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  India   Crime  29 Mar 2017  J&K: 3 stone-pelters killed trying to disrupt anti-terror operation

J&K: 3 stone-pelters killed trying to disrupt anti-terror operation

Published : Mar 29, 2017, 9:02 am IST
Updated : Mar 29, 2017, 9:11 am IST

Commenting on the deaths, Mehbooba Mufti said, "It is highly painful to see the young boys losing their lives."

Representational Image. (Photo: File)
 Representational Image. (Photo: File)

Srinagar: Three youths were killed on Tuesday and 18 others were injured as security forces clashed with stone-pelters trying to disrupt an anti-militancy operation which ended with the killing of a militant in Budgam district of Kashmir.

The killing of the civilians was described as "highly painful" by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who urged restraint from all sides while opposition National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said the incident reflects the "alarming situation" in the valley.

Separatists in Kashmir called for a general strike on Wednesday against the killing of three civilians and sought an impartial inquiry into the incident.

On Tuesday morning, security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Durbugh area of Chadoora village following information about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said.

He said the search operation turned into a gun battle after the hiding militant fired at the security forces.

As the gunbattle was underway, scores of people gathered at the site and resorted to stone-pelting, leading to clashes with the security forces.

The day-long clashes left three civilians - all young men in their 20s - dead while 18 others were injured, the police official said.

The slain civilians were identified as Zahid Dar, Saqib Ahmad and Ishfaq Ahmad Wani.

All of them had firearm injuries, the official said.

Clashes between protestors and security forces were going on till reports last came in, he added.

Meanwhile, the encounter continued and the lone militant was gunned down by the evening.

"One militant has been killed and a weapon has been recovered from the scene of the encounter," an army official said.

A police official said one para trooper also sustained injuries in the encounter.

Commenting on the deaths, Mehbooba said, "It is highly painful to see the young boys losing their lives."

She termed the killings as highly unfortunate and said the people in Kashmir continue to suffer massive collateral damage due to violence of past three decades or so.

Violence has given people of the state innumerable miseries, she said, adding that it is high time that peaceful means are given a chance for the resolution of issues.

Abdullah, who is contesting the upcoming by-polls from Srinagar Lok Sabha seat said Tuesday, "The unfortunate tragedy in Chadoora today and all such incidents indicate how alarming the situation has become."

The trend of civilians assembling near the encounter sites and engaging security forces in clashes emerged in 2016.

It has continued even after Army Chief Bipin Rawat warned the youth against interfering in anti-militancy operations and the state administration imposing Section 144 within three kilometre radius of the encounter site.

Tags: mehbooba mufti, national conference, stone pelters, anti-terrorism
Location: India, Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar