Two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed in a gunfight at Kundalan village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district while teenager was killed and over 120 injured in forces firing on protestors near the encounter site on Tuesday.
A police official said Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF and Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K police laid siege around Kundalan village of Shopian at around 3 am after receiving specific inputs about presence of militants there.
He said forces zeroed-in on a particular house and fired few warning shots towards it. “The militants present inside the house fired back. The fire was returned by troops, triggering an encounter”.
A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and an army man were injured in the gunfight and evacuated to army hospital in Srinagar.
Local residents said they heard gunshots soon after Fajar prayers and the firing continued intermittently till afternoon during which the house was damaged.
The police official said two Jaish militants were killed in the ensuing encounter.
The deceased militants were identified as Sameer Ahmad Sheikh son of Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh R/o Ayend Rawalpora area of Shopian and Babar of Pakistan.
After the encounter erupted, scores of youth assembled near the encounter site and hurled stones on force personnel, who in turn fired teargas canisters, pellets and live ammunition on the protestors to chase away stone pelting youth.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Shopian Abdul Rashid Najar said 123 people injured in the forces action were brought to Shopian hospital, where from they were referred to different hospitals.
The critically injured were referred to Srinagar hospitals for specialised treatment.
A critically injured boy Tamsheel Ahmad Khan, 16 , son of Khurshid Ahmad Khan of Vehil Chatwatan succumbed while being shifted to SMHS hospital.
The doctors at SMHS declared him brought dead.
They said he was hit by bullet in the head.
According to Tamsheel’s friends, he was a 9th class student at a government school. “He was good at studies”.
Tamsheel, son of a poor carpenter, is survived by two siblings including a brother and a sister and parents.
The officials of Harmain block said 12 pellet injured youth were received at Harmain and peripheral hospitals.
“Two injured were referred to Srinagar,” they said.
At district hospital Kulgam, 3 pellet injuries were treated.
Local residents said that many injured didn’t report to hospitals due to fear of reprisals from forces personnel.
Clashes between youth and forces were reported from neighbouring Pulwama district.
The youth pelted stones on forces near police station, Murran Chowk and Rajpora Chowk. The cops fired teargas canisters and pellets to disperse the youth, causing injuries to a youth.
The injured youth was shifted to District Hospital Pulwama.
Eyewitnesses said Pulwama town was sealed by troops after the clashes.
“Barricades were placed at all entry and exit points and no vehicle was allowed to move through main town,” they said.
Meanwhile, thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of youth Tamsheel at Vehil village of Shopian.
Residents from Vehil said two rounds of funeral prayers were held for the deceased youth — one at Ayend and other at Vehil village. Large number of people from about 50 neighbouring villages including Posphora, Ayend, Chatawatan, Vehil, Nowgham, Amshipora and Rampura took part in the last prayers of slain teenager.
Thousands of people also attended the funeral prayers of Jaish militant Sameer at his native village at Ayend, Rawalpora in Shopian amidst chanting of pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
Sameer, a matriculate, had joined militancy in April this year.
A group of militants armed with assault rifles also appeared during the funeral prayers of Sameer and fired some rounds in air as a tribute to him.
Meanwhile, Pulwama working journalists staged a protest against thrashing of a video journalist by CRPF men while he was discharging his duties.
Jahangir Ahmad Malik, video journalist for Munsif TV was roughed up by CRPF personnel near bus stand Pulwama.
A local journalist, an eyewitness to the incident, said that Jahangir was stopped at a Nakka. “There was some discussion between the journalist and CRPF men afterwards the paramilitary personnel came rushing from behind and beat him”.