J&K: 1 dead, 50 hurt in protests after killing of Wani's successor Bhat

Sabzar Ahmed Bhat was killed on Saturday along with his two accomplices in a fierce gunfight with security forces in Tral region.

Srinagar: One person was killed in Tral region of Jammu & Kashmir and several others were injured in clashes between civilians and the security forces after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Ahmed Bhat.

Burhan Wani's successor Bhat was killed along with his accomplice in a fierce gunfight with security forces on Saturday in Kashmir’s southern Tral region.

Violence erupted in several parts of the valley as the news about Bhat’s killing spread. More than 50 people have been injured in clashes underway in different parts of south, central and north Kashmir, and Srinagar.

A total of 19 people were injured in Tral. While six of them received bullet injuries, others suffered pellet injuries. The civilian, who was killed in clashes in Tral, was caught in crossfire between militants and security forces.

Six policemen were also injured in stone-pelting.

In a separate incident, six infiltrating militants were killed in a clash with Army troops in Uri sector of the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla district. The incident comes a day after the Army had said it stopped an infiltration attempt backed by the Pakistan army along the de facto border by killing two intruders believed to be the members of a Pakistan army’s Border Action Team (BAT).

The officials in Srinagar said that the fire fight began in Tral’s Saimu village after the security forces laid siege to it on learning about the presence of militants. Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police, Shesh Paul Ved, confirmed that Bhat is among the two militants killed, so far.

The two other slain militants have been identified as Faizan Ahmed, a teenager who had joined the Hizb ranks only recently, and Aadil Ahmed.

Spontaneous clashes erupted in several parts of the Valley after the news of Bhat’s killing spread. Clashes between irate crowds of youth and the security forces have been reported also from encounter site in Tral’s Saimu village.

Five people were injured in security forces’ action against the protesters, the reports said. The areas elsewhere in the Valley that have witnessed protests and clashes fall in the districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag, Srinagar, Baramulla and Kupwara.

At most places, the traders have brought their shutters down and vehicles are being withdrawn in a chaotic situation. Media persons have been denied access to the encounter site, reports said.

“We were not allowed to go close to the encounter site by the security forces. Tral is very tense and people are out on the streets chanting slogans in praise of Sabzar and for freedom,” said Zubair Ahmed Dar, a reporter over the phone from Tral.

A report from Anantnag said that at least 35 injured persons were admitted to the district hospital following clashes occurred in different parts of Anantnag town and its neighbourhood.

One of the seriously injured persons has been referred to a Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment, doctors at the district hospital said.

Amid heightening tensions and clashes, the authorities have suspended Internet services partially to restrain the “spread of rumours” and use of social media to provoke violence.

The suspension of the Internet came a day after the State government lifted a month-long ban on, at least, 22 social networking websites.

The students of various educational institutions across the Valley left their classes midway and taken to the streets at many places yelling pro-freedom slogans. The police and the CRPF are facing tough time to deal with the situation at places, said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Bhat had succeeded Burhan Wani, the popular Internet-savvy commander of Kashmir’s frontline indigenous militant outfit, whose killing by security forces on July 8 last year had resulted in massive violence in the Kashmir Valley.

In the five-month long turbulence, more than 80 civilians and two policemen had died and thousands injured, mainly in security forces’ firings and other actions besides leaving behind trails of destruction of infrastructure.

Also, over 4,000 security personnel were injured in stone-pelting incidents and mob violence.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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