Protestors help militants break cordon; 15 civilians injured by pellets, one in eye
Hajin: A policeman of the special operations group (SOG) of JK Police was killed on Sunday morning in a gunfight with militants in Hajin’s Mir Mohalla in Bandipora, where protesting youths helped the trapped militants break the government forces’ cordon and escape.
Locals said the gunfight began at about 5am and did not continue for long. Scores of people gathered around the site as soon as the word about the gunfight spread. Announcements were made on loudspeakers asking people to come out and disrupt the operation of government forces. According to police officials, the protestors “gave militants a way out to escape the cordoned area”.
In the exchange of fire, an SOG cop identified as Zaheer Ahmad Khan, son of Tej Mohammad Khan of Poonch in Jammu region, sustained injury and was taken to Srinagar’s army hospital for treatment. He succumbed to his injuries at the hospital, police said.
In the clashes with protestors, government forces fired pellets and teargas shells, causing injuries to more than a dozen people. “Fifteen persons were brought with minor pellet injuries. One among them was hit in the eye and he was shifted to Srinagar,” said Block Medical Officer of Hajin, Dr Tariq. He said there was no one with bullet injury.
Locals alleged that government forces ransacked windowpanes of residential houses and beat up several civilians during the operation. Internet services were suspended during the operation and were restored in the afternoon.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bandipora, Sheikh Zulfikar Azad, told Kashmir Reader, “We lost an SOG personnel in the encounter. No militant was killed, as they managed to escape. No other forces personnel was injured in the encounter,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh led the ceremony to lay floral wreaths on the body of the policeman. The police spokesperson said that Inspector General of Police Munir Ahmad Khan, IG Traffic Jagjit Kumar, DIG CKR Ghulam Hassan Bhat, officers of army/CRPF, SSP and DySP of the district were present at the ceremony.