CASO was being conducted at native village of army man who joined Hizb last year
PULWAMA: Clashes during a search operation by government forces in Sirnoo village of Pulwama district led to pellet injuries to five civilians, among them a 65 year-old-woman, Saja Begum. The woman and one of the injured youths have been referred to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar due to the seriousness of their injuries.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Pulwama Muhammad Aslam Choudhry told Kashmir Reader that government forces received inputs about presence of 2-3 militants, including Zahoor Ahmad Thoker, in Sirnoo village. Zahoor Thokar was in the Territorial Army’s Engineering unit but deserted to join the Hizbul Mujahideen in July last year. Sirnoo is his native village.
Soon after the search operation was begun at Kar Mohalla locality of the village, scores of youth took to streets and started pelting the government forces with stones. The forces fired tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse them, locals said.
The operation was called off in the evening after no militant was found in the village.
A 65-year-old woman identified as Saja Begum, wife of Mohammad Assan Kar, was hit by pellets in her right eye when she was inside her home while clashes were going on outside, locals told Kashmir Reader. Four other youths also sustained pellet injuries and were taken to district hospital Pulwama for treatment, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Abdul Rashid Parra, told Kashmir Reader. He said that the woman and a youth were referred to SMHS Srinagar for specialised treatment.
The SSP Pulwama confirmed that a few persons, including a woman, sustained injures during clashes in Sirnoo village. He also said that he had received complaint from locals that government forces damaged property during the operation. “We are investigating the matter,” he said.
A local resident said that government forces barged into a few residential houses and damaged property and also beat up a few youths.
Zahoor Ahmed Tokar was posted in the 173 Territorial Army (Engineering) regiment when he fled with his AK rifle and three magazines to join the Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit.