EDI Siege: Army Barges Into Complex, Blasts Heard



EDI siege. (Photos: Bilal Bahadur)

Army has reportedly succeeded in barging into the multi-storey J&K EDI complex and is scanning the premises. A series of blasts were heard but it was not immediately known what these were all about.

Reporters and news photographers watching the operation from a distance near Sempora crossing and the International Trade Centre ground said the paratroopers have taken over the operation and are apparently scanning the building in a room to room operation.

Three militants attacked a CRPF bus Saturday evening killing three paramilitary men and injured a dozen others. Militants intended to get into the bus but failed. Eventually they took refuge in the EDI complex. For around two hours, there was a standoff as all the civilians – mostly employees and the trainees were evacuated. It was during the rescue of the civilians that a gardener Abdul Gani Mir was hit by a bullet. He later succumbed to his injuries in the SMHS hospital.

Soldiers positioning around J&K's Entrepreneurship Development Institute on Saturday to flush out militants who have taken cover in the multi-story complex. The militants attacked a CRPF vehicle killing one and injuring many others and barged into the premises where they are hiding. The complex is under siege right now. PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

The CRPF personnel who were killed in the attack were identified as Bola Singh and R K Raina from 60 Bn CRPF. They were on way to Srinagar to resume their duties after vacations. Their bus had come from Jammu. Their wreath laying event took place STC Humhama.

Later in the evening, the soldiers tried to storm the EDI complex. They were attacked by the hole up militants in which a Captain rank officer was critically injured and later killed. He was identified as Pawan Kumar, a resident of Haryana, a member of 10-Para. The army abandoned the storming in operation and resumed it at around 10 am.

Reports suggest that soldiers have succeeded in getting into the premises. The progress of the operation is not known. An unconfirmed report said one soldier was injured in the process.

A police vehicle entering into the J&K EDI at Pampore to rescue civilians trapped inside. There were around 200 civilians, mostly employees and trainee students, when the militants took refuge in the premises on Saturday after attacking a CRPF vehicle. PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

Meanwhile, the entire belt is closed. The highway is deserted and the entire traffic has been diverted to alternative route passing through the other bank of the Jhelum river. Shops and business establishments remained closed in Pampore and surrounding areas.

Around noon, crowds in Frestbal area of Pampore resorted to stone pelting on the cops. In the immediate retaliation, police burst tear smoke shells and used pellet guns. Reports from Pampore said eight civilians were injured in the pellet gun operation and have been rushed to the hospital in Pampore. Reports also said the cops entered into the localities and burst tear smoke shells.

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A police source told Kashmir Life that a mob had attacked an army vehicle in Pampore forcing soldiers to open fire in which one person received a bullet in his leg. He said they have reported of around nine persons injured in police action, mostly receiving pellets.

Police have already asked people to stay away from encounter sites and have imposed section 144. Two civilians were already killed in Lellhar village last week.


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