Encounter underway in J&K's Kulgam

Delia Walker
April 12, 2018

According to a senior police official, amid impediments created by the locals in carrying out the operation against the hiding terrorists whose numbers is believed to be between three and four, the security forces finally used heavy explosives to destroy the house in which the terrorists were holed up.

Four civilians and a soldier were killed on Wednesday as a fierce gunfight between militants and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district sparked off violent street protests and a call for a two-day shutdown in the Valley.

Local residents started pelting security personnel with stones, leading to clashes, they said, adding that some civilians were injured.

Police said the encounter erupted late last night following inputs about the presence of militants. They said the militants were able to escape. Five civilians were also killed in subsequent clashes with government forces.

Sada Gunakara Rao was 24 years in age and had joined the Army in 2012. The protesters, shouting slogans eulogizing dead militants and demanding an end to Indian rule over the region, were marching in solidarity with the militants and to help them escape the security cordon.

"Four civilians identified as Sarjeel Sheikh of Khudwani, Bilal Ahmad Tantray of Frisal, Faisal Ilahi of Shopian, Aijaz Ahmad Palla of Bijbehara who were injured in the crossfire have also succumbed to their injuries", the police said in a statement. Another civilian is seriously injured.

ANI reported that owing to the ongoing encounter, mobile internet services were suspended in Kulgam and Anantnag districts of South Kashmir.

Protests were also held at National Institute of Engineering in Srinagar.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, the leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik gave the call for strike, tomorrow.

The encounter in Kulgam today comes days after the Indian forces successfully neutralized a total of 13 Hizbul Mujahideen militants in a spree of encounters conducted on April 1.

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