Four civilians and an army personnel were killed during an encounter in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district today morning.Reports said that the two militants who were holed up have managed to escape from the gunfight site in Khudwani area of the district.Reports said that as locals were clearing the rubble, they found both the militants in an injured condition. They said one militants has managed to escape from the gunfight site while another was still with the locals at the site in an injured condition.Reports added at least 50 others injured during clashes near the encounter site between government forces and locals where three militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba were believed to be trapped inside a house.Meanwhile one of the doctors at SMHS Hospital told Press Trust of Kashmir that two youth, who had sustained bullet injuries, were brought to SMHS Hospital from Qaimoh Kulgam. They were being operated upon. Two more people, they said, were being given preliminary treatment for eye injuries due to pellet shot guns.A doctor at Qoimoh hospital confirmed Press Trust of Kashmir that a 16-year-old civilian Bilal Ahmad Tantray of Qoimoh was brought dead. He had bullet injuries on the right side of his chest, the doctor said. He said the hospital received 35 injured persons having bullet, pellet and injuries due to teargas shells. Earlier, a civilian, Sharjeel Ahmad Sheikh son of Abdul Hameed of Khudwani, was killed by the government forces near the encounter site.Officials confirm Press Trust of Kashmir that the deceased, identified as Bilal Ahmad Dar, 13, a resident of Kujjar village in Qaimoh tehsil of Kulgam district, was declared brought dead at sub-district hospital Qaimoh. He was brought there from the site of clashes.Another civilian, Sharjeel Ahmed Sheikh, 28, was hit by a bullet and died.“He was referred to Kulgam hospital from where he was shifted to Anantnag hospital. But he succumbed to injuries during treatment,” a doctor who attended to the slain youth said, adding that at least half dozen wounded protesters were brought to different hospitals from the site of clashes.
Police said the encounter erupted late last night following inputs about the presence of militants. “A joint team of the army and special operations group of police cordoned off the area and appealed the militants to surrender,” a senior police officer said.An army soldier was killed and two others injured during the encounter at Wani Mohall area of Khudwani. The encounter started between militants and government forces started late last night.Official sources said that a joint team of army’s 1 R, SOG and CRPF laid a siege at Wani Mohalla area of Khudwani at around 11:30 pm.The joint team of forces launched a cordon in the area following inputs about the presence of some militants. As the joint party approached the suspected spot, the hiding militants opened fire triggering off a gunfight.Three army personnel suffered injuries and were removed to army hospital at Badamibagh where one of them succumbed to injuries.As soon as the news of encounter spread in the village, hundreds of residents started gathering around the house and pelted stones at the forces, apparently to distract the security personnel in an attempt to help the holed up militants in escaping from the siege.Witnesses said the forces fired teargas and pellets to disperse the protesters who were trying to disrupt operation but they didn’t relent following which the Army opened fire, “They shot directly at the protesters, resulting in injuries to many of them,” witnesses said.Authorities have suspended mobile internet services in Kulgam, Anantnag districts to prevent any law and order problems. All the educational institutions have also been ordered to remain closed.Meanwhile Class work was suspended at Government Degree College Sopore after students held protests and clashed with the forces over the killing of a civilian in Kulgam.
Reports said that students tried to block the road Iqbal market in the town, however forced chased them away.However student protests erupted in Kashmir University on against the killing of three civilians during clashes in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.Meanwhile train services have been suspended in South Kashmir as a precautionary measure following a gunfight between militants and government forces in Wani Mohalla in Khudwani area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.Meanwhile, the students of Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) Awantipota also held a protest inside campus against the killings in Kulgam district.An eyewitness said that students have assembled inside the campus shouting pro-Azadi slogans to condemn the killings. An official from IUST while confirming the incident said that the students have gathered inside the campus and are protesting against the killing of three civilians.Meanwhile the students of Bemina Degree College lodged a strong protest against the civilian killings in district Kulgam. Press Trust of Kashmir has learnt that the protesting students tried to block the road but later concluded their protests peacefully.When contact official they told Press Trust of Kashmir that “As a precautionary measure, we decided to close the college today.” Also, Women’s College MA road Srinagar closed the College to prevent any protests.So far, three youth and one army man have been killed while over 50 have been injured in ongoing gunfight at Khudwani area of district Kulgam.“We have suspended train services in South Kashmir for security reasons,” a railway official said. However, trains continued to chug on Srinagar-Budgam in central Kashmir to Baramulla in north Kashmir as per schedule, officials said.However internet services were suspended following the encounter between the government forces and militants in Khudwani village of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.Official confirmed Press Trust of Kashmir that police have sent a communication to the cellular companies wherein it has directed them to snap down the mobile internet data in South Kashmir areas.Meanwhile Joint Hurriyat Leadership Calls for Valley Wide Shut down on Thursday and Friday against civilian killings in Kulgam. (PTK)