Violent Protests at Shopian Encounter Site

Sheikh Hilal


More than a dozen persons were injured including eight men in uniform and SDM Zainapora when hundreds of people attacked them with rocks at the encounter site in Shopian district on Wednesday.

Police used tear smoke shells and aerial firing to disperse the people who were demanding the body of slain militant Ashiq Hussain Dar.

Local sources said that as the news about killing of Ashiq spread in the area hundreds of people from Turkewangam, Shirmal and adjoining villages marched towards the encounter site at Heff raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.

On seeing people in large numbers, authorities asked for reinforcement and soon severe battles started.

“Protesting people started pelting rocks on the men in uniform from four sides injuring at least 8 personnel and SDM Zainpora,” sources said. They said that at least five civilians were also injured till the reports last came in.

A police official present at the encounter site confirmed violent protests however did not give details of the injured.

Ashiq Hussain Dar son of Ghulam Hassan Dar, a resident of Turkewangam village was killed in the encounter in Heff village of Shopian district early morning.

The encounter began yesterday after government forces received specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in Heff Shermal area of Shopian.

As the joint team of SOG and army began a search operation in the area, the hiding militants opened fire on them triggering an encounter.

The operation was halted for the night but the gunfight resumed this morning and a militant was gunned down in the early hours.

Forces believe that one more militant is still trapped and the firing was going on. Police sources said that three army personnel were injured in the gun battle since morning. They said that two were critical.


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