Forces Chasing The Stone Pelters At Pinjoora Shopian. Photo Courtesy Kamran Yousuf.
At least one civilian and one army personnel were killed, and 98 were injured in two different ambushes in South Kashmir on May 29.
Early in the day, a joint team of 9 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) (a wing of the Indian Army), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Special Officers’ Group (SOG) launched an operation in Tazipora Mohammadpora, an area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
As per reports, forces were working on a specific tip-off about the presence of the militants in the area, following which, they surrounded a suspected house.
As soon as the news about the ambush spread in the area, people took to the streets and started protesting against the armed forces.
According to an eyewitness (wishing anonymity), people in huge numbers marched towards the house, and raised pro-freedom slogans. In response, forces used live ammunition, tear gas and pepper gas canisters to disperse the protesters.
As per the hospital sources, at least 60 people were injured, of which, about 50 persons suffered minor injuries; they underwent treatment at Mohammadpora Health Centre. Meanwhile, seven were referred to Srinagar for special treatment. Two others were shifted to Sub District Hospital Kulgam.
One of the seven persons – who have sustained pellet and bullet injuries – was identified as Yawar Ahmad Lone. He was injured critically with a bullet lodged into his abdomen and excessive loss of blood. He was transferred to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS), Srinagar.
At least six persons have received pellet injuries in either one or both of their eyes. All of them were transferred to SMHS.
After the clashes between the protesters and the forces intensified, a group of personnel destroyed the house with explosives. However, the forces were propelled by the protesters away from the village. Protesters also reportedly rescued two militants alive from the debris. Forces called off the operation.
Later in the afternoon, acting on a tip-off about the presence of the militants, another ambush was led by the government forces in Gagloora Pinjoora, an area in South Kashmir’s Shopian district. Like in Kulgam, people here also took to the streets, and started protesting. They reportedly pelted stones at the armed forces.
As per reports, forces used live ammunition, teargas and pepper gas canisters to disperse them, which led to injuries to at least 38 persons, including two young women. While one civilian succumbed to a bullet injury at SDH Shopian, six were sifted to SMSH. The slain youth was identified as Sajad Ahmad Parray.
According to sources, an army personnel was killed during the ambush in Shopian. Forces then reportedly destroyed the house with explosives where militants were believed to be trapped. However, no body was recovered from the rubble.
A villager told NewsClick that exchange of fire stopped later in the evening. Meanwhile, owner of the house where militants were hiding has sustained a bullet injury in his leg.
Following these incidents, internet services were snapped in both the districts of Kashmir.
Also read: Killing Spell Continues: 2 Civilians Among 8 Killed in Kashmir, JRL Calls for Strike