Three paramilitary CRPF personnel and a physically-handicapped boy were killed at Wangam area of Qaziabad Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Monday.
Reports said that some militants attacked 92 battalion CRPF (A Coy) party at Wangam at around 5:32 pm. In the attack, two CRPF men were killed on the spot while several others suffered injuries and later one among them succumbed to the injuries on way to the hospital.
The paramilitary troopers retaliated and the exchange of fire continued for around five minutes, they said.
As the guns fell silent, one more body was spotted, around half a kilometre from the shootout site. He was identified as a 14-year-old boy Hazim Shafi Bhat, a student of 7th standard, of Khipora village.
“He along with other boys in the area had taken animals for grazing. While others fled, he could not as he was physically handicapped. He could not even properly talk and would occasionally fell down,” Mohammad Rayaz, his immediate neighbor said.
His uncle Haji Ghulam Mohammad Bhat told newsagency GNS the body was found near the site of the gunfight which is almost half a kilometre from his residence. The family termed reports dubbing him as militant as “very unfortunate.” “He could not properly walk or talk. How can he be a militant,” Bhat said.
PRO CRPF Kashmir Assistant Commandant Junaid Khan said that militants attacked the CRPF party at Wangam. “In the attack, three CRPF men were killed, two of them on the spot and another on way to the hospital,” he said.
A police officer said that the boy was killed in the “cross-firing”. The officer identified the CRPF men killed in the attack as Constable Santosh Mishra, Constable Chandra Shekhar and Ashwani Kumar Yadav.
Soon after the attack, additional reinforcement of army, SOG and CRPF rushed to the spot and launched a massive search operation to trace out the fleeing militants.
When reports last came in, the search operation was going on in the area. (GNS)