7 civilians, 3 militants, Army man killed during Pulwama gunfight, over 60 injured | KNO

Thousands participate in last rites of slain militants, civilians
7 civilians, 3 militants, Army man killed during Pulwama gunfight, over 60 injured | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, December 15 (KNO) : At least seven civilians were killed in post gunfight clashes while as three militants and an Army man were also killed in encounter that raged between forces and militants in Kharpora Sirnoo in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Police said that 55 RR of Army, SOG of Police and 182/183 BN CRPF jointly launched a search operation in the area following the inputs about the presence of militants. Reports said that the forces during the search operation blocked all the entry and exit points to Sirnoo area during which the hiding militants opened fire on the troopers, triggering an encounter. Three militants were killed in the gunfight whose identification was being ascertained till the report was last filed. Nonetheless, seven civilians were also killed during the post encounter clashes that erupted near the encounter site today. Sources told KNO that dozens of people sustained injuries after forces opened fire upon the protesters who were evacuated top the hospitals for treatment. However, seven among them succumbed to their injuries. The slain civilians have been identified as Shahbaz Ali, resident of Monghama village, Suhail Ahmad of Bellow, Liyaqat Ahmad from Parigam, Murtaza of Prichoo, Amir Ahmad Palla of Ashminder and Abid Hussain Lone of Kareemabad and Touseef Ahmad Mir. However, unconfirmed reports said that a trooper who had sustained injuries during the clashes also succumbed to his injuries. Meanwhile, the civilian killings were widely condemned today. The mainstream political leaders or pro-freedom leaders took to the social networking blog and condemned the killings. The former chief ministers including Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the civilian killings in Pulwama, terming it as unfortunate. Meanwhile, the student from Kashmir University staged a protest against the civilian killing. The students as per reports boycotted their classes and assembled in the premises of varsity and staged protest and shouted slogans. Clashes also erupted between students and forces in Sopore town after the students of Degree College Sopore staged a protest over civilian killings. Reports of clashes was also received from Clashes also erupted between the students of Amar Singh College and the forces in Srinagar city. Meanwhile, police in a statement issued to KNO said a search operation was launched jointly by the security forces based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Monghama area of village Sirnoo in District Pulwama today morning. During the search operation, which was an open field with hideout made by the militants, hiding militants fired indiscriminately leading to an encounter. Consequently, Army personnel got injured and one Army jawan succumbed to his injury while others are being treated at a hospital. While the operation was going on, a crowd who came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site got injured. The injured were evacuated to hospital where unfortunately seven persons succumbed to their injuries.Others who were admitted in the hospital are stated to be stable. The loss of civilians is deeply grieved. Police once again appeals the citizens to remain away from encounter site as it is a prohibited zone which involves significant danger to life because of nature of the encounter. In this encounter three terrorists were killed. Bodies were handed over to the legal heirs after completion of medico-legal formalities. One of the killed militants has been identified as Zahoor Ahmad Thoker, son of Abdul Majid Thoker resident of Sirnoo Pulwama. Pertinently, Zahoor had deserted from Army last year and joined HM. He was a known militant commander and was wanted by law for his complicity in a series of crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Several cases were registered against him and the prominent among them are case FIR No. 37/2018 U/S 307 RPC 7/27 I.A.Act P/S Rajpora, Case FIR No. 105/2018 U/S ¾ Exp Sub Act, 427 RPC, 3 P.P.T Act P/S Pulwama, Case FIR No. 124/2018 U/S 7/27 I.A. Act, 148,336,149,307 RPC P/S Pulwama, Case FIR No. 128/2018 U/S ¾ Exp Sub Act 307 RPC P/S Pulwama, Case FIR No. 139/2018 U/S 307 RPC 7/25 ULA of P/S Pulwama pertaining to the killing of policemen Aqib Ahmad Wagay of Puchal Pulwama. Meanwhile,Thousands attended the funeral prayers of militants as well as civilians who were killed today. The people in large number participated in the funeral prayers of the slain militants and civilians during which they raised slogans in favour of freedom and against India. Police has registered a case in the matter. Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition recovered from the site of encounter have been taken in case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other cases.(KNO)