Three militants, an army man and a civilian are among the five killed in three separate encounters in Kashmir. The day started with a Cordon and Search Operation in Qamarwari in the outskirts of Srinagar where one civilian was killed and hours later one militant and an army man were killed in an encounter at Gasigund Anantnag and two militants were killed in yet another gun fight at Panzan Budgam. 

Refuting the police claims that civilian was killed in a gunfight, the locals of Qamarwari area allege that government forces resorted to indiscriminate firing which resulted in the killing of Saleem Malik a youth of the area. The political parties irrespective of their ideologies have strongly condemned the civilian killing and demanded an impartial probe into the incident. Joint Resistance leadership has called for complete shutdown tomorrow against the killings in Kashmir.

A top police official told KNS that a civilian identified as Saleem Malik son of Mohammad Yaqoob Malik was killed in Noor Bagh area of Srinagar. He said that the forces on a specific tip off cordoned a cluster of houses where the hiding militants fired indiscriminately, resulting in death of Saleem Malik. Officials said that the investigation has been initiated in the case.

Meanwhile, locals of the area refuted the police claims and alleged that government forces immediately after Cordon and Search Operations resorted to indiscriminate firing which resulted into killing of the youth.

In the wee hours of this morning, another encounter broke out in Gasigund village of Dooru in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district after a joint search operation was launched by the government forces.

Police officials said that the search operation in Gasigund village resulted in a gunfight. “In the ensuing encounter, a local militant identified as Asif Malik who was operating as commander of LeT was killed,” officials said, adding that the slain militant was involved in several attacks on forces including the killing of CRPF men at Achabal this year and in many other cases of civilian atrocities.

Police officials added that forces personnel identified as Happy Singh of 19 RR was also killed in the encounter.

They said that incriminating material including arms and ammunition was recovered from the gunfight site.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted between youth and forces during the encounter, which resulted in injuries to scores of people who were either treated locally or shifted to hospitals for treatment. 

Meanwhile, in another similar encounter at Panzan area of Chadoora in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district, two militants affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were killed.

The slain militants according to the police were hiding in the Masjid when they engaged forces in the gunfight.

The officials identified the two slain militants as Sheeraz Ahmad Bhat resident of Kralwari Chadoora and Irfan Ahmad Dar resident of Kakapora Pulwama.

Police said that Irfan Ahmad Dar was working as SPO and had deserted a couple of months ago.

They said that the gunfight broke out after the militants fired upon a search party from a nearby Masjid.

“The local Auqaf Committee was engaged to convince the militants to come out. Forces also appealed them to come out, but, the militants refused the offer and consequently the operation had to be carried out in a deliberate manner keeping intact the sanctity of the Masjid,” police officials said.

Police said that in this operation, one forces personnel also sustained bullet injuries and was evacuated to hospital for medical treatment.

Reports said that clashes also broke out in Panzan area during which forces used tear gas canisters to disperse the stone throwing youth.

Meanwhile, thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of a civilian and the slain militants. People raised pro-freedom slogans during the funeral procession of a civilian who was laid to rest at Eidgah.

Notably, authorities imposed restrictions in Srinagar areas following the CASO in Noor Bagh area.

Police and paramilitary troopers were deployed on roads in strength who had erected temporary barricades, thus halting the vehicular as well as pedestrian movement.

The authorities also snapped the mobile internet services in Srinagar, Budgam and Anantnag districts in the wee hours of this morning.