'Civilians Killed Near Gunfight Sites In Kulgam,Shopian Were Stone-Pelters'

SRINAGAR — Police have claimed that the civilians killed near the three encounter sites of South Kashmir were ‘stone-pelters’ who tried to hamper anti-militancy operations.

State Human Rights Com­mission had sought a detailed report about Dragadh, Kachi­doora and Khudwani encoun­ters that claimed at least 8 civilian lives. Chairman, In­ternational Forum for Justice Human Rights JK, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo had filed a peti­tion before the Commission seeking justice and compensa­tion to the victim families.

The Dragadh and Kachidoora encounters which claimed four lives took place on April 1, this year. The civilians killed were Mehrajuddin Mir of Okey Kul­gam, Muhammad Iqbal of Kha­sipora Shopian, Zubair Ahmed Bhat and Mushtaq Ahmed Tho­kar of Dragadh Shopian.

On April 11, four civilians were killed after Forces fired upon protesters trying to help militants escape at Wanimohal­la Khudwani Kulgam. A soldier Ganoukar Rao was also killed and two others injured in the encounter while militants man­aged to escape from the spot.

The four civilians including a minor boy were identified as Sarjeel Sheikh of Khudwani , Bilal Ahmed Tantray of Frisal ,Faisal Ilahi of Melhoora Shop­ian and Aijaz Ahmed Pala of Bijbehara . The civilian kill­ings sparked students protest across Kashmir forcing gov­ernment to order the closure of the schools and colleges.

In its report, DIG South Kashmir Range has maintained that the civilians were miscre­ants who resorted to massive stone-pelting causing injuries to the armed forces. The police has submitted a detailed report with regard to these gunfights alleging that miscreants cre­ated havoc near the gunfight sight while despite repeated warnings they didn’t budge. The police have said that maxi­mum restraint was exercised at all the encounter sites. (CNS)

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