Budgam encounter: One militant, three civilians killed; CM Mehbooba urges restraint, Omar calls situation ‘alarming’

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Durbugh area of Chadoora in the wee hours

By: PTI | Srinagar | Updated: March 29, 2017 12:20:12 pm
budgam, budgam encounter, kashmir, kashmir encounter, chadora, chadora encounter, terrorist encounter kashmir, kashmir news, jammu and kashmir, indian express Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Durbugh area of Chadoora in the early hours today following information about the presence of militants in the area, the police official said. (Express photo: By Shuaib Masoodi)

Three civilians were killed and 17 others injured on Tuesday during an encounter between security forces and militants in Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. The civilians died during clashes with security personnel at the site of the encounter. A militant was also killed in the firing and is yet to identified.

Earlier today, Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Durbugh area of Chadoora in the wee hours following information about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said.

He said the search operation turned into a gunbattle after militants opened fire on security forces. As the security forces were engaged in the exchange of firing with holed-up militants, a large number of protesters started pelting stones at the law enforcing agencies, the official said.

He said one person was hit by a bullet in the neck and rushed to a hospital. He succumbed to injuries on way to the hospital. Four others suffered injuries as security forces fired pellet guns and tear smoke shells in a bid to disperse the protesters, the official said.

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Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed anguish over the death of three civilians and urged restraint from all sides saying issues confronting the state cannot be resolved if violence becomes the norm.

In a statement released by the official spokesman, Mehbooba expressed deep anguish and grief over the death of three youths at Chadoora. “It is highly painful to see the young boys losing their lives,” the chief minister said.

Express photo: By Suhaib Masoodi)

She termed the killings as highly unfortunate and said the people in Kashmir continue to suffer massive collateral damage due to violence of past three decades or so.

Expressing grief over the killing of three youths in security forces firing, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah blamed the centre and state government for the “alarming situation” and advocated talks with all stakeholders.

“By choosing to turn a blind eye towards the unprecedented level of alienation and perpetual uncertainty in Kashmir both the Central Government of Narendra Modi and the State Government of Mehbooba Mufti have compounded the situation in the Valley and pushed the youth into a corner,” Abdullah said in a statement here.

He said the political issue in Kashmir cannot be resolved through rhetoric, operational measures or development.

“There is no alternative to talks. You have to talk to the people of Kashmir and the stakeholders of all shades of opinion with an honest intent to resolve the political issue,” Abdullah said.

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