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Pulwama clashes updates: Jammu and Kashmir Police says deaths of civilians are 'deeply grieved'

Encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama LIVE updates: Mobile internet services were suspended on Saturday in most parts of Kashmir, including in Srinagar.

FP Staff December 15, 2018 17:23:47 IST
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Pulwama clashes updates: Jammu and Kashmir Police says deaths of civilians are 'deeply grieved'

Highlights

17:29 (ist)
JKUPM members protest against civilian killings
 
Members of the Jammu and Kashmir United Peace Movement (JKUPM) Saturday protested here against the killings in the valley and advocated dialogue to resolve the Kashmir problem.
 
The protesters assembled at Exhibition Ground and staged a peaceful sit-in on a day when seven civilians, three militants and an army soldier were killed and scores of others injured in a gunfight and subsequent protests in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.
 
"We have assembled here to seek an end to the killings, spread the message of peace and highlight the need to maintain communal harmony," chairman JKUPM Himmat Singh Singh told PTI.
 
He said the unabated violence in Kashmir and the loss of human lives on a daily basis should be put to an end which was possible only when the concerned parties start a meaningful dialogue. 
 
"Kashmir has become a flashpoint in the sub-continent and a major hurdle in the development of south Asia. Bullet is not a solution to the problem," he said.
Former minister Baba Singh said the unrealistic approach of the successive governments at the centre and state is the root cause of the prevailing situation in the valley.
 
"We demand immediate end to the human rights violations. Kashmir is a dispute pending solution since 1947,” he said advocating a trilateral approach involving India, Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir to address the issue.
 
He said JKUPM will launch a massive campaign across the state and the country to press for solution to the Kashmir problem through a meaningful dialogue.
PTI
15:10 (ist)

'Troops fired at us as if they were practising guns': Eyewitnesses

According to a report from The Associated Press, locals accused troops of directly spraying gunfire into the crowds. “They (Indian troops) fired at us as if they were practising their guns,” the news agency quoted Shabir Ahmed, a local resident who accompanied some injured taken to a hospital in Srinagar, as saying.

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Dec 15, 2018 - 17:36 (IST)

Protests held in Srinagar

Massive protests erupted in downtown area of  Nowhatta against the killing of seven civilians in Kashmir. 

Scores of people, including Hurrriyat activists, staged a protest demonstration at Nowhatta chowk to condemn the killings. A large number of protesters assembled outside the historic Jamia mosque and carried out the protests. The protesters include civilians as well as some separatists.

Input by Ishfaq Naseem

Dec 15, 2018 - 17:29 (IST)
JKUPM members protest against civilian killings
 
Members of the Jammu and Kashmir United Peace Movement (JKUPM) Saturday protested here against the killings in the valley and advocated dialogue to resolve the Kashmir problem.
 
The protesters assembled at Exhibition Ground and staged a peaceful sit-in on a day when seven civilians, three militants and an army soldier were killed and scores of others injured in a gunfight and subsequent protests in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.
 
"We have assembled here to seek an end to the killings, spread the message of peace and highlight the need to maintain communal harmony," chairman JKUPM Himmat Singh Singh told PTI.
 
He said the unabated violence in Kashmir and the loss of human lives on a daily basis should be put to an end which was possible only when the concerned parties start a meaningful dialogue. 
 
"Kashmir has become a flashpoint in the sub-continent and a major hurdle in the development of south Asia. Bullet is not a solution to the problem," he said.
Former minister Baba Singh said the unrealistic approach of the successive governments at the centre and state is the root cause of the prevailing situation in the valley.
 
"We demand immediate end to the human rights violations. Kashmir is a dispute pending solution since 1947,” he said advocating a trilateral approach involving India, Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir to address the issue.
 
He said JKUPM will launch a massive campaign across the state and the country to press for solution to the Kashmir problem through a meaningful dialogue.
PTI

Dec 15, 2018 - 17:14 (IST)

J&K Police says death of civilians is 'deeply grieved'

ANI has quoted a statement from the Jammu and Kashmir Police as saying, "While the operation was going on, a crowd came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site and got injured.They were sent to hospital, where 7 civilians succumbed to injuries. The loss of civilians is deeply grieved. We once again appeal to citizens to remain away from encounter site as it is a prohibited zone which involves significant danger to life. A case has been registered. Incriminating materials including arms&ammunition recovered from encounter site

Dec 15, 2018 - 17:08 (IST)

MBA graduate among civilians killed

One of the civilians killed, Abid Hussain, was an MBA graduate and had recently returned from Indonesia, NDTV reported. Another civilian who has been killed has been identified as Amir Ahmed.

Dec 15, 2018 - 16:35 (IST)

Mobile internet suspended in most parts of Kashmir

Mobile internet services were suspended on Saturday in most parts of Kashmir, including in Srinagar, the summer capital, in the aftermath of killing of seven civilians in Pulwama district, PTI quoted officials as saying.

Dec 15, 2018 - 16:14 (IST)

Altaf Bukhari condemns civilian killings in Pulwama

Senior PDP leader and former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday strongly condemned the killing of civilians at Sirnoo village in Pulwama district.

In a statement, Bukhari termed the incident horrendous and heart wrenching that demands immediate fact-finding and a follow-up action as warranted under law. He said that violence begets violence and any such outrageous incident not only adds to the alienation among people but also results in colossal damages to the efforts of restoring peace and stability in the conflict-ridden region.

The former finance minister urged the governor-led administration to order a time-bound probe into the incident and a stern action against the culprits.

Dec 15, 2018 - 16:11 (IST)

'Dance of death cannot restore peace in Valley': Kashmir Economic Alliance

The Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), the biggest trade body in Kashmir, has said the “dance of death” cannot facilitate the restoration of peace in the valley. 
 
Mohammad Yasin Khan, the chairman, said n a statement that under the garb of AFSPA, the government forces have been “unleashing terror” on innocent Kashmiris and that human rights violations have reached the proportions of war crimes.
 
“The Kashmir dispute has historical background and context which can’t be ignored, and dealing with it militarily and adopting a policy that includes killings will not work,” Khan said. “The systematic killing of people of Kashmir needs an immediate end or that this preprogrammed genocide will backlash in the form of a never before agitation the onus of which will on the government and its forces,” he added.

Dec 15, 2018 - 16:07 (IST)

Spontaneous shutdown in south Kashmir, other parts of Valley

A spontaneous shutdown was observed in south Kashmir, Srinagar, and parts of Budgam following the killing of seven civilians by government forces in Sirnoo area of Pulwama district. Shops and other business establishments remained shut while traffic movement was thin.

Protests and clashes were also reported at Sopore where the students of Degree College took to streets and clashed with forces. The forces used tear smoke shells to quell the protests. However, there was no immediate report of any injury.

Dec 15, 2018 - 16:02 (IST)

Engineer Rasheed says incident exposes Satya Pal Malik'd false claims about normalcy in J&K

The firebrand MLA from Langeet constituency of north Kashmir, Engineer Rasheed, has said the killings of civilians at the hand of forces in south Kashmir's Pulwama has exposed the false claims of Governor Satya Pal Malik that everything is normal in Kashmir. “The Governor wants everyone to shut mouth and kill every Kashmiri who dares to speak against Indian colonialism and barbarism,” Engineer Rasheed said in a statement.

Rasheed appealed to the global community to take notice of “Indian atrocities” on unarmed Kashmiris, and appealed to human rights organizations to use their influence in stopping Indian forces from killing Kashmiris in cold-blood every day.

Dec 15, 2018 - 15:59 (IST)

Body of slain militant handed over to family for last rites

The body of one of the slain militants Bilal Ahmad Magray was handed over to the family for last rites. Bilal was active as a militant only for the last two months and joined the Hizbul Mujahideen. He was around 23 years old and was working in his fields before he picked up the gun.

His house lies only a few kilometres away from Sirnoo in Pulwama, where the encounter took place

Encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama LIVE updates:  Mobile internet services were suspended on Saturday in most parts of Kashmir, including in Srinagar -- the summer capital, in the aftermath of killing of seven civilians in Pulwama district, officials said.

Separatist-turned-mainstream leader and former minister Sajad Lone said the administration needs to "seriously evaluate" the costs of such anti-militancy operations.

"Extremely disturbing news coming from Pulwama. The administration needs to seriously evaluate the costs of its operations. If there is even a remote chance of civilians getting killed during military operations it is better to call off such operations," Lone said in a tweet.
He expressed hope that the administration abandons "its Rambo mindset".
"My heartfelt thoughts with the families of those who lost their lives in Pulwama. I just pray that Almighty takes us out of the perpetual state of mourning that we seem to have been sucked into. And also hope that administration abandons its Rambo mindset," Lone said.
"The preparedness of security forces would in the Pulwama context be the ability to make the distinction between combatants and non combatants. If u end up killing 7 civilians in order to kill 3 militants. It is time for heads to roll. We can't afford a state of impunity," he said in another tweet.

Alongside mobile internet services being suspended in the district, rail services between the Kashmir Valley and Bannihal town in the Jammu region have also been cancelled, IANS reported.

According to a report from The Associated Press, locals accused troops of directly spraying gunfire into the crowds. “They (Indian troops) fired at us as if they were practising their guns,” the news agency quoted Shabir Ahmed, a local resident who accompanied some injured taken to a hospital in Srinagar, as saying.

Government forces have been deployed in heavy strength in Pulwama to prevent further protests. Parts of the district where the encounter took place remained shut, while thousands of people have marched to take part in the funeral of a slain militant Zahoor Thoker.

The three militants who were killed in a gunfight with forces at Sirnoo village of South Kashmir's Pulwama district have been identified. Amid the slain militants is Zahoor Thoker, who had deserted the Army and joined militant ranks in early 2017.

The other two slain militants were identified as Adnan alias Tahir Hizbi from Karimabad and Bilal alias Hashim from Rajpora. They were all associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen.

According to reports, one of the seven civilians killed in the clashes has left behind an Indonesian wife and a three-month-old baby. Abid Hussain Lone of Karimabad village completed his MBA from Indonesia, and had returned home last year with his wife, Greater Kashmir reported.

At least six civilians were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, following protests and clashes during an encounter in the area. The army managed to kill three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, including one Zahoor Thokar, an ex-Indian Army personnel who joined militancy last year.

The security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Sirnoo village in Pulwama district of south Kashmir after receiving specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said. He said as the forces were conducting searches, when the militants opened fire on them.

Meanwhile, one army jawan had also been killed in the encounter, while two others were reportedly injured.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah questioned the manner in which security forces were conducting the encounters and asked why was the army not better prepared to handle the mob.

Abdullah said, "Six civilians killed and numerous more injured, many critically. Any way you look at it this was a badly executed encounter. Protests around encounter sites are now the norm, not the exception. Why are we unable to learn how to handle them better?"

He added, "Another blood-soaked weekend in Kashmir. 6 protestors killed, 1 soldier killed in the line of duty. Together with the 3 militants from this morning’s encounter that’s 10 dead. Reports of many injured at the encounter site. What a horrible day!"

Criticising Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik's administration, Abdullah said, "The administration of Governor Malik has one task and one task only — to focus on the security of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and restore peace to a troubled valley. Sadly it appears that’s the only thing the administration is not doing. Publicity campaigns and full page ads don’t bring peace."

The security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Sirnoo village in Pulwama district of south Kashmir after receiving specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said. He said as the forces were conducting searches, when the militants opened fire on them.

The forces retaliated, leading to an encounter, the official said.

Incidents of stone pelting were also reported in the area while the encounter was underway. The security forces resorted to tear-gas shelling to disperse the protesters, the report said.

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