Police blames militant firing for civilian killings in Khudwani gunfight

Police blames militant firing for civilian killings in Khudwani gunfight
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Says slain civilians charged site to help militants escape

Srinagar: Police have accused four slain civilians for helping militants escape during a gunfight at Khudwani village of Kulgam district on April 11, and claimed that the four were killed in firing by militants.
The four civilians killed in the encounter were identified as Sharjeel Ahmed Sheikh, Bilal Ahmed Tantray, Faisal Ahmad Ali and Aijaz Ahmed Palla. Also a security personnel got killed during the gunfight.
In its report to State Human Rights commission (SHRC) in repsose to a plea, the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Kulgam stated that on April 10 that police, army and CRPF personnel cordoned Wani Mohalla, Khudwani after reliable inputs about the presence of militants in the house of another militant namely Shabir Ahmed Wani was received.
During search operation, the militants fired indiscriminately due to which one security personnel Ganow Krawmoris got injured and later succumbed. In the meantime, police said, huge number of people came from adjacent villages of Khudwani with lathis, stones and iron rods in their hands. “They were led by Sarjeel Ahmed, Bilal Ahmed Tantray, Faial Ahmed, Aijaz Ahmed, Amir Badroo, Sartaj Ahmed Bhat, Adil Ahmed lone, Abdul Salaam Bhat, Abdul Hamid Khanday, Idrees Ahmed Bhat and others. They marched towards encounter site and pelted stones on the security forces. However DIG CRPF and SP Kulgam including other officers who were present on spot tried to persuade the gathering, but the unlawful assembly of people rushed towards the cordoned area. Since the unruly mob were rushing towards the spot, the militants hiding in the house fired indiscriminately and in this heavy firing the four civilians got injured and later succumbed.”
The report added that an FIR (no.10/2018) was registered against the deceased and others wherein during investigation, the deceased civilians and others “had been found involved in offences such as attempt to murder, rioting, mischief and use of force by unlawful assembly for helping the trapped militants escape during the encounter.”
The report further states that the officers present at spot in order to save the life and property of the public decided to stop the operation. However, the investigation of the case is still in progress.
The petition before the SHRC, filed by human rights activist Ahsan Untoo had pleaded that civilian killings were the outcome of irresponsible action from security forces.
He submitted that target killings of civilians at the hands of security forces should be stopped and culprits be brought to justice.