At least 25 injured in intense clashes as pellet horror returns
Shutdown observed in Shopian, Pulwama
Hurriyat delegations take part in both funerals
Srinagar: Police on Sunday said that two militants affiliated with the Hizbul Mujahideen were killed killed in a brief encounter at Pagdampora area of Pulwama district.
The militants who were in a Maruti car fired on the escorts of top ranked police officials who were returning from Awantipora. The police also said that one militant managed to escape from the spot.
The slain militants were identified as Shahbaz Ahmed Wani alias Rayees Kachroo of Below village of Rajpora area in district Pulwama and Farooq Ahmed Hura of Nazneenpora village in Shopian district.
“Three militants were travelling in a Maruti car when they attacked the vehicle of police officials who were returning on the same route from Awantipora to Pulwama. The policemen retaliated and killed two militants. One of them escaped, “said the Director General of Police S P Vaid.
With news of their killing, protests erupted in Pulwama and the native villages of the militants. Police had use resort to intense teargas shelling to disperse the protesters.
Inspector General of Police Syed Javid Mujtaba Gilani said that the police had no prior information regarding the presence of militants. “They opened fire and that is when police retaliated. It was a chance encounter, “said Gilani.
Protests erupted in their respective villages after the bodies of the slain militants were handed over.
On Monday, locals came out in thousands to join the funeral prayers of the militants. Also, a complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama and Shopian districts to mourn the slain militants.
Intense clashes took place between protesters and government forces in Belov village of Pulwama on Monday in which at least 25 people were injured. Belov is the native village of one of killed Hizbul militant Shahbaz Shafi Wani alias Rayees Kachroo.
Ironically, on a day when the Supreme Court had asked the Government of India to look for alternatives of pellet guns, district hospital of Pulwama received 12 youth with pellet injuries. The doctors also informed that one of the injured had been hit by a tear gas shell on his head and other had received pellets in his eyes.
Both of them were referred to SMHS hospital, Srinagar.
The funeral prayers of Rayees Kachroo, according to reports were offered four times due to the presence of thousands of people who had come from adjoining areas.
Resistance leaders pay tributes
Chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday while paying rich tributes the slain HM militants said that he would have attended the funeral prayers but the authorities have caged him since the last seven years.
However two Hurriyat delegations went to both the funerals and lead the prayers.
Ab Hamid Magrey, Zahoor-ul-Haq Geelani and Molana Mudasir Nadvi participated in funeral prayers of Shabaz Shafi Wani in Rajpora Pulwama. Mohamad Amin Ahangar led funeral prayers of Farooq Ahmad Hura in Shopian.
“I would have attended their funerals but authorities don’t allow me to move and I am under house arrest since last seven years. They are even barring me from offering religious obligations, “said Geelani while addressing mourners through a telephonic conversation.
He urged people not to vote in the upcoming by-elections and said that PDP and National Conference are two sides of the same coin and voting for them would be treason with the ‘blood of martyrs’.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq while paying tributes to the militants said that instead of leading a prosperous life, youth are picking arms due to the severe oppression and occupation of their ‘nation’.
Mirwaiz also condemned the arrest spree and nocturnal raids as the government wants to enact the ‘drama of elections.’
“Harassing people by nocturnal raids, frisking and other inconvenience caused in order to conduct the drama of elections is not only deplorable but ridiculous and a cruel joke upon the people who are already continuously at the receiving end of ‘so called democratic rule, ” said Miwaiz in a statement who is also under house arrest since past two weeks.
With inputs from KNS