Restive Tral in South Kashmir is on boil again. Protests erupted after army killed the brother of a prominent militant of Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen in a ‘gunfight’. The killing set-off violent protests across the Tral with youth urging people to come out from their houses though the loudspeakers of mosques.
According to locals, Khalid Muzaffar Wani went to meet his brother Burhan Muzaffar Wani, top and most wanted commander of HM in South Kashmir in Kamla forests of Buchoo in Tral along with his three other friends, later identified by police as Parvez Bhat, Adil Peer from Dadsara and Waseem Trag from Trag Payeen of Tral.
Police claimed that acting on tip off army cordoned off the area and heavy exchange of fire took place and the killing of Khalid is ‘accidental’.
Confirming the killing of Burhan’s brother, the Director General of Police (DGP) K Rajendra is quoted to have said that Khalid had gone to meet Burhan along with three other people.
“Four people went to meet Burhan and others. In the meantime, army patrol also reached and firing took place during which militants including Burhan fled. Khalid died and militants left the weapons there. Three other youths also fled but were caught and they are being questioned,” the DGP is quoted to have said adding further details are awaited. The DGP said Burhan was reportedly injured in the firing.
According to army spokesman, that they are investigating the matter. “Many things have to be seen including what he was doing there along with others,” the spokesman said. Earlier, army said that they killed a militant. Although, army didn’t identify the ‘militant’ they claimed to have killed in the ‘gunfight’.
Refuting the claims of both army and police, residents of Tral alleged that Khalid was killed in a ‘staged encounter’.
Son of government higher secondary school Principal Muzaffar Ahmad, Khalid is resident of Shariefabad Tral. Muzaffar according to locals alleged that “Khalid was killed in fake encounter.”
When this report is being filed, Tral is tense, deserted and all roads leading to place where last rites of Khalid would take place. With moist eyes, Tral residents remember Khalid as “gentle, humble and best among the lot.”