Tension has gripped the Kashmir Valley after two persons, including a 22-year-old girl, were killed and a dozen others injured when security forces allegedly opened fire on protestors in Kakapora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Officials said clashes broke out following an encounter between terrorists and security forces in the area. One terrorist was killed in the encounter.
Police claimed that that while Danish, a third-semester engineering student, was killed during clashes, Shaista Hamid, who was pursuing Masters in Arts through distance education, was killed in crossfire between holed up terrorists and security forces.
According to local newspapers, Shaista was hit by a bullet in her head while she was sitting on the verandah of her house.
Danish, who had gone to play cricket with his friends at Lelhara cricket stadium, rushed towards the encounter site along with other boys after hearing gunshots. They said the boy was part of the protests that broke out at the encounter site and was hit by bullets. Danish was shifted to sub-district hospital at Pampore while Shaista was rushed to district hospital Pulwama.
Doctors confirmed that she had bullet wounds on head and neck. Doctors at sub-district hospital Pampore said Danish was brought dead. They said he had bullet wounds in the neck.
Neeraj Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, said a time-bound inquiry under ADC Pulwama, Shabaz Mirza, has been ordered into the firing incident.
According to locals, after the news of the encounter spread, youth from various villages surrounding Kakapora started marching towards the encounter site raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
They said that police and security forces chased the stone pelting protesters and fired tear-gas canisters. The protesters were demonstrating against the death of a local militant, Adil Ahmad Waggay, a resident of neighbouring Banderpora village, who was killed in the encounter at Kakapora.
Syed Mujtaba Geelani, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, told TopYaps News that the situation is under control in the district. He refused to comment any further.
Family members mourning death of Danish and Shaista . jandknow
The police says, “We started evacuating civilians trapped inside the cordon. A large number of people were evacuated but a lady namely Shaista while taking cover was hit by a bullet. She was evacuated to hospital where she was declared dead.” They added:
“A large number of people despite imposition of sec 144 cprc came near encounter site where militants were firing indiscriminately on security forces from inside. They were pelting stones on security forces.”
Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of two students. Mehbooba Mufti, President of People’s Democratic Party, strongly condemned the killings and termed the incident as unfortunate.
Expressing her solidarity with the families of victims, she said that such incidents are uncalled for and asked security forces to observe restraint while dealing with civilians in such a situation.
National Conference spokesperson Junaid Mattu said such heartbreaking incidents are major setbacks to reconciliation and peace, as they add to the perception of alienation among the youth.
He said that the Governor should ensure that the guilty are identified and brought to justice in a time-bound manner. Former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: People took to Twitter to protest against the killings:
Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq accused the security forces for the deaths of the students:
Mir Suhail, a Kashmiri cartoonist made a cartoon on the incident, which is being shared widely on social networking sites:
Separatists have called for shutdown against the killing of the youth.
Restrictions have been imposed in all the six police stations of downtown Srinagar, and train services have been suspended across Kashmir.
Reports are coming in from Kashmir of massive clashes between protesters and security forces in Kakapora area of Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Monday.