Handwara: Police said a woman was killed in “cross firing” during a gunfight in Handwara area on Sunday night in which three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed.
A police spokesperson said that the army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles and the 92 Bn CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in Mir Mohalla area of Unisoo in Handwara on Sunday night. During the search operation, militants hiding in the house of Abdul Hamid Mir fired upon the search party and a gunfight started. Three unidentified militants of LeT were killed, the spokesperson said.
“During the encounter, one lady got injured in the cross firing and unfortunately she succumbed to her injuries,” the spokesperson said.
According to locals, after the gunfight was over people came out and found a woman lying in a pool of blood. Locals said that people were running for safety when the gunfight broke out and it was then that the woman was hit by a bullet in her head.
The slain woman has been identified as Mysara, wife of Ishfaq Ahmad. She was the mother of a girl child.
A large number of people assembled in the village and started chanting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. The people took the body of the slain on their shoulders and blocked the Kupwara-Sopore road for hours. The people blamed government forces for firing indiscriminately towards residential houses, during which the woman was hit by a bullet.
Thousands of people later offered funeral prayers for the slain woman and buried her in the local graveyard.
The government authorities suspended mobile internet in Handwara and Sopore areas soon after the gunfight was over.
MLA Langate Engineer Rashid held a protest in Handwara and blamed government forces for the killing of the woman.
SSP Handwara Gulam Jeelani did not respond to repeated calls from this reporter.