Srinagar, Sep 27: A civilian was killed after forces allegedly opened fire during a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in Noorbagh area of Qamarwari in summer capital Srinagar on Thursday.
A top police official said that the forces launched a CASO in Noorbagh area of Qamarwari around 5am following inputs about the presence of militants in a house belonging to Muhammad Yaqoob Malik.
He said gunshots were fired during the CASO in which the house owner’s son Muhammad Saleem Malik suffered a bullet injury and died.
The official said that the police was looking into the incident.
Meanwhile, curfew has been imposed in downtown Srinagar to thwart protests against the killing of the civilian.
Internet has also been suspended in Srinagar and adjoining Budgam districts.
Clashes erupted soon after the news of the killing spread in the area with the locals alleging that Malik was killed in forces’ firing.
An eye witness said that the forces fired tear gas shells on the mourners carrying the body of the slain civilian who was later laid to rest at Eidgah.
Meanwhile a militant and a soldier were killed in a shootout in Dooru area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
Sources said the gunfight broke out early Thursday after forces ambushed a militant group in Gasigund village of the district.
In the exchange of fire, they said, a militant was killed and three soldiers wounded who were evacuated to a hospital for treatment. However, an injured soldier succumbed at the hospital, they said.
The slain militant was identified as Asif Malik alias Abu Ukasha of Khahgund Verinag. He was an engineering graduate.
The slain soldier was identified as Happy Singh and the injured as Bupinder Singh and Kulwant Singh of 19 RR. The official said that other militants who were part of the group managed to escape.
Meanwhile, the gunfight that had erupted in Panzan Chadoora area of Central Kashmir’s Budgam district has reportedly ended with the killing of two militants.
Reports said that both the militant trapped in Jamia Masjid Panzan were killed in a fierce gun battle. Police sources identified the two slain militants as Shiraz Ahmed of Kralwari Chadoora and Irfan Ahmed of Nihama Kakapora. Police sources said that Irfan was a former SPO who fled with an AK-47 assault rifle from Police Station Pampore earlier this year on June 26, 2018. A video of his joining Hizb had gone viral.
A Junior Commissioned Officer of Indian Army has also sustained injuries during the shootout. Reports said that two Para military troopers from 29 Battalion were wounded in stone-pelting incident. Massive clashes rocked near the encounter site resulted in the injuries of two CRPF personnel. “One of them has been identified as Shankar Mahadev who was hit by a stone in his nose,” said an official.
While divulging details about all the incidents a police spokesman in a statement said that Police and government forces in the wee hours today launched a search operation at Gazi Gund Dooru in District Islamabad. During the searches, the encounter started off between government forces and militants.
“In the ensuing encounter, a local militant identified as Asif Malik who was operating as commander of a proscribed militant outfit LeT was eliminated. He was involved in several attacks on government forces including the killing of CRPF men at Achabal this year and in many other cases of civilian atrocities. One army man identified as Happy Singh of 19 RR also killed in the encounter,” the spokesman said.
“Incriminating material including arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of the encounter,” he said.
The spokesman in a statement said: “In another encounter at Budgam which started today morning at Panzan area of Chadoora in district Budgam, government forces neutralized two militants identified as Sheeraz Ahmad Bhat resident of Kralwari Chadoora and Irfan Ahmad Dar resident of Kakapora Pulwama affiliated with proscribed militant outfit HM. Irfan Ahmad Dar was working as SPO and had deserted a couple of months ago.”
Pertinently, the militants fired on a search party from a nearby mosque and subsequently area was taken into the cordon. The local Auqaf Committee was engaged to convince the militants to come out, said police spokesman.
The police spokesman said that government forces also appealed the militants to come out however, the militants turned down the offer and consequently the operation had to be carried out in a deliberate manner keeping intact the sanctity of the mosque.
“In this operation, one army man also sustained bullet injuries and was evacuated to hospital for medical treatment,” he said.
“In another incident at Noor Bagh in Srinagar city, government Forces acting on a credible input cordoned a cluster of houses where the hiding militants fired indiscriminately resulting in the death of an individual identified as Saleem Malik son of Mohammad Yaqoob Malik,” the police spokesman said.
Police have initiated an investigation in all the cases, the spokesman said.