One person was killed and several others injured on Tuesday after security forces opened fire on stone-pelting protesters near the encounter site in Pulwama where two militants were killed, the police said. While there was no official word on the identity of the deceased, locals who had brought him to the hospital said his name was Firdous Ahmad, a police official said.
"One person with fire arm injuries was brought dead at Pulwama district hospital," the official said.
Early on Tuesday, top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Dujana, a Pakistani national wanted in connection with many attacks on security forces, and his aide were killed in an encounter in Pulwama district of Kashmir, PTI quoted the army as saying. As security forces were engaged in the counter-militancy operation, over 100 protesters pelted stones at them, an army official added.
Giving details of the operation, the official said that security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Hakripora area of Pulwama late last night following information about presence of Abu Dujana and his local aide, Arif Lilhaari, in the area. An encounter broke out between the holed up militants and security forces early on Tuesday.
During a press briefing after the encounter on Tuesday Jammu and Kashmir IG Muneer Khan said, "The firing was retaliated and both were neutralised. Inspite of our warning, the people on the behest of militants come in between the operating parties. Today, it happened in the same manner and we lost a civilian life. Let the security forces do their job. I take opportunity and again appeal to the people pelting or no pelting, disruption or no, operations will continue."
"Dujana had become a nuisance in the area. He had become an eyesore for everybody, especially girls. Good riddance, that's it... But the leadership of LeT has been affected. We are hunting other leaders in the area," Lieutanent General J Sandhu, GOC 15 Corps said.
"We have to be careful because there are high number of militants and they ask people to get involved in their activities. Internet will be suspended because we don't want people to indulge in propaganda. So we will watch and deal with the situation," Sandhu added.
RR Bhatnagar, DG CRPF told India Today, "In terms of law and order, we are here to manage it. It is not a question of having a list. The anti-militancy operation is an ongoing process."
Speaking to News18, sources said that on a specific tip-off the house, where the terrorists were holed up, was gheraoed and operations began at around 4.30 am. Dujana, the mastermind behind the Udhampur and Pampore attacks, was believed to be on the first floor along with an aide. Official sources told News18 that last fire was heard around 9.30 am.
According to The Times of India, another LeT terrorist Arif Lilhaari has also been killed in the encounter. Acting on specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in Hakripora village of Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir Police and Rashtriya Rifles, according to India Today, launched a cordon and search operation in the area.
At least six other persons were injured in security forces' action against violent protesters near the encounter site. The official said that over 100 "miscreants" started pelting stones at security forces involved in the anti-militancy operation in Hakripora area of Pulwama. He said the security forces used teargas shells, pellets and fired a few live rounds to disperse the stone-pelting protesters.
Meanwhile, mobile and internet services in Kashmir Valley have been suspended as a precautionary measure in the wake of clashes. A police official said that mobile, internet has been suspended across the Valley to prevent miscreants from indulging in unnecessary propaganda.
He said the facility has been suspended across all service providers and platforms like 2G, 3G and 4G. Although broadband Internet services on landlines were functional, the speed has been choked to prevent uploading of videos and large images.
The official said the suspension of mobile Internet services was a precautionary measure in view of protests following killing of two LeT militants, including Dujana, in south Kashmir's Pulwama district this morning.
As the security forces were retreating from the encounter site, some youths started pelting stones at them near the district hospital in Pulwama. The security forces responded by opening fire, resulting in injuries to two persons including a nurse working inside the hospital, the official said.
He said two other persons were brought to the hospital in an injured condition but it was not clear where they suffered the injuries. Reports of protests have been received from several parts of south Kashmir and from some parts of the city as well.
Tuesday was not the first time the LeT divisional commander was traced by the security forces. According to Greater Kashmir, Dujana and two of his associates had exchanged fire with the forces on 19 July in Banderpora village, and had escaped from the spot.
Dujana was from Gilgit-Baltistan, which is a part of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). Dujana joined LeT when he was 17.
According to India Today, he first infiltrated into India in 2010 after which he developed LeT's network across Jammu and Kashmir, especially south Kashmir, which has been a hotbed of militancy over the past year. According to this report, in 2014 Dujana had turned up at a funeral of a militant in Kakpora area of Pulwama.
Updated Date: Aug 01, 2017 13:24 PM