Pulwama: A paramilitary CRPF man was killed and a civilian was injured during a nocturnal gunfight between government forces and militants, here in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.
The militants, believed to be three in number, after engaging forces in a gunfight managed to escape. They also decamped with the service rifle of the slain CRPF man.
The CRPF man killed has been identified as Mandeep Kumar of the 182 Bn. The injured civilian, in whose house the militants were allegedly holed up, has been identified as Bashir Ahmad Bhat.
Bhat has a bullet wound to his left shoulder and is stable, as per health officials.
The gunfight raged in Chinar Bagh locality of Takiya Wangam village in Pulwama district. As per police sources, a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO), based on inputs regarding presence of militants, was launched half an hour past Friday midnight.
“The militants opened indiscriminate fire in a bid to break the cordon. In the firing a CRPF man was injured, who later succumbed to his injuries. The house owner was also injured,” a police official said.
Intense clashes erupted soon after gunfire was heard in the area. Hundreds of locals came out and tried to march towards the site of the encounter in a bid to save the militants.
Public address systems of mosques were used to urge people to come out and save the militants, while taranas were also played on the loudspeakers, almost throughout the night.
In the ensuing chaos, the militants managed to sneak out of the cordon.
Police said that the militants, taking advantage of the darkness, fled the spot.
The militants, as per sources, also took along the weapon and ammunition pouch of the slain CRPF man.
CRPF spokesperson Sanjay Sharma acknowledged that the weapon of the slain CRPF man was missing. “Yes, his weapon is missing and we are trying to ascertain whatever happened to it,” he told Kashmir Reader.
Local sources said that two houses were damaged by the government forces in the course of the operation, which was concluded at about 8:00AM Saturday morning.
“The forces used petrol to set fire to the houses. One of the houses was damaged completely and the other partially,” locals told Kashmir Reader.
SSP Pulwama Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam also confirmed that two houses were damaged in the course of the gunfight.