Curfew continued in the district on Wednesday

With the undeclared curfew continuing in parts of Kupwara district on the second consecutive day on Wednesday, Jammu & Kashmir Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo told the Assembly that all seven unidentified men killed in an encounter with the army and the police on Monday were militants.

Mr. Kichloo sought to allay the apprehensions expressed by residents and many separatist politicians, that the seven men killed in the encounter in Dardpora forests of the Lolab valley were “civilians killed in a fake encounter as in Pathribal or Machhil.”

“The bodies of the seven militants were confirmed to be of militants who were operating in the forests of Lolab. After completing the medico-legal formalities, the bodies were handed over to the local Auquaf Committee which also confirmed that none of the killed militants was a local/civilian. These bodies were then buried in a local graveyard at Lalpora,” he said.

Responding to the People’s Democratic Party’s Abdul Haq Khan and other members of the Opposition, Mr. Kichloo said a mob gathered and shouted anti-national slogans when the post-mortem was being conducted. Suddenly itattacked the Lalpora police station. He claimed that the mob set on fire two sentry boxes of the police station, damaged the building besides one ambulance and seven vehicles.

The Minister said the police fired teargas shells and carried out a lathi charge to prevent the mob from storming the police station.The Opposition MLAs, demanding the lifting of the curfew, staged a walkout.