Ahead of CM’s visit, militants strike twice in Anantnag
Youth disrupt search operations in Pulwama, Hajin; 4 injured
Ahead of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s visit to Anantnag on Saturday, suspected militants struck twice in the district on Friday, even as government forces launched cordon-and-search operations in different areas across Kashmir.
A police official said that suspected militants fired upon a vehicle of Indian Reserve Police (19 battalion) near Bongam village in Qazigund area on Srinagar-Jammu highway at around 12 noon.
He said that around six bullets hit the vehicle. “No loss of life or injury was reported. The area was cordoned off to nab the assailants but they had fled from the spot,” the police official added.
The second attack took place in heart of Anantnag town, said another police official said.
He said that the militants fired a volley of bullets towards the police post at Anantnag bus stand at around 7. 35 pm. “The fire was retaliated, triggering a brief gunfight which ended after the militants fled. No one was injured in the firing,” the official added.
A witness said that soon after the attack, a heavy contingent of police and army cordoned off the area and launched searches to nab the militants. Every vehicle was frisked on Khanbal-Pahlagam road as well in Lalchowk area of the town.
“The driver of a sumo vehicle coming from Srinagar was ruthlessly thrashed by the government forces outside bus stand,” the witness said.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is scheduled to visit the town on Saturday to listen to grievances of the people during a public durbar to be held at DakbanglowKhanabal.
PROTESTERS CLASH WITH POLICE
Clashes erupted between government forces and youth during a cordon-and-search operation in Pulwama district on Friday. An official said that following a tip-off, forces cordoned off Tantraypora locality of Lassipora village, nearly nine kms from Pulwama district headquarters. “As the cordon was being laid, youth from different areas rushed to the spot and pelted forces with stones. Forces retaliated with teargas shelling and fired pellets to disperse the youth who offered stiff resistance. Clashes continued for about two hours and ended after forces lifted the cordon at about 5 pm,” a witness said.
He said that at least four youth, who sustained injuries during the clashes, were treated locally.
Locals alleged that government forces smashed windowpanes of some residential houses during the CASO.
A police officer denied that forces personnel smashed any windows or damaged property in the area.
CASO IN HAJIN, MAGAM
Meanwhile, government forces on Friday searched three localities in Hajin area in Bandipora district.
An official said that following inputs about presence of militants in the area, army’s 13 RR, Jammu and Kashmir police and CRPF men cordoned off BangarMohalla, WahabParreyMohalla and KochakMohalla this morning. “The operation was called off at around 11:30 am after nothing was found,” the official added.
A witness said that searches were on, youth pelted forces with stones and fought pitched battles till the cordon was lifted.
Government forces on Friday evening launched a cordon-and-search-operation in Hanjibugh village of Magam in Budgam district.
A report said that government forces started house-to-house searches after laying siege around Lone Mohallah locality of the village. The operation was called off later in the evening, the report said.