Three militant of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in a gunfight in north Kashmir’s Sopore town on Saturday morning, police officials said.
The officials said exchange of fire broke at Amargarh village, when joint teams of the police, Army and CRPF launched an cordon and search operation after an input about militants presence.
“As the cordon was being laid around the suspected houses, militants opened fire to break the cordon. The fire was returned and in the exchange of fire three militant were killed,” a police officer said.
He said a police man was also injured in the gunfight whose condition was stated to be stable.
“We have also recovered arms and ammunition from the encounter site,” he said.
The three LeT militants (all locals), were later identified as Javed Ahmad Dar of Khanpora area of old town Baramulla, Abid Hamid Mir of Hajin Bandipora and Danish Ahmad Dar son of Ghulam Hassan Dar Batpora Sopore, police said.
Restrictions imposed in North
As the news about killing of Khanpora slain militant spread, authorities imposed curfew like restrictions in old town area of Baramulla district of North Kashmir.
Locals said huge contingent of police and forces were deployed in Khanpora locality of Baramulla town.
They said all the entry and exit point of old town Baramulla were sealed by police and people were not allowed to move.
Curfew like restrictions were imposed in parts of Sopore town including main chowk, Batpora, Bus stand, Down town and Chankhan areas as a precautionary measure to prevent any protests.
However, reports said that protests and clashes erupted in the area after group of youth assembled at Batapora who shouted pro-freedom slogans and pelted stones on government forces.
However, the forces retaliated by lobbing scores of tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters, triggering chaos and complete shutdown in the town.
Also, cellular and mobile Internet services excluding Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district were suspended post killing of three LeT militants in Sopore township of the district.
The services were suspended as “precautionary measure” in Baramulla district.
The mobile Internet services barring broadband were also snapped here in the district.
Schools colleges closed
Further, authorities ordered closure of all schools and colleges in Baramulla and Sopore townships.
Thousands participate in Funeral Processions
Meanwhile, thousands of people including men and women participated in funeral procession of LeT millitant Javeed Ahmed Dar of Khanpora at Shaheed graveyard of his native village on Saturday afternoon.
Witnesses said people despite restrictions assembled at Khanpora after learning about the killing of the slain militant on Saturday morning.
According to reports men and women attended the funeral procession of the slain LeT militant amid pro-Islam, pro-azadi and anti-India sloganeering. Amid chants of pro-militant slogans Javaid was laid to rest.
Local sources said that thousands of people despite restrictions had assembled at Khanpora to attend the last rites of the slain militant.
Also, funeral prayers of Abid Hamid Mir, one of the slain militants were led by his father Abdul Hamid Mir.
An eye witness said that thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of Abid at Hajin.
Abid was laid to rest in Martyr’s graveyard in Hajin amid pro-freedom slogans.
Youth injured during clashes
Meanwhile, three persons were also injured when Army personnel opened fire at a group of stone-pelting youths in Bandipora district.
Police official said group of youth pelted stones on Army vehicles which were passing through S.K. Bala locality in Sumbal area of Bandipora.
“Army personnel opened fire to disperse the mob, resulting in injuries to three persons,” he said.
The injured have been referred to a hospital here for treatment, he added.
Meanwhile, another youth identified as Faisal Ahmad from Sopore also sustained critical injuries during clashes after he was hit by a shell on his head.
Witnesses said he was rushed to SDH Sopore where from he was referred to SMHS Srinagar for further treatment.
Protests in South Kashmir
Protests were held in South Kashmir’s Anantnag township on Saturday. Angry youth pelted stones on private vehicles and security men leading to clashes in the area. The protests led to a complete shutdown in the town as most of the shops remained shut for the day following the protests.