Around 35 injured in clashes, 10 sustain bullet injuries
Civilian killing unfortunate, will look into matter: Police
Srinagar: Three civilians were killed and dozens wounded on Tuesday when troops opened fire on anti-government protests that erupted following a firefight between separatist militants and government forces in central Kashmir, police and witnesses said.
The killed civilians were identified as Zahid Rashid Ganaie, resident of Chadoora, Amir Fayaz Waza of Wathoora and Ashfaq Ahmed of Rangreth.
All of them received bullet injuries during clashes between government forces and protesters at the encounter site.
Moreover, around 35 people were injured in clashes in which at least 10 people sustained bullet injuries. Many also have suffered tear gas shell injuries. Pellets also injured many of the protesters.
Zahid Rashid, a boy in is early twenties was brought to the sub-district hospital of Chadoora with a bullet injury in his neck and was referred to SMHS, Srinagar in critical condition.
The Medical Superintendent of SMHS Nazir Ahmed Choudhary said that the boy was declared brought dead.
The slain boy was the youngest and only son of businessman Abdul Rashid Ganaie, who has five daughters. Zahid was assisting his father after passing 12th standard.
Amir Fayaz Waza was shot dead by the government forces near the encounter site. Waza was rushed to the sub-district hospital where he was declared brought dead.
The third civilian Ashfaq Ahmed, after sustaining a bullet injury was rushed to SMHS hospital where he also was declared brought dead.
The lone militant killed, who engaged forces all day, has been identified as Tauseef Ahmed Wagay of Yaripora village in Kulgam district.
Top cop of the state, S P Vaid said that killing of civilians was ‘unfortunate’ and the police is looking into the matter.
“The killing of three youth is very unfortunate and Deputy Inspector General of Police (Central Kashmir range) will look into the circumstances that led to the trio’s killing, “ said Vaid.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Central Kashmir Range, Ghulam Hassan Bhat said, “One militant was killed in the encounter. An Army man was also injured. Three civilians were also killed in clashes that erupted during the encounter.”
According to locals of Yaripora, Tuseef had joined militant ranks soon after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed. He had also spent a year and a half in jail under the draconian Public Safety Act.
Clashes had erupted between locals and the CRPF soon after an encounter broke out in the village. At least seven civilians were injured in clashes near the encounter site. Most of them sustained pellet injuries.
DIG also informed that dozens of personnel were also injured in the clashes.
According to hospital sources youth who have suffered pellet injuries are Sakib Ahmed Bhat, resident of Kralwari, Owais Hassan Dar, also a resident of Kralwari. Mubashir Ahmed Dar, resident of Wanibagh, Bilal Ahmed Dar, Nazir Ahmed Dar, both residents of Chadoora also sustained pellet injuries. Sakib Ahmed of Chadoora and Mohammad Ashraf Yatoo of Hayatpora sustained injuries after getting hit by tear gas shells.
Earlier, a convey on the way to the encounter site came under heavy stone pelting as people were trying to help militants flee from the encounter site.
Clashes in militant’s native village
As soon as the news of Tauseef’s killing reached his native village of Yaripora, protesters came out on the streets and marched towards the police station and demanded his body.
Police and forces retaliated with massive tear gas and stun grenade shelling.
Pulwama remains shut
Meanwhile, for the second consecutive day, district Pulwama remained shut in mourning of two Hizbul Mujahideen militants killed in a brief encounter in Pagdampora on Sunday. All shops and other business establishments kept their shutters down.
At least 25 people were injured on Sunday in intense clashes in which most sustained pellet injuries.
With inputs from KNS