashmir since last year. Hizbul Mujahideen leaders Burhan Wani and Sabzar Bhat were killed by armed forces earlier.
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