Two militants and a civilian were killed in an encounter between security forces and Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives on Friday at Chenigam in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. Locals, however, alleged that the civilian died when the security forces opened fire at protestors.
DIG (South Kashmir) Alok Kumar told The Indian Express that the two militants were killed during a gunbattle, which started Thursday night. “During the encounter, two Army personnel, and a CRPF man sustained injuries,” he said, adding the civilian, cousin of one of the slain militants, was wounded during cross-firing and later succumbed to injuries.
A police spokesman in Srinagar said that acting on tip-off, the security personnel cordoned off the area and launched a search operation. “The joint party was fired upon by militants, triggering an encounter,” he said, adding arms and ammunition have been recovered from the site.
The police official said that as the security forces were retrieving the bodies from the encounter site, an injured militant rose from the debris and started firing at them, leaving the three security personnel and the civilian injured.
Soon after the joint forces left the area, people took to streets and started protesting against the Army and the police. The villagers alleged that the security personnel fired at the protestors that left Tariq Ahmad Bhat dead.
The civilian was the cousin of slain militant Abbas Malla. The other militant killed in the encounter has been identified as Manzoor ul Haq.
The police said that Abbas had joined LeT in 2013 and was involved in the attack on a police party at Arwani and the recent bid on a CRPF team at Lavdora in Qazigund.
Haq is said to be involved in the murder of a civilian in Shopian in Maya and also an attack on CRPF personnel.