SrinagarFour civilians and an army personnel were killed during a gunfight and ensuing clashes in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Wednesday.
Sources said that government forces launched a cordon and search operation in the district’s Khudwani area of Kulgam last night, following information about the presence of militants there.
They said a gun battle broke out between the militants and the forces during midnight.
Three forces personnel were injured in the initial exchange of firing. Later one of them succumbed to injuries at a hospital, the officials said.
Meanwhile, four civilians were killed and at around 50 others injured in the clashes near the site of encounter.
Sharjeel Ahmad Sheikh son of Abdul Hameed of Khudwani, was killed near the encounter site.
A doctor at Qoimoh hospital said that a 16-year-old civilian Bilal Ahmad Tantray of Qoimoh was brought dead. He had bullet injuries on the right side of his chect, the doctor said. He said the hospital received 35 injured persons having bullet, pellet and injures due to teargas shells.
A police officer said that Sarjeel was killed in cross firing while investigations are underway to ascertain how Bilal died. We are ascertaining how Bilal was killed. Whether he also died in cross firing is being ascertained, the officer said.
A teenager boy was also killed in clashes with the government forces near the encounter site
Faisal Ahmad Illahi (15) sustained serious injuries after the joint team of forces used pellet guns, tear gas shells and opened some rounds to disperse the protesting youth near encounter site.
Illahi a resident of Melhoora, Shopian succumbed to injuries in the nearby hospital.
The 30-year-old- man Aijaz Ahmad Palla son of Mohammad Siraj of Batpora, Nagbal at present Tulkhan village in Bijbehara suffered critical injuries in clashes at gunfight site.
Palla was taken to nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead on arrival.
A police official said that the investigations were underway to ascertain how the man was killed.
The intense clashes between the government force and the youth erupted since today morning soon at encounter site.
Police sources said that searches are underway to find out any militant body. So far no militant body has been recovered.
They said that searches are nearing completion and so far no militant body has been recovered.
The official also did not rule out the possibility of militants having escaped from the encounter site.
An army man was killed and two other forces personnel were injured in the operation so far.
The gunfight broke out late last night after the joint team of armys 1 RR, SOG and CRPF launched the cordon following inputs about the presence of some militants.
Police in a statement issued here said that one Army personnel identified as Sepoy S. Gunakar Roy No. 16121860/K who was injured in the ongoing gunfight succumbed to his injuries.
Two more Army personnel were injured and shifted to hospital for treatment, he said.
In the said encounter three civilians identified as Sarjeel Sheikh of Khudwani, Bilal Ahmad Tantray of Frisal and Faisal Ilahi of Melhoora Shopian who were injured in the crossfire have also succumbed to their injuries, he said.
Moreover, 12 persons have also received injuries in the process and are being treated at different hospitals. They are stated to be stable, the spokesman said.
The search operation is on, and details shall follow, the spokesman said.
We request citizens not to fall prey to any speculations and rumours which are intended to disturb the peace. J&K Police seeks your cooperation for maintaining peace, the spokesman added.
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.