Four Civilians Killed, 100 Injured In Kulgam Clash; Militants Escape

Militants escape, soldier killed; thousands participate in funeral of civilians

Srinagar, April 11: Officials on Wednesday said that four civilians were killed in clashes with the government forces in Khudwani area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district during a gunfight with the militants.

Besides the killings, nearly 100 civilians suffered injuries in clashes with the government forces near the encounter site at Wani Mohalla, Khudwani, Kulgam.

The slain civilians have been identified as Sharjeel Sheikh (25) of Khudwani, Bilal Ahmad Tantray (16) of Hawoora Mishpora and Faisal Illahi (14) of Melhoora Shopian and Aijaz Ahmad Palla (30) son of Mohammad Siraj of Batpora, Nagbal at present Tulkhan village in Bijbehara.

Medical Superintendent of SKIMS Soura D Farooq Jan told GNS that the institute received five injured persons including SHO Baramulla.

“One among the injured youth is 25-year-old Adil Ahmad from Anantnag and is being operated upon in the hospital but he is not well,” Dr Farooq Jan said.

SHO Baramulla Khalid Ahmad had head injury due to a stone. “He has skull bone injury (fracture) but is stable. Remaining three more injured are also stable,” Jan said.

A senior doctor at SMHS hospital said that at least eight injured persons were admitted in the hospital. Among them, one namely 50-year-old Abdul Salam Dar son of Abdul Rahim Dar of Havoora had a serious firearm injury in his neck. His condition is not well and is on the ventilator, the doctor said.

The condition of the remaining is stable, the doctor said.

A doctor from District hospital Anantnag told GNS that a total of 10 injured were received by the hospital and one was brought dead.

Among the 10 injured, eight of them have been referred to Srinagar hospitals having multiple eye, head and face injuries. Two injured are still admitted in the hospital. One of them is having minor head injury while as another one has pellet wounds in his whole body parts, the doctor said. The doctor, however, said that the duo was stable.

Another doctor said that 45 injured were received at Primary Health Centre (Qaimoh). Among the injured some were discharged after first aid, and some were shifted to other district hospitals in South Kashmir and few others were referred to Srinagar hospitals for specialized treatment. Presently six injured persons are being operated upon at PHC Qaimoh, he said. Five injured persons are being operated upon at PHC Frisal.

Four injured were admitted at the district hospital Pulwama and as many at district hospital Kulgam. Earlier, around a dozen minor injured were treated upon at Kulgam hospital and were accordingly discharged.

A senior doctor at Kulgam hospital told GNS a total of nine injured. Out of nine injured, six of the have been referred to Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment.

Meanwhile, thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of the slain civilians. All the slain later laid to rest amid sobs and tears while people were seen shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.

The three militants who escaped re-appeared at the encounter site after the cordon was withdrawn and shouted slogans.

A police spokesman claimed that three civilians were killed in “crossfire” while investigations were underway to ascertain death of Palla. Sources said that militants escaped from the encounter site. Sources said that joint team of police and army carried out intense searches in the area but no militant body was found.

Earlier at the start of the encounter, an army soldier was killed and two other forces personnel were injured in the operation.

The gunfight broke out late last night after the joint team of army’s 1 RR, SOG and CRPF launched the cordon following inputs about the presence of some militants.

Police in a statement issued here said identified the slain army man as Sepoy S. Gunakar Roy (No. 16121860/K). He succumbed to injuries at army hospital where he was evacuated along with two other soldiers.

“In the said encounter three civilians identified as Sarjeel Sheikh of Khudwani, Bilal Ahmad Tantray of Frisal and Faisal Ilahi of Melhoora Shopian who were injured in the crossfire have also succumbed to their injuries,” he said, adding, “Moreover, 12 persons have also received injuries in the process and are being treated at different hospitals. They are stated to be stable”.

The police also requested citizens not to fall prey to any speculations and rumours which are “intended to disturb the peace.” “J&K Police seeks your cooperation for maintaining peace,” the spokesman added. (GNS)

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