Clashes erupt over civilian deaths in Srinagar

Mar 06, 2018, 08:49 IST | Agencies

The deaths in Shopian occurred after a militant travelling in a car attacked an Army vehicle checkpost

Women wail during the funeral of civilians who were killed in a shootout in Shopian district of south Kashmir on Monday. Pic/PTI
Women wail during the funeral of civilians who were killed in a shootout in Shopian district of south Kashmir on Monday. Pic/PTI

Hundreds of people, including some gun-toting militants, on Monday attended the funeral of a slain Lashkar-e-Taiba commander in south Kashmir despite authorities restricting people's movement and internet curfew clamped across the Kashmir Valley, a day after four civilians and two insurgents were killed in a shootout with the Army.

Dozens of clashes involving stone pelting erupted in Shopian, as people came out on the streets to protest alleged civilian deaths in the south Kashmir district on Sunday evening. While the security forces claim that all those killed were militants or their over-ground workers, separatist leaders and locals alleged that four of them were civilians.

The deaths on Sunday evening occurred after a militant travelling in a car attacked an Indian Army's mobile vehicle checkpost near Pahnoo village in Shopian district, some 60 km south of Srinagar.

Four persons were confirmed dead on Sunday night and two more bodies were recovered on Monday morning, police said. Police said they recovered the bullet-ridden body of Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Ashiq Hussain Bhat at Saidpora area in Shopian, about six km from the firing spot. He was missing since November 13, 2017.

"Preliminary investigation suggests that Bhat's death was part of Sunday's gunfight in Pahnoo village. Further investigation is on," a police officer said. The body of a civilian, Gowhar Ahmad Lone, 24, was also found on Monday morning, some 250 metres away from the gunfight site.

Sunjawan attack mastermind killed
Security forces on Monday killed Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Mufti Waqas, believed to be the mastermind of last month's Sunjuwan terror attack, during an encounter in South Kashmir's Awantipora, officials said. Acting on a specific intelligence input, a small team of the Army along with the elite Special Operations Group cordoned off the Hatwar area in Awantipur and carried out a "surgical attack" on a house, the Army said.

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