Pulwama encounter aftermath: Youth killed, 70 injured in clashes; thousands attend funeral of militants

Srinagar: A 22-year old youth was killed by Indian forces and 70 protesters were injured after massive clashes rocked Kakapora and Awantipora areas of Pulwama district against the killings of three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants on Thursday. Thousands of people attended the funerals of militants and civilian.
Thousands converged at Kakapora to attend the funerals of Majid Mir alias Abbas and Shakir Ahmad. The funerals of the two militants, whose faces had severe burn injuries, were hold jointly and the duo was draped in blankets. Mourners that included men, women and children staged massive anti-India and pro-militant protests on the occasion.
Reports said that amid anger and rage, the funeral of the duo was held in which thousands participated. Later amid massive sloganeering, the duo was laid to rest in local martyrs’ graveyard. After the burial, massive clashes between youth and government forces erupted at Kakapora. According to witnesses, forces used scores of teargas shells and fired pellets indiscriminately on stone-throwing youth.
Sources said 22-year old Tawseef Ahmad Wani of Tengpuna village received a serious injury in his abdomen and head after hit by tear smoke shell. Wani was immediately shifted to nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, they said. Police said after the burial of militants, “a violent mob attacked Police Post Kakapora”.
“In order to save lives and government property, the security forces used riot control measures in which one person identified as Tawseef Ahmad @Chota Geelani resident of Tengpuna Pulwama was injured,” the police spokesman said, adding: “The injured was shifted to hospital for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries.”
Police claimed that the slain youth was a “chronic stone pelter and was involved in 10 stone pelting cases right from 2010 and has been earlier booked two times under PSA”. After news about death of youth spread, the clashes intensified in Kakapora and also spread to Pulwama Town. Sources said a total of 70 protesters are injured and 16 of them have been referred to Srinagar.
The funeral of third militant, Irshad Ahmad of Aghanjipora, Awantipora, was also attended by thousands of people amid anti-India protests. Witnesses said the slain was laid to rest amid sobs and tears. Reports said that after the burial, youth clashed with government in the area as well as at Dangerpora and near Srinagar-Jammu National Highway at Awantipora Town.
Due to clashes near Highway, the traffic was partially blocked. To protest the militant and civil killings, a spontaneous shutdown was observed at Newa, Samboora and few other areas of the Pulwama district. Reports from Shopian said that students clashed with government forces in Main Town against Kakapora killings.
Three LeT militants killed in overnight Pulwama gunfight; Major injured
Three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed in an overnight encounter at Kakpora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday wee hours.
A police officer told news agency GNS that a joint team of army’s 50 RR, SOG and CRPF had launched a cordon-and-search operation at Kakpora late last evening following a specific information about the presence of some militants in the area.
As such the forces intensified the operation and fired some warning shots towards the suspected house, the militants hiding inside tried to break the cordon amid firing. However, the joint team of forces engage them in a gunfight, the officer said.
The exchange of firing continued intermittently throughout the night and minutes before pre-dawn hours the residential house was blasted, the officer said, adding that during searches three bodies with burn injuries were recovered from the debris.
The officer identified the deceased militants as Majid Mir alias Abbas, Shakir Ahmad, both residents of Kakpora and Irshad Ahmad of Aghanjipora, Awantipora. “Two AK-47 and a pistol were recovered from the encounter site”, the officer told GNS. Pertinently, during the initial exchange of firing, an army officer Major Kartik of 50 RR was injured after received a bullet in his hand.
Soon after the news about the encounter and subsequently trapping of three local militants spread in the area last evening, the locals from the adjoining areas mostly youth took to streets and hurled stones on forces. The clashes in the area left several youths injured.
A police spokesman said Majid Hamid Mir was involved in killings of Sarpanch Fayaz Ahmad resident of Kandizal and Sarpanch Fayaz Ahmad resident of Dar Mohalla Kakapora. “He was also involved in grenade attacks on PP Kakapora and bank robbery at Wahibugh,” he said.
The spokesman claimed that Majid along with Shakir Gugjoo were involved in the killing of advocate Abdul Gani – the PDP’s district Pulwama president – and killing of a civilian Aijaz Ahmad resident of Urbugh. “They were also involved in the bank robbery at Nehama,” he added. (GNS)

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