Kupwara: An unidentified militant was killed in a gunfight with government forces in Kantpora village of Lolab area in Kupwara district on Thursday night.
After launching the search operation in the area, the forces were attacked with stones by the residents in a bid to help the besieged militants escape. The police fired teargas canisters and empty shots in air to disperse the civilians.
Because of intense protests, the operation against the militants was suspended in the night after an exchange of firing for some time.
The army and police had asked the villagers to leave the village following the clashes.
“We spent the night in the neighbouring village,” said Aijaz Ahmad.
When people returned on Friday morning, they found a bullet-riddled body in a pool of blood near the local graveyard.
Kupwara additional superintendent of police Fayaz Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that the body was of a militant who died due to injuries he received during the brief gunfight on Thursday night.
“He was a foreign militant,” Fayaz said.
Tens of hundreds of people from Kanthpora, Potushahi and Dooniwari attended the funeral of the deceased, shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
After burying him, the mourners tried to march towards Kupwara town but were stopped by police midway, triggering clashes between the two.
The protestors tried to storm the army post of 28 RR battalion and police fired tear smoke shells to disperse them.
A youth, Mohammad Amir of Charkote, received head injuries after being hit by a teargas shell. He was later shifted to Kupwara hospital for treatment, where his condition is said to be stable.
The protesters accused the army of firing indiscriminately at the mosque, where the militants were suspected to be hiding, damaging its window panes.
All shops and business establishments remained closed on Friday as a mark of respect for the militant. (with inputs from Firdous-ul-Islam)