SRINAGAR Seven civilians were killed and nearly 50 others injured in government forces action post a gunfight at Sirnoo area of Pulwama district in South Kashmir on Saturday.
While police said that civilian came dangerously close to gunfight site during the operation, a security review meeting chaired by Governor Satya Pal Malik said seven civilians died after post-operation clashes.
Reports said a large number of people mostly youth took to streets near the encounter site at Sirnoo village. The government forces used tear smoke shells, pellets and live ammunition to quell them.
Over 50 persons were injured, at least 31 with bullets and pellets. Among them, seven civilians succumbed to injuries. Six were declared dead by doctors at district hospital Pulwama while seventh one Touseef Ahmad Mir son of Asadullah Mir of Urchersoo, Pulwama succumbed at SMHS here.
The other six slain civilians have been identified as Liyaqat Dar of Parigam, Suhail Ahmad of Ballow, Shahbaaz of Monghama, Pulwama, Amir Ahmad Paul of Ashminder, Murtaza Bashir and Abid Hussain Lone of Kareemabad.
Medical Superintendent district hospital Pulwama, Dr Abdul Rashid Parra said that the hospital has received 31 persons with bullet and pellet wounds.
“Out of 31, six were declared dead here and one who was referred from here died later in SMHS”, Parra said, adding 14 other injured referred to different hospitals of Srinagar for specialized treatment.
Medical Superintendent SMHS Dr Mohammad Saleem Tak told GNS that they have received six persons including four with bullet wounded and two with pellet eye injuries.
“Among them, one was declared dead (Touseef Ahmad Mir) on arrival and another (Jehangir Ahmad Kar) with a bullet wound in his abdomen has been operated upon and is recovering thus is stable, Tak said.
Medical Superintendent SKIMS Dr Farooq Jan said that they have received two injured including one with a bullet in his leg and another head injury due to stone. “Both injured are being operated upon and their condition is stable, Jan said.
Medical Superintendent Bone and Joint Hospital Barzullah, AR Budoo told GNS that the hospital received seven injured and are undergoing treatment. “The condition of all of them are stable”, Budoo said. Some injured were also shifted to JVC Bemina.
Sources said the clashes erupted soon after the encounter and subsequently the death of three militants spread.
A police spokesman said that on Saturday morning, the encounter broke out after the joint team of army and SOG launched a cordon-and-search operation at Sirnoo village.
“While the operation was going on, a crowd who came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site got injured,” the spokesman said in a statement.
The injured were evacuated to hospital where unfortunately seven persons succumbed to their injuries, the spokesman said.
Others who were admitted in the hospital are stated to be stable, the spokesman said.
The loss of civilians is deeply grieved. Police once again appeals the citizens to remain away from encounter site as it is a prohibited zone which involves significant danger to life because of nature of the encounter, the spokesman added.
Spontaneous shutdown Valley parts
Meanwhile, a spontaneous shutdown was observed in south Kashmir, Srinagar, and parts of Budgam following the killing of seven civilians.
Reports said that soon after the news about the killings spread, there was spontaneous shutdown in entire South Kashmir, Srinagar, and parts of Budgam.
Shops and other business establishments were closed while traffic movement got thinned in these areas with the passage of time.
Reports of protests and clashes were also reported at Sopore where the students of Degree College took to streets and clashed with forces.
The forces used tear smoke shells to quell the protests. However, there was no immediate report of any injury.
Internet services were suspended in Srinagar and south Kashmir even as speed was reduced to 2g in most other districts of the Valley.
Pulwama Buries 9 Youths, Thousands Turn Up In Funerals
Thousands of people on Saturday participated in the funeral prayers of seven civilians and two of the three militants killed in government forces in Pulwama district.
Sources said that funeral prayers of army deserter turned militant Zahoor Ahmad Bhat would be held in his native village of Sirnoo Pulwama at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
Eyewitnesses said that ten and thousands of people turned up in the funerals of two militants Adnan Ahmad Bhat of Karimabad and Bilal Ahmad of Rajpora Pulwama.
Also, thousands of people attended funeral of civilians Touseef Ahmad Mir of Urchersoo, Liyaqat Dar of Parigam, Suhail Ahmad of Ballow, Shahbaaz of Monghama, Amir Ahmad Paul of Ashminder, Murtaza Bashir and Abid Hussain Lone, of Kareemabad. They were laid to rest amid sobs are tears.
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