Pulwama: Clashes between protestors and government forces took place for the third consecutive day in Pulwama town on Tuesday, over demands for the body of a militant who was killed in north Kashmir’s Tangdar sector on May 25. The clashes began after a family in Pulwama district’s Lajoora area claimed that one of the five militants killed by the army in north Kashmir’s Tangdar sector on May 25 was their son, Sheeraz Ahmad Sheikh.
Several youths were said to have sustained pellet injuries during the clashes on Tuesday. Eyewitnesses said that clashes erupted in Washbugh Chowk, Dangerpora Chowk and Murran Chowk of the town, soon after shopkeepers started opening their shops.
Government forces fired pellets and teargas shells to disperse the stone-pelting protesters, witnesses said, adding that many youths sustained pellet injuries.
Two injured were taken to District Hospital Pulwama from where one of them, hit in his eye by pellets, was referred to a Srinagar hospital, sources told Kashmir Reader.
All shops and business establishments closed in the town after the clashes began.
Police and paramilitary sealed the whole town and maintained a blockade on the movement of vehicles and commuters in the town.
Eyewitnesses said that the town was under an undeclared curfew with police vehicles kept as blockades at all the main entry and exit points.
A senior police officer told Kashmir Reader that in the disguise of stone-pelters, many over-ground workers (OGWs) of militants could have entered the town and caused trouble if government forces had not sealed the routes.
“With the sealing of the town, many lives have been saved,” the officer said.
People of the town have been waiting for the past three days for the exhumation of the militant’s body. The exhumation is due after the family of Sheeraz Ahmad Sheikh went to police to say that they recognised their son in the photos of the militants killed in Tangdar on May 25.
Another family in Parigam village of Kulgam district has claimed that their son was also among the militants killed in Tangdar.
Meanwhile, the Markazi Auqaf Committee in Lajoora held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to press its demand for the mortal remains of Sheeraz Ahmad Sheikh. The members of the committee threatened to take to streets if the government failed to hand over the body immediately.
Several family members of Sheeraz went to Tangdar on Sunday after two unidentified youth reached their home at 10.30am and told them that Sheeraz was among the militants killed in Tangdar.
Train services between Banihal and Budgam were suspended on Tuesday after protesters blocked the line at Awantipora, officials said.
Northern Railway’s Kashmir Area Manager said that due to apprehension of law and order problems, the train services from Srinagar to Banihal had been suspended, though trains were running as per schedule between Srinagar and Baramulla.