Boy was brought dead to hospital where his father works; 6 others injured in forces’ action, house blown up and set ablaze
Anantnag: Three militants were killed in a gunfight with government forces and a boy studying in Class 9 was killed after government forces opened fire at civilians protesting near the gunfight site, here in Pulwama district on Friday.
At least 6 other civilians were injured in forces’ action, two of them with bullets.
The slain minor has been identified as Faizan Ahmad Khan, son of Dr Abdul Gani, resident of Ladhoo village in Pulwama district.
Faizan was declared brought dead at Pulwama district hospital, where his doctor father is posted at present. They live in accommodation meant for hospital staff.
“He was shot in the chest and was declared brought dead,” a doctor at the hospital said of Faizan.
Pulwama SSP Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam said that police were ascertaining the facts regarding the “unfortunate” killing.
“Initial reports suggest that he was hit by a stray bullet. We are investigating, nevertheless,” Aslam said.
Identities of the slain militants were yet to be officially declared. Police sources told Kashmir Reader that the militants belonged to Lashkar and were Commander Firdaus Ahmad alias Hunzalla of Machpuan, Pulwama; Hilal Ahmad alias Toiib of Lassipora Pulwama; and Sajad alias Abu Mansoor of Kupwara.
Aslam did not confirm these identities. “We are yet to retrieve a body from the site but we are being told that at least two bodies are lying near the house in which the militants were holed up,” Aslam said, adding that the operation was in the concluding stage.
Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid confirmed the killing of the three militants.
“All three militants holed up in Pulwama gunfight have been killed,” Vaid said.
The gunfight started Friday afternoon at about 2:30 PM, minutes after a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) was launched by a joint team of army, paramilitary CRPF and police.
“We had specific inputs regarding the presence of militants in the particular area,” a senior police official told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the holed-up militants fired from a residential house while searches were being carried out in the area.
“The fire was duly retaliated, triggering an encounter. During the course of the gunfight all three militants have been killed,” the official said.
Local sources said that the government forces set ablaze the house where the militants were holed up.
“The forces used IEDs to blow apart the house and later set the house on fire,” local sources said.
Intense clashes erupted soon after the CASO was launched in the area. Hundreds of people, sources said, marched towards the site of the encounter in a bid to save the militants trapped.
“The forces fired live bullets, pellets and tear smoke shells at the protesting people, leaving at least 7 people wounded,” sources told Kashmir Reader.
An official at Pulwama district hospital told Kashmir Reader that 8 injured were received at the hospital.
“Among them, Faizan was brought dead with a bullet wound to his heart. Two others had bullet injuries and have been shifted to Srinagar for specialised treatment. Rest were treated here at the hospital,” the health official said.
The staff at the hospital was devastated and shocked when they received the body of Faizan, son of their colleague and senior doctor, Abdul Gani.
“We are all in shock and gloom. He was the nicest kid around and his father is a very humble man,” a doctor at the hospital said.
Gani and his family lived in a hospital accommodation in Pulwama town.
Later in the evening, Faizan’s body was taken to his village, Ladhoo, near Pampore, where thousands of people had assembled for his funeral.