Anantnag: A brief exchange of gunfire between militants and government forces, which ensued after militants attacked an army patrol, proved fatal for a 17-year-old labourer from Uttar Pradesh who was on his way to work at a brick kiln in Lassipora area of Pulwama district.
Identified as Arjun Kumar, son of Suresh Kumar, resident of Pilibhit area in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh, the teenage labourer was hit by a bullet in his head in the crossfire early Wednesday morning.
A police official from Pulwama confirmed that Kumar succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Srinagar.
“He was shot in the head,” the official said.
The incident took place at about 10:00 AM in Hajidarpora village of Lassipora, where militants attacked a patrol of army’s 55 RR.
“The army men came under indiscriminate fire from militants, which they retaliated to, triggering a brief gunfight between the two,” the police official said.
He said while no one from either side got injured, Kumar who was walking to work was hit by a stray bullet.
“He was immediately rushed to Pulwama district hospital and from there to SKIMS Soura for specialised treatment,” the official said. “He succumbed at SKIMS later in the day.”
Following the shootout, a massive search operation was launched in Hajidarpora and adjoining areas to try and nab the militants, who had managed to flee by then.
Meanwhile, daily life in Pulwama district returned to normal today after two days of shutdown against the killing of a local civilian in firing by government forces on Monday.
Shops, offices, schools and colleges – which had remained shut for two days – opened today. Traffic, too, plied normally in the area.
Train services on the Srinagar-Banihal track, which had been suspended in wake of the situation in Pulwama, were also resumed today.