Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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Clashes near encounter; 3 die

60 security personnel, 24 youths injured in Budgam; holed-up ultra killed29 Mar 2017 | 1:51 AM

SRINAGAR:Three youths were today killed and more than 24 injured when the security forces opened fire on protesters in Budgam district.

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Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, March 28

Three youths were today killed and more than 24 injured when the security forces opened fire on protesters in Budgam district. 

Even as an encounter was underway, a large number of youths from surrounding areas marched towards the encounter site to help a Hizbul militant holed up inside a three-storey house in Durbugh Chadoora. They attacked the security personnel with stones, triggering violent clashes.

Nazir Choudhary, Medical Superintendent of Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS), said three youths were “brought dead”. One of them, Zahid Rashid (23), was the sole bread-earner of the family. He had a bullet in the neck. Qaiser Ahmed Ganai (23) of Wathoora was hit in the abdomen. The third victim was identified as Ishfaq Rashid of Rangreth. 

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“We showed maximum restraint as crowds tried to come close to the encounter site. Our 40 men and 20 policemen were injured in the clashes,” said Inspector General (CRPF) Ravideep Singh Sahi. 

The killings, about two weeks ahead of the byelections to the Srinagar-Budgam and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies,  have triggered fresh tension in the Valley with the separatists calling for a shutdown on Wednesday.

A gunbattle erupted in Durbugh Chadoora, 20 km from Srinagar, this morning when acting on a tip-off, the police, Army and CRPF launched a joint search operation. They were fired upon by a Hizbul militant hiding inside a house. The forces used explosives and fired rockets to raze the house. 

“In the gunfight, the militant was killed and a weapon was recovered from the encounter site,” Srinagar-based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said. He said the operation, that lasted nine hours, had ended. 

Sources said an Army jawan had been injured in the gunfight.   

The slain militant, Tausuef Ahmed of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district, had been active in the area since October last. He was an associate of senior Hizbul commander Yaseen Yatoo.

Clashes near encounter; 3 dieKashmiri youths throw stones at paramilitary forces close to the encounter site at Chadoora in Budgam on Tuesday. Mohd Amin War
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