At least 7 Government Forces personnel including Station House Officer Pulwama were injured during the clashes that erupted in South Kashmir’s Pulwama town after the killing of a local militant in Kangan hamlet of the town. In a bid to stop people from moving towards encounter site, authorities imposed curfew in the town, however, scores of agitated people amid curfew and restrictions clashed with the police and Para-military troopers.
LeT militant Aijaz Ahmed Bhat son of Jalaludin Bhat resident of Charsoo Pulwama was killed in an encounter in Kangan Muran area of Pulwama on Friday evening. Sources said that three militants were holed up in a residential house while the Government Forces managed to neutralize one of them. Sources said that the two militants manage to break the cordon and fled from the spot.
Sources told CNS that with the culmination of the encounter, people started moving towards encounter site, however, Authorities as a precautionary measure imposed curfew in the town. Amid curfew and restrictions, scores of people came on roads in Pulwama and assembled near Muran Chowk and Tahab road. Youth clashed with Police and CRPF personnel that were deployed in the town to thwart possible protests.
A police official told CNS that agitated protestors resorted to heavy stone pelting which left SHO Pulwama injured. Eyewitness said that a stone hit the face of SHO Pulwama, Sabzar Ahmed. “Blood started oozing out from his face and he was immediately rushed to nearby hospital where he received at least 4 stitches,” sources said.
Reports said that to counter the heavy stone pelting done by youth, police fired dozens of tear-smoke shells in air. The protestors who were protesting against the killing of the militant showed stiff resistance and continued to clash with police and CRPF personnel. Police sources told CNS besides SHO Pulwama, 4 policemen and 2 CRPF personnel were injured during the clashes which continued for hours in Pulwama town.
Reports of stone-pelting were also reported from Kakapora, however, authorities laid barricades near Railway Bridge and dispersed the protesters.
Meanwhile, scores of residents of Chersoo, the native village of slain militant blocked Highway near Charsoo crossing that resulted in traffic mess for hours. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on Highway. The protestors were waiting for the arrival of the dead body of the slain militant.
Reports said that the dead body of the slain militant was taken in the form of procession from Awantipora to Charsoo, a distance of three kilometres in which hundreds of mourners participated. Reports said that scores of mourners unfurled Pakistani flags during procession.The body of the slain militant was laid to rest at his ancestral grave yard in Charsoo. CNS correspondent reported that at least ten thousand people participated in the last rites of the slain militant Aijaz Ahmed Bhat. Several Hurriayat leaders including Zafar Akbar Bhat and District president Tehreek-i-Hurriyat Pulwama Ghulam Mohi-u-Din Andrabi participated in funeral prayers.
Syed Ali Geelani in his telephonic address from New Delhi to mourners appealed them to boycott elections completely. Geelani paid rich tribute to the slain militant and said that thousands of people have laid their lives for the sacred cause but unfortunately some pro-India politicians are strengthening the Indian rule in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, a police handout said that an active militant of Lashker-e-Taiba was killed in an encounter in Pulwama. “Last evening, on a specific information Police, 55RR and CRPF launched a joint operation in Kangan area falling in the jurisdiction of Police Station Pulwama. The hiding militant fired on the joint party.
In the ensuing encounter, one militant of LeT was killed. He has been identified as Ajaz Ahmad Bhat son of Jalal-u-Din resident of Chersoo, Awantipora. He was involved in a number of terrorist activities including the one in Awantipora market in which two civilians including a lady were injured. Arms Ammunition has been recovered from the encounter site,” the handout reads.