A civilian and two militants were killed, while two army men were injured in an overnight encounter between the security forces and the militants in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Monday.
Locals allege that the civilian – Asif Tantray was killed after the security personnel opened fire on a group of protesters near the encounter site on Sunday evening. The holed up militants were killed in a 13-hour-long operation by the security forces.
According to the police, the encounter began on Sunday evening, after they had got a tip off about the presence of militants in the Redwani Bala village.
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“The encounter started on Sunday evening and it was suspended due to darkness, but today the encounter was resumed and the contact with the militants was re-established resulting in killing of the two militants,” the police said.
The slain militants have been identified as Javaid Ahmad of Redwini Bala village and Idrees Ahmad Nengroo of Budroo village, Kulgam district. Both the militants, according to police belonged to LeT outfit. The killings of the militants and a civilian sparked massive protest in the area.
Locals said that the slain civilian, who succumbed to his injuries on Monday morning, was hit by a bullet after security forces allegedly opened fire to disperse hundreds of villagers, who had gathered near the encounter site on Sunday evening.
Police, however, said that the civilian died of the stray bullet fired by the “militants”.
“There were no protests in the area when the civilian was hit by a bullet,” said SP Kulgam Mumtaz Ahmad. “Asif received the bullet injury near his home which is 400 metres away from the encounter site.”
Deputy Commissioner Kulgam Ravinder Kumar Bhat on Monday ordered a magisterial inquiry in to the incident.
“Additional District magistrate Kulgam has been appointed as an inquiry officer, and the report will be submitted within a month,’’ DC said.