Three militants were killed in an encounter with security forces following a cordon and search operation in Laroo area in Kulgam district of South Kashmir on Sunday morning. Six civilians were also killed after an explosive went off at the encounter site.
As the gunbattle raged on, clashes broke out between locals and security forces at the spot and 30 people were injured. A local health official in Kulgam told The Indian Express that the injured people were later taken to the health centre in the district. A security personnel was also hurt in the incident.
Officials said locals began to gather at the encounter site despite being asked to step back. It was during this time that an explosive claimed six lives. Confirming the deaths, Deputy Commissioner of Kulgam Shamim Ahmed told The Indian Express that a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each has been announced for the families of the victims.
A police statement read, “The civilians visited the encounter site immediately after the operation in spite of request not to visit as thorough search is to be made for explosives once flames douse. They didn’t listen and visited the spot immediately after forces withdrew and some explosive substance went off, resulting in injuries to civilians. One civilian, namely Ubaid Laway, son of Mohd Maqbool Laway of Laroo died. We request them not to visit the site again.”
This is the second encounter in the last 12 hours after a gunbattle took place in Pulwama district on Saturday evening.
To protest against the deaths of the civilians, the Joint Resistance Leadership has called for a shutdown on Monday and sit-in-protest at Lal Chowk on Tuesday.