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Protests in Valley after civilian is killed in gun battle

Shahmala grieves for her son Tariq Ahmad, a civilian killed in a gunbattle, at her residence In Nowbal village, south of Srinagar on Friday.  

Two militants and a civilian were killed on Friday as militants and security forces started a gun battle in the Chinnigam area of Kulgam district on Thursday night. Two Army personnel and a CRPF jawan were injured.

Protests erupted in Chinnigam and surrounding villages and continued till late on Friday evening, as local people said the civilian was killed when security forces opened fire on protesters.

Condemning the incident, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) blamed the security forces for the killing.

“Both were local A-category militants who were involved in several big attacks. The civilian, a cousin of one of the militants, was killed in the crossfire. But rumours are being spread that he was killed in our firing,” DIG, South Kashmir, Alok Kumar, told The Hindu.

According to the police, one of the militants, who was presumed dead, got up and fired indiscriminately, wounding two soldiers. The slain civilian has been identified as Tariq Ahmad Bhat.

The local people, however, said the civilian was killed when security forces opened fire on them as they tried to claim the bodies of the militants. The slain civilian was a cousin of the militant Abbas Malla, who was also killed. Massive protests and stone-throwing followed soon after the gun battle ended on Friday afternoon. “Hundreds of people from around half a dozen villages are out on the roads protesting against the killing and they believe that the civilian was killed by the security forces,” Tanveer Ahmad, a resident of the village, told The Hindu.

“We recovered an AK-47 and an INSAS rifle from the militants. The guns had been snatched from security forces during militant attacks,” Mr. Kumar said.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 9:31:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/protests-in-valley-after-civilian-is-killed-in-gun-battle/article6600367.ece

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