They came ‘dangerous close to gunfight site; regret killings: Police; Internet, train services snapped; Spontaneous strike in Parts of Valley; KU Postpones Exams On Monday; Restrictions imposed in Pulwama
Seven civilians were killed and nearly 50 others injured in government forces action near gunfight site at Sirnoo area of Pulwama district in South Kashmir on Saturday.
Official sources told GNS that a large number of people mostly youth took to streets near the encounter site at Sirnoo village. The government forces used tear smoke shells, pellets and live ammunition to quell the protests.
Sources said the clashes erupted soon after the encounter and subsequently, the death of three militants spread.
Over 50 persons were injured, at least 31 with bullets and pellets. Among them, seven civilians succumbed to injuries. Six were declared dead by doctors at district hospital Pulwama while seventh one Touseef Ahmad Mir son of Asadullah Mir of Urchersoo, Pulwama succumbed at SMHS here.
The other six slain civilians have been identified as Liyaqat Dar of Parigam, Suhail Ahmad of Ballow, Shahbaaz of Monghama, Pulwama, Amir Ahmad Paul of Ashminder, Murtaza Bashir and Abid Hussain Lone of Kareemabad.
Abid was MBA pass out from a university in Indonesia. Abid was an intelligent fellow had returned home last year along with his wife from Indonesia to join his family comprising mother, a retired government teacher, and his brother who is presently pursuing MBA degree in Banglore. “He was targeted. Its target killing,” Abid’s mother told GNS. “He is our martyr,” she added. Abid’s wife could not speak as she was not in position and still in shock.
It has been learnt that sister also accompanied the Indonesian woman now a widow of Abid. “Since their parents have died and their financial conditions not so good, Abid had also brought sister-in-Law to Kashmir and was planning to marry her off here,” a family member said.
Medical Superintendent district hospital Pulwama, Dr Abdul Rashid Parra told GNS that the hospital received 31 persons with bullet and pellet wounds.
“Out of 31, six were declared dead here and one who was referred from here died later in SMHS”, Parra said, adding 14 other injured referred to different hospitals of Srinagar for specialized treatment.
Medical Superintendent SMHS Dr Mohammad Saleem Tak told GNS that they have received six persons including four with bullet wounded and two with pellet eye injuries.
“Among them, one was declared dead (Touseef Ahmad Mir) on arrival and another (Jehangir Ahmad Kar) with a bullet wound in his abdomen has been operated upon and is recovering thus is stable, Tak said.
Medical Superintendent SKIMS Dr Farooq Jan said that they have received two injured including one with a bullet in his leg and another head injury due to stone. “Both injured are being operated upon and their condition is stable, Jan said.
Medical Superintendent Bone and Joint Hospital Barzullah, AR Budoo told GNS that the hospital received seven injured and are undergoing treatment. “The condition of all of them are stable”, Budoo said.
A police spokesman said that on Saturday morning, the encounter broke out after the joint team of army and SOG launched a cordon-and-search operation at Sirnoo village.
“While the operation was going on, a crowd who came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site got injured,” the spokesman said in a statement.
The injured were evacuated to the hospital where unfortunately seven persons succumbed to their injuries, the spokesman said.
Others who were admitted to the hospital are stated to be stable, the spokesman said.
The loss of civilians is deeply grieved. Police once again appealed the citizens to remain away from encounter site as it is a prohibited zone which involves significant danger to life because of the nature of the encounter, the spokesman added.
Spontaneous shutdown in south Kashmir, other parts of Valley
Meanwhile, a spontaneous shutdown was observed in south Kashmir, Srinagar, and parts of Budgam following the killing of seven civilians.
Reports said that soon after the news about the killings spread, there was spontaneous shutdown in entire South Kashmir, Srinagar, and parts of Budgam.
Shops and other business establishments were closed while traffic movement got thinned in these areas with the passage of time.
Reports of protests and clashes were also reported at Sopore where the students of Degree College took to streets and clashed with forces.
The forces used tear smoke shells to quell the protests. However, there was no immediate report of any injury.
Meanwhile, railway authorities have decided to suspend train services in the Valley tomorrow. A railway official told GNS that the decision was taken in wake of the ‘law and order’ situation. Asked about subsequent days especially in wake of the protest strike by JRL, the official said decision as regards Monday and Tuesday would be communicated accordingly.
Deputy Commissioner Pulwama told GNS that there will restrictions in entire south Kashmir on Sunday.