Encounter continues in Arwani; One civilian dead, another critical and over 30 injured

Aakash Hassan

Islamabad

Man from army's 1st RR standing guard during the cordon laid to nab suspected militants (KL Image: Hilal Shah)
Man from army’s 1st RR standing guard during the cordon laid to nab suspected militants (KL Image: Hilal Shah)

After the ‘operation to eliminate’ suspected militants entered into second day in Hussanpora Arwani in Bejbehara area of south Kashmir’s Islamabad district, situation continues to remain highly tense, with one civilian dead and more than 30 others injured.

The operation started on Wednesday afternoon after army and police jointly cordoned few residential houses in Hussanpora over the presence of suspected militants.

Clashes erupted near encounter site between people and government forces soon after news about trapping of militants reached surrounding villages.

Protesters gathered around encounter site and started clashing with forces in an attempt to break cordon.

In evening gunshots were reported from the spot, followed by loud bangs, that created panic in the area and as per locals they were unable to sleep.

Though ‘operation’ was halted by forces later in night till Thursday morning, clashes and slogans from Mosque loudspeakers were reported for entire Wednesday-Thursday night in the area.

As the operation was resumed in morning, people begun swelling around the encounter site resulted into massive clashes.

Firing and regular gun shots were heard at the encounter side throughout the day, said scribes at encounter site. “However we were not allowed to move closer so that we could get view of the house in which militants are believed to be trapped,” scribes said.

As the clashes were going on forces, according to, locals retaliated with teargas shells and pellets that resulted into injuries to more than thirty people.

Reports said, few youth attempted to approach towards house which has been cordoned and where militants are suspected to be trapped, however forces fired on them in which one was succumbed after hit by a bullet. Locals said some of them were even apprehended by forces and beaten severally.

The person who was hit by bullet was later identified as Arif Ahmad Shah S/o Mohammad Khalil Shah from Gund Baba, Sangam. As per police he was hit by a “stray bullet” at some distance from the encounter site.

Police and Army in actio n during serach operation in Bijbehara (KL Image Hilal Shah)
Police and Army in actio n during serach operation in Bijbehara (KL Image Hilal Shah)

Another civilian, who was identified as Bilal Ahmad from Hassanpora   was also critically injured and has been shifted to SKIMS Srinagar.

Meanwhile, in South Kashmir particularly in Islamabad and Kulgam districts most of the markets were shut and clashes were reported at several places.

In vessu Qazigund, dozens of vehicles were damaged by people on highway after news about killing of militant from village spread in the area.

Later people clashed with security forces and there was thin traffic reported on highway throughout the day.

Clashes were also reported from Islamabad town at several places and in villages in peripheries.

Locals informed that clashes erupted at KP road, Khannabal, Dialgam, Hillar Kokernag and several other places.

Earlier, mobile prepaid mobile phone and net service were suspended and train on the south Kashmir route was also stopped as the railway track is passing close to the encounter site.

The intensity in clashes was reported over the rumors of the trapping of top militant faces.

As earlier it was reported and rumored that some top faces of LET have been gunned down, on which police officials were reluctant to agree.

“We cannot say that who is inside till the operation is over,” said a top cop of south Kashmir. Police officials also did not comment about the death of militants which was reported by section of media earlier.

Meanwhile the operation is still going on. According to police officials the operation is still going on and there is no updates yet.

 

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