Anantnag: A civilian was killed after being “caught in crossfire during a chance encounter” Sunday afternoon here in Shopian district, police said.
The slain civilian has been identified as Shoaib Ahmad Ganaie, son of Ghulam Muhammad, a resident of Turkwangam village in Shopian district.
“He was brought to Pulwama district hospital, but could not survive the bullet injury he had sustained,” a health official said.
The incident took place at about 2:00 PM Sunday afternoon, “near a bridge connecting Pulwama and Shopian districts,” as per police.
Police have maintained that a joint party of CRPF and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of police came under fire from militants.
“The fire was retaliated and in the crossfire a civilian sustained bullet injury,” a senior police official said, adding that the injured was immediately evacuated to the hospital in Pulwama where he succumbed to his injuries.
The body was handed over to the family, late evening, after completion of medico-legal formalities. Hundreds of people were waiting for the body to arrive at the native village when this report was being filed.
Following the shootout, the police said, a cordon and search operation was launched in the area to try and track down the militants.
“They had however managed to flee. They will be tracked down soon,” the official said.
This is the second such incident in less than a week. On May 9, two civilians were injured in Pandoshan village of Shopian district during a gunfight. Police maintained that the civilians and an army man were injured in firing by militants, as they tried to escape the cordon successfully.
One of the injured civilians succumbed to his injuries the next day in a Srinagar hospital.
Gunfights have been rampant in Kashmir, particularly during the month of April and May. Over 70 militants have been killed this year so far, 23 of them in the month of April.