Srinagar: The father of a civilian who was killed in Kashmir on Sunday in an encounter that left seven people dead, including two soldiers, has alleged that his son was detained and killed by government forces during the operation.
The 12-hour-long gunfight that began on Saturday midnight — after a joint team of local police and Army launched a search operation after receiving intelligence about the presence of militants in the area — ended on Sunday morning. The four militants hiding in the house of Abdul Majeed Rishi in Nagbal village in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district were killed. But the encounter and its aftermath left more than two dozen people injured and the son of Abdul Majeed Rishi dead.
“They (forces) took my two sons away on Saturday midnight and I received the body of one son on Sunday afternoon,” Abdul Majeed Rishi said. On Monday, villagers were seen collecting money to rebuild his house which was demolished during the encounter.
The family members have contradicted the police and army version that Ishaaq Ahmad Rishi, 40, the father of a 2-year-old daughter, was killed in crossfire when the forces were carrying out search operation in their house. “He (Ishaaq) was killed by the forces because both brothers were in their custody. How come one came back alive and the other was killed?” asked Muzamil Rashid, a neighbour.
Earlier Brigadier R Chakravarty, Commander, 1 Sector RR, said that Ishaaq attained martyrdom along with two soldiers when militants fired at the search party approaching the house.
“We called on the Auqaf Committee to ask for the hostages to be released through the public address system, but when the terrorists didn’t release him we had no other alternative but to the enter the house. Seeing us approaching, Ishaaq came running towards us. However, the militants hiding behind him opened heavy fire. Unfortunately, Ishaaq and our two soldiers were martyred,” said Chakarwarty.
The anger over the death of the two civilians has led to fresh clashes between the forces and the protesters throughout south Kashmir, with the National Conference demanding a probe into the deaths.
“The foundation for another cycle of unrest is being laid by targeting and killing of innocent youth. The promise of maximum restraint by the Government has proved to be hollow. They have failed miserably in protecting the lives of innocent people,” said Dr Bashir Ahmad Veeri, National Conference leader from south Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party tweeted: “Deeply grieved and saddened by the loss of precious human lives in the Frisal incident. Govt will look into the matter and will try to find out all the circumstances that led to such damage at the place.”
On Monday, Kashmir witnessed a complete shutdown. Deputy inspector general of police, south Kashmir, S P Pani said that the situation across south Kashmir remained under control, but section 144 was imposed in some areas. The shutdown was called by the Hurriyat Conference.
Meanwhile, the Indian army paid tribute to two soldiers — Lance Naik Bhandoriya Gopal Singh and Sepoy Raghubeer Singh — who were martyred in the encounter.
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Updated Date: Feb 13, 2017 22:19:27 IST