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Over 50 injured in Kulgam clashes, 3 Jaish militants escape

Security personnel stand guard near the encounter site at Tazipora in Kulgam district of Kashmir on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

Security personnel stand guard near the encounter site at Tazipora in Kulgam district of Kashmir on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

A fierce gunfight between hiding militants and security forces erupted around 4 a.m. at Tazipora village of Mahmoodpora area in Kulgam

One person was killed and over 50 were injured in clashes that ensued twin operations launched by the security forces against hiding militants in south Kashmir's Kulgam and Shopian on May 29. The militants managed to escape after the Kulgam fight, the police said.

“Three Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants managed to escape after an initial round of fire. We called off the operation in the afternoon. No body was retrieved from the encounter site,” Superintendent of Police, Kulgam, Grinder Pal Singh said.

A fierce gunfight between hiding militants and security forces erupted around 4 a.m. at Tazipora village of Mahmoodpora area in Kulgam, after a joint team of the Army, the CRPF and the police successfully zeroed in on a house where militants were hiding. The house, which was blasted during the operation, turned into a mound. However, after inspecting the debris no body was found, an official said.

The pre-dawn operation, however, saw hundreds of locals pouring on to the streets and clashing with the security forces in Kulgam, in an apparent bid to save the trapped militants.

Security forces used tear smoke shells, live bullets and pellet shotgun to contain the situation. “Around 40 to 50 injured were received at the Public Health Centre Mohammedpora. Most of them were discharged after the first aid,” said Chief Medical Officer, Kulgam, Dr. Fazil Kochak.

Seven severely injured were shifted to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital in Srinagar. The hospital had to raise an alarm for blood donation after falling short of O-ve blood group for the injured.

“It was a scene of a war. Security forces used indiscriminate force against the youth in lanes and bylanes,” said an injured in Srinagar on the condition of anonymity. 

Civilian killed in Shopian

Violent clashes also broke out in Shopian in the afternoon when security forces surrounded a few villages after a tip off about the presence of militants at Pinjoora area.

Over a dozen protesters were injured, as local youth made attempts to converged on the encounter site. 

One civilian, Sajad Ahmad Parray from Shopian's Badrahama, died due to the bullets injuries. "The operation is on in the area," said a police official. The police said it suspect a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander may be among the trapped militants.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq warned the situation may “only exacerbate on the ground if people are targetted with bullets and pellets in the holy month of Ramadan”.

“The use of brute force and pellet guns against civilians continues unabated even during holy month of Ramadan. Human rights abuses, including the use of pellet guns, only exacerbates the situation on ground rather than improving it. Peoples aspirations can only be addressed politically, not through use of force,” said the Mirwaiz.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 3:59:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/three-jaish-militants-escape-amid-clashes-in-kulgam/article27295214.ece

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