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20 killed on bloody Sunday in three south Kashmir encounters

April 2, 2018
Srinagar, Apr 01: The first Sunday of April 2018 turned out the bloodiest, witnessing killing of at least 20 people including 12 militants, four civilians and three forces personnel in three separate encounters and post-gunfight clashes in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Anantnag districts.
The identity of the 20th slain person was yet to be ascertained when the report was being filed.
At least, 150 protestors were also injured, many of them critically, during clashes with forces.
Seven militants and a civilian were killed in the one of the three gunfights of the day that erupted early Sunday morning in Dragad village of Shopian district.
Six of the slain militants belonged to Hizb outfit while the seventh one was associated with LeT.
Police identified the militants as Yawar Itoo from Safnagri Zainpora, Nazim Ahmad Dar of Urpora Nagbal, Adil Thokar of Humhona, Ubaid Ahmad Malla, a resident of Trenz, Reyaz Thoker of Paderpora, Ishfaq Malik of Pinjoora Shopian and Zubair Turay of Bongam Shopian.
As per police, the group had joined Hizb in 2017 and was involved in series of cases of attacks on forces.
“Killing of Lt. Umer Fayaz is one among them,” a police spokesman said.
A civilian, Mushtaq Ahmad Thoker, reportedly the house owner, too was killed by forces during the encounter.
In another encounter of the day at Dialgam Anantnag, a local militant identified as Rauf Khanday was killed while another surrendered, police said.
“One militant killed in Dialgam Anantnag after efforts of his family and J&K Police failed to surrender, one caught alive. In Dragad Shopian 7 bodies of militants recovered including top commanders,” a top police officer wrote on Twitter.
The house where the militants were holed up was completely damaged during the encounter.
In the third encounter of the day, at least four militants and three forces personnel were killed in Kachdoora area of Shopian.
“Total militants killed in Kachdoora encounter have found to be four whereas about the fifth one police is ascertaining facts,” a police spokesman said.
“Three army men were also killed and a civilian namely Zubair Ahmad Bhat resident of Gopalpora received fire arm injury in cross fire and subsequently succumbed,” a police official said.
One civilian Mehraj-ud-Din Mir, a resident of Okey village in Kulgam was killed during clashes with forces.
One more civilian Iqbal Bhat son of Manzoor Ahmad of Khasipora Shopian who had received bullet injuries was brought dead to SKIMS Soura.
Meanwhile, in a joint press conference by police, army and paramilitary CRPF, the top officials of the forces’ said on Saturday night they launched anti-militancy operations at the south Kashmir three places, following information about the presence of large number of militants.
Giving details about the operation, Director General of Police S P Vaid said that all the slain militants were a combination of different outfits.
Terming it a “special day” for forces, GoC Core 15, Lt Gen AK Bhatt said that two of the militants were involved in the killing of Army officer Umar Fayaz.
“With their killing, the death of Umar Fayaz has been avenged. So my appeal to young people of Kashmir who have picked up the gun is that they should not get carried away by Pak and their proxies,” he said.
On civilian injuries, IG (Operations) of CRPF, Zulfikar Hassan said that they witnessed heavy stone pelting and protests near the encounter sites.
“It could be a design to help trapped militants as lot of people rushed to the encounter sites. But our operations won’t stop with antinational activities by some people. We won’t even shy away from taking strict action also,” he said.
He appealed the people to stay away from encounter sites. “Anybody can get hurt when there is firing from different directions.”
People, eyewitnesses said, swarmed towards the encounter sites and pelted stones at the forces.
Reports said that intense clashes erupted at Draggad and Kachidura after militant killings during which over 200 civilians were injured.
“The forces fired pellets and bullets indiscriminately at people, who were protesting in the village. Many have been injured grievously,” an eye witness told The Kashmir Monitor.
Reports said that clashes erupted in Srinagar parts and north following killing of 11 militants.
In Srinagar, young took to the streets in Nowhatta, Shalteng, Tengpora and Batmaloo.
Traders downed their shutters while traffic movement also decreased after noon.
Following protest at various areas, authorities snapped in south Kashmir and Srinagar district.
“We have snapped internet in three districts initially and later the service was snapped in two more districts,” IGP SP Pani said.
Authorities also blocked train service from south to Srinagar district.


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Avatar of Firdous Hassan

Firdous Hassan

Self-help believer, a gadget lover and nature's admirer.
Presently Senior reporter at The Kashmir Monitor with an experience of nine years in reporting business, crime, defense, politics and environment.Have also contributed to reputed media organizations including First Post, India Spend, Forbes India

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