68 injured after forces kill 6 militants; 1 civilian, trooper dead, 5 with bullets shifted to Srinagar; 15 hit by pellets, 3-yr-old among them
Shopian: The police claimed on Sunday that “all notorious terrorists of the belt have been neutralised”, after a nocturnal encounter left three top commanders among six militants of Lashkar and Hizb, and a Territorial Army soldier from Kashmir’s Kulgam, dead in Batgund area of Kapran in district Shopian on Sunday.
A 15-year-old civilian resident of Kulgam, Nouman Ashraf, was hit by a bullet and died of the injuries. In what locals described as “unprovoked, indiscriminate firing”, government forces showered civilians with pellets, and also fired bullets, to leave 68 persons injured, among them a 3-year-old baby girl.
The slain militant included Umar Majid @ Hanzala whose pictures of posing at the clock tower in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk had recently surfaced on social media.
It was claimed that such pictures were taken after a meeting of three militant outfits at Hazratbal Srinagar. Police claimed that the pictures were doctored.
Police said that the exchange of fire started at about 1:00 AM. Two residential houses were destroyed during the firefight. The operation lasted nine hours, police said.
Locals of Batgund said that at about 11pm on Saturday night, they heard movement of forces in the village. Soon, searches began to be carried out. At about 1am, intense firing started in the village, making people aware that an encounter had started in the village peripheries.
According to doctors posted at district hospital Kulgam, 16 injured persons were brought during the day among whom three had bullet injuries and three had pellet injuries.
“One person, Nouman Ashraf, resident of Bolsu village of Kulgam, was brought dead to hospital. Three with bullet injuries and three with pellet injuries were shifted to SMHS Srinagar for advanced treatment and 10 persons were treated in the DH,” an in-charge doctor at the hospital told Kashmir Reader.
Doctors said that among the pellet injured was a three-year-old girl who, too, was referred to Srinagar.
Doctors posted at Shopian hospitals told Kashmir Reader that 51 injured including two with bullet injuries were received in two different hospitals of the district, DH Shopian and PHC Vehil. “Two with bullet and four with pellet injuries were referred to SMHS for specialised treatment,” a doctor at DH Shopian said, adding that one youth with bullet injury was shifted under critical conditions.
Doctors at PHC Vehil said that a total of 15 injured were received at the hospital. “Seven with pellet injuries were shifted to Srinagar while eight were discharged after treatment at the PHC,” a doctor there said.
One person with pellet injuries was shifted to district hospital Anantnag, he added.
The army man slain in the encounter was identified as Nazir Ahmad, resident of Ashmuji village of district Kulgam. He was part of 162 Territorial Army and was currently posted with 34 RR of army.