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Two militants, civilian killed; scores injured in Shopian

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Photo/ Munib-ul-Islam

Srinagar, Jul 10: Two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, including a Pakistani national, were today killed in an encounter while a civilian died and scores of other sustained injuries during clashes with government forces near the scene of gunbattle in Shopian district of south Kashmir.

A police spokesman said a joint patrol of the government forces launched searches in the Kundallan area of the district in the early hours today following leads about the presence of militants there.

As the searches were going on, militants hiding inside the house fired upon the search party, who fired back, leading to an encounter, he said.

Two militants were killed in the encounter, spokesman police said.

He identified the slain militants as Sameer Ahmad Sheikh, a local of Ayand Rawalpora area of the district, and Babar from Pakistan. Both militants were affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit, he said.

Police spokesman said Sheikh was a school dropout and had joined the JeM after he was reported missing from his home since April 2018.

“On the basis of documents available, the other terrorist has been identified as Babar, a JeM commander of Pakistani origin. They were involved in many attacks on the security establishments and civilian atrocities,” he said.

The spokesman said some civilians were also injured in cross-firing at the encounter site, who were later evacuated to a hospital for medical attention.

“One of the injured persons later succumbed to injuries while the other injured are stated to be stable now,” he said.

When the operation was in progress, a police official said, a large number of civilians rushed towards the encounter site and started pelting stones at the government forces.

“At least 20 civilians were injured in the security forces action to chase away the protestors,” he said, adding eight among them have been referred to hospitals here for specialised treatment.

However local reports said around 123 persons were injured in the clashes.

“As the gunfight raged between the militants and government forces, civilians came out of their homes and clashed with the forces, who forces fired live ammunition, tear gas and pellets to chase them away, leading to 123 injuries,” witnesses said.

A doctor at District Hospital Shopian said four civilians were referred to Srinagar for specialized treatment.

Among them on Tamsheel Ahmad Khan of Vehil Shopian, who had suffered critical head injuries,  succumbed at SMHS Hospital in Srinagar.

Two soldiers, including a Junior Commissioned Officer, injured in the initial gunfight were shifted to the Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar.

Fearing his militant son trapped, father dies of cardiac arrest

Srinagar, Jul 10: A father of a militant today died of cardiac arrest after hearing rumours that his son was among those trapped in an encounter with government forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir, police said.

Mohammad Ishaq Naikoo reportedly suffered a massive heart attack after being told that his son Zeenat Naikoo was among the militants trapped in the cordon of government forces at Kudullan in Shopian this morning, a police official said.

Naikoo senior, a resident of Meemandar in Shopian, was taken to a hospital where doctors declared him dead, the official said.

Zeenat, who has reportedly joined militant ranks two months ago, was not among the two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, including a Pakistani national, killed in the encounter.

Separatists calls for shutdown

Srinagar, Jul 10: Separatists have called for shutdown in Kashmir on Wednesday against the killing of a civilian during a gunfight in Kudullan village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district today.

Tamsheel Ahmad Khan of Vehil village of the district was killed after the government forces fired at protesters during clashes near the gunfight site. While police said 20 civilians were injured in the forces’ action, locals however claimed that over a 100 people were injured.

Taking to Twitter, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said Joint Residence Leadership (JRL), which besides him also comprises Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Muhammad Yasin Malik, has appealed people to observe strike tomorrow “to register our protest and condemnation.”

“Kashmir turned into a graveyard of its own people by Indian forces as 3 more civilians die today and more than 50 injured! young Tamseel  directly shot at, while 11th class student Ubaid succumbed to his bullets wounds, elderly Ishaq Naikoo died of cardiac arrest as news of his son being under siege reached him!,” Mirwaiz wrote on Twitter.

Mirwaiz said that the government was not even allowing Kashmiris to collectively mourn or protest the killing of “our young martyrs.”

“Every attempt repressed as leadership & activists caged detained or jailed! JRL appeals people to observe #Strike tomorrow to register our protest &condemnation,” he said.

Mirwaiz also appealed people to march towards Martyrs’ Graveyard at Naqshband Sahab (RA) shrine on July 13 to pay homage to “Kashmir resistance”.

“People and leadership will march against #KashmirKillings and assemble at #MartyrsGraveyard Naqshband Sb on July 13,a landmark day in our Resistance to oppression. We also appeal to all nations & every human to help stop the massacre of #Kashmiris at the hands of #IndianArmedForces,” Mirwaiz added.

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