SHOPIAN: A brief exchange of gunfire between militants and government forces in Jamnagri village in Shopian district on Wednesday afternoon was followed by street clashes in which youths pelted government troops with stones and the troops retaliated with tear smoke shells and stun grenades.
Villagers in Jamnagri said they heard only three gunshots near the village orchards and there was no retaliatory fire. They said the gunshots were heard at about 4:40 in the afternoon, when a cordon and search operation (CASO) was underway in the village.
Eyewitnesses said that soon after the exchange of fire, scores of youth hit the streets and pelted the government troops, who were part of the CASO, with stones. The troops retaliated with tear smoke shells and stun grenades, they said. The clashes were still going on when this report was filed.
Some locals who claimed to have witnessed the clashes said that as many as five persons sustained pellet injuries in the clashes. However, no health official confirmed any pellet injury.
At Gagren area of Shopian town, two youths sustained pellet injuries after a forces convoy was pelted with stones in the area. Witnesses said that soon after the stone-pelting, the forces retaliated with pellet firing, in which two youths sustained injuries. One of the injured was identified as Rayees Ahmad, a resident of Gagren, who according to locals is mentally unstable.
Later, clashes broke out in Nadwav village between forces and protesters. Local sources said that the protesters hurled stones on forces vehicles and the forces retaliated with tear smoke shells and stun grenades.
When contacted for his comments, Senior Superintendent of Police Shopian Shailandra Kumar Mishra said, “I am busy at this time.”
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Shopian didn’t respond to repeated calls from this reporter to ask about the number of injured persons brought to Shopian hospitals.
Mobile internet services were again snapped in Shopian district after three hours of being restored after a 16-day suspension.