Shopian: Sunday’s anti-militancy operation was the fifth nocturnal gun battle in Shopian district this month, so far.
Two residential houses, one of them belonging to Bashir Ahmad, in Batgund Kapran were destroyed by government forces during the firefight. Four such nocturnal encounters had already taken place this month: in Gagren, where one militant and a civilian was killed on November 3; then in Safnagri, where two militants including a former solider were killed on November 6 (both militants were killed outside residential houses); and in Reban,
two militants killed in the courtyard of a residential house on November 18.
Four Hizb militants were killed last Sunday in a nocturnal encounter at Nadigam village in the district. Since November 15, as many as nine persons have been abducted by suspected militants in the district, three of them killed on charges of being informers.
The district has remained shut for most of the days this month due to protests and mourning for the killing of 15 militants and a civilian this month.
Violent clashes broke out in Batgund today right outside the district police lines of Shopian. Eyewitnesses told Kashmir Reader that scores of people including relatives of the slain militants were waiting there for the bodies, when some protestors began hurling stones. Government forces hit back with tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse the crowd.
A witness of the scene said that three motorbikes were set ablaze by government forces near police lines Shopian. Relatives and family members alleged that forces set ablaze four motorbikes and damaged three cars.
“Four bikes turned into ashes and three cars were damaged by the forces when we went to police lines for receiving bodies of our kin,” the relative of a slain militant told Kashmir Reader.
Internet was suspended in the district earlier in the day and has not been restored as yet.