Civilians killed in firing by militants: Police report
Srinagar: A fresh report has been presented before the State Human Rights Commission by the Deputy Commissioner, Shopian, and the Deputy Inspector General of Police with regard to investigation into the civilian killings which took place during an encounter on January 24, 2018, at Chaigund, Shopian.
The report submitted by DC Shopian before the Commission states that the magisterial inquiry into the killing of Saima Wani and Shakir Ahmed is going on. The report further states that on 24 January, an encounter broke out between militants and security forces at Adoora, Chaigund. During the operation, two militants, namely Firdous Ahmed Lone and Sameer Wani, were killed; three civilians were also badly injured in the cross firing. The two civilians, namely Shakir Ahmed and Saima Wani, succumbed to their injuries. One girl, namely Sumi Jan, is still under treatment.
The report further states that a number of sheep and cattle were also killed during the cross firing.
The report submitted by the Deputy Inspector General of Police also states that on January 24, 2018, Police Station Keegam received reliable information that some militants were hiding in village Chaigund, whereupon a cordon and search operation was launched. The militants fired indiscriminately to break the cordon, which resulted in injuries to Shakir Ahmed Mir, Sumi Jan and Saima Hilal, it said. The injured were shifted to hospital by some locals for treatment. The security forces retaliated in self defense and the gunfight continued.
“Acting upon the information, an FIR no.21/2018 was lodged. The statements of witnesses were recorded. During the course of investigation, it came to light that the two militants were hiding in residential house of Hilal Ahmed Wani, who is the father of militant Sameer Wani and injured girl Saima Wani. The terrorists came out from this house and fired indiscriminately to break the cordon, and it also led to bullet injuries to Shakir Ahmed Mir, Sumi Jan and Saima Wani. After this the militants took refuge in a cow shed of Ghulam Hassan Bhat but were eliminated after fierce gun battle. Among the injured, Shakir Ahmed and Saima Wani succumbed to their injuries, and accordingly offences under section 302, 427 were incorporated in the case. The medical record in respect of deceased civilians is being collected from concerned hospitals. However, the investigation of the case is going on,” the report states.
The petition filed by human rights activist Ahsan Untoo before the SHRC had stated that “Saima Wani, who was the sister of Hizb militant Sameer Wani, and Shakir Ahmed Mir were hit by bullets during the encounter”. The petition had sought a thorough investigation into these killings and had prayed before the Commission to bring the culprits to justice.
Saima Wani succumbed to her injuries on February 10, after battling for life for 18 days in the ICU of the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar. Wani died due to infection in her brain. The bullet which hit her had fractured her skull, thereby entering her brain and leading to her death.