Srinagar, May 17 : Clashes erupted between protesters and forces in Shopian Wednesday after the letter cordoned off Heff and Shirmal villages in the morning.
Residents said that when the forces started cordon and search operation in the areas, people shouted pro-freedom slogans and pelted stones on the forces, triggering clashes.
Police said that “extensive searches” in the villages of Heff and Shirmal were conducted today “in an effort to flush out the militants holed up in the area.”
“During the searches maximum restraint was shown in dealing with the miscreants, who tried to disrupt the operation at Heff,” police said in a statement to KNS.
“The operation began during the intervening night of May 16 and 17 and after successful completion of searches with the cooperation of villagers, the operation concluded as planned this morning,” it said.
The residents said that during the clashes several protesters were injured due to pellets and tear gas canisters fired by the police and paramilitary forces.
“Several protesters were injured and were shifted to hospitals for treatment. The forces also smashed windowpanes and glasses of houses in the villages. Even some civilians were also beaten and thrashed,” the residents said.
Police, however, denied “ransacking and beating” of people. “It is clarified that the reports of ransacking and beating of people by the news portals are not based on facts. The DIG South Kashmir Sh. S.P Pani has said that there were no injuries to any person,” the statement said.
The cordon and search operation (CASO) was called off by the forces in the afternoon without establishing any contact with militants, a police officials in Shopian told KNS. “No casualties took place,” he said. (KNS)