Killing of three local militant’s sparked protest, clashes and shutdown in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Three militants were killed after forces blasted a house using Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on in the intervening night of Friday and Saturday.
Sources said forces received inputs about the presence of three Hizbul Mujahideen militants inside a house owned by one Dawood Ahmed Wagay at Panzgam hamlet of the district.
Army party from 55 Rashtriya Rifles along with counter insurgent wing Special Operation Group, Central Reserve Police Force cordoned off the house at around 10 pm of Friday night.
Army asked all the inmates to come out from the house. The house owner along with the family members came out from the house after which the forces planted explosives around the house. The house was blasted at around 2:30 AM in the night.
During search operation three dead bodies were recovered whom police later identified as the local militants Ishfaq Ahmed Dar, son of Ghulam Nabi of Dogripora; Ishfaq Ahmed Baba, son of Ghulam Hasan of Tahab, and Haseeb Ahmed Laya, son of Ghulam Nabi, resident of Bandina Nayen, all residents of Pulwama district.
Eyewitnesses told CNS a large number of people rushed towards the spot of incident. A teen whom police identified as Shakeel Ahmed Wagay suffered injuries after a littered explosive device went off there. He was shifted to hospital for treatment.
The killing of these militants sparked spontaneous shutdown in the district while large number of people staged anti-India protest in different parts of the district including the native villages of the slain militants.
All the shops and business establishments remained shut while transport also remained off the roads.
Reports said that as the bodies of militants arrived in their respective native villages, large number of youth hit to roads and clashed with forces.
Witnesses said that youths pelted stones on forces who responded with teargas shelling. There were intense clashes between youth and protesters in Tahab and Bandian villages. Scores of people were injured during these clashes.
Eyewitnesses said that protesters attacked CRPF bunker with stones. Forces used tear smoke shells and pellet guns resulting in the injuries of all but 20 protesters among which three were referred to Srinagar hospitals for treatment. Some of the injured protesters were identified as Ajaz Ahmed, Zeeshan Ahmed, Naveed Ahmed, Rouf Ganaie, Ali Muhammad Sheikh, Muhammad Rafiq, Farooq Ahmed and Ghulam Muhammad.
Witnesses added that thousands of mourners participated in the last rites of these militants who were laid to rest amid pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans.
In wake of protests, authorities suspended train services between Banihal and Srinagar. An official said that the services have been suspended for a day due to “law and order situation”.