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Government Forces on Monday night called off their operation against ‘hiding militants’ when people in large number hit to roads and resorted to stone-pelting in Newa area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Sources told news agency CNS that after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in Lonepora Newa area, 55 Rashtriya Rifles, SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police and 183 Battalion CRPF cordoned off the area at around 10 pm on Monday. Police sources said there were inputs about the presence of some top Lashkar-e-Toiba militants in the area.

Eyewitnesses said that as the search operation was going on, locals in large number hit to roads and resorted to massive stone-pelting. They hampered the operation while some of the youth used public address system asking people to come out from the houses. Witnesses added that in order to disperse the agitated people, Government Forces used tear-smoke shells, however, people still showed stiff resistance.

Witnesses added that people from adjacent areas including Karimabad, Wahibugh also hit to roads and played patriotic numbers on the loud speakers. Confirming the incident, an official said that the operation was concluded at 11:30 pm. “Some miscreants pelted stones on the search party and tried to hamper the operation,” he said.

We’re not part of protests but still cops fired pellets towards us: Injured youth

There is no end to use of pellets in Kashmir and at least nine people sustained pellet injuries in eyes during forces firing at an encounter site at Hayena in Tral area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday.
“Although we were far from the encounter site, the security men indiscriminately fired pellets and teargas smoke shells towards the people staging protests. The pellets hit my left eye. I am unable to see anything from the left eye,” said an injured youth undergoing treatment at SMHS hospital.
The security men fired pellets and tear smoke shells to disperse people protesting against launching of an anti-militancy operation in Hayena village in Tral the other day.
At least nine people sustained pellet injuries in eyes and were referred to SMHS Hospital, Srinagar for specialized treatment.
Head of Ophthalmology department at SMHS hospital, Dr Tariq Qureshi told Kashmir Post that all the patients, who were brought to the hospital yesterday, have sustained serious eye injuries due to pellets.
“We received nine pellet victims. They have suffered more than 80 percent damage in one of their eyes and most of them have very bleak chance of regaining the vision,” he said.
He said three patients namely Aadil, Waseem and Mushtaq left the hospital on their own to appear in board examination.
Riyaz Ahmad, a resident of Hafoo area of Tral said, “I and my friends were far off from the encounter site and were not part of the protests. Still the security men fired pellets, rubber bullets and teargas smoke shells towards us due to which I sustained serious injury in my left eye”.
An attendant of a pellet victim, pleading anonymity, said, “Two of my neighbors hit by pellets are undergoing treatment at Bone and Joints Hospital, Srinagar”.

  • Clashes in Pulwama, 7 injured
  • 15 arrested during nocturnal raids

Massive clashes erupted between security forces and youth today during a pro-freedom rally at Muran village of Pulwama district, leaving at least seven persons injured while at least 15 persons were arrested by police during nocturnal raids earlier.
Following the call of Hurriyat for ‘MuranChalo’, hundreds of people from different areas of Pulwama today assembled in Muran village and held anti-India and pro-freedom protests, witnesses said.

The protesters also took out a protest march in the village in which youth from different villages participated.
“However in the afternoon security forces rushed to the village, triggering massive clashes,” reports said. The youth pelted stones on the forces and the latter fired tear gas and pellets to disperse the youth. At least seven persons sustained injuries, eyewitnesses said.
Locals alleged that the forces damaged windows and doors of many houses but police denied the allegation.

Earlier the forces raided many villages including Muran, Rahmoo last night and arrested 15 youth.
“The people were protesting following the call of Hurriyat and had blocked the road. As we tried to disperse them, they pelted stones, triggering clashes,” SSP Pulwama Rayees Bhat said.
“15 persons were arrested last night. They were involved in many cases of stone pelting and damaging civilian vehicles,” he said.

Ongoing unrest has roots in militant hotbed TralOn the Jammu-Srinagar national highway that snakes through the Valley, a curve near Awantipora town in south Kashmir leads to picturesque and mountainous Tral sub-district, home to many militants of the region’s new-age insurgency.
It is in Tral, 35 km south-east of Srinagar, that Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s body arrived home in the dead of a stormy night last month, setting the stage for the largest funeral in the region in decades and the most overt expression of pro-militant sentiment.
Burhan’s killing on July 8 triggered an unprecedented pro-militant unrest in the region. So far, as the unrest heads towards its second month, more than 50 civilians have been killed as security personnel struggle to contain protests. Thousands of civilians have been injured by bullets, pellets and tear-smoke shells.
The unrest, which took the state government and the region’s separatists by surprise, spread to most distant corners of the Valley almost instantly even as the government ordered a communication blockade and imposed curfew.
Tral legislator and a member of the ruling PDPMushtaq Ahmad Shahsaid the situation in Tral had not changed since Burhan’s killing and blamed the Centre for “mocking” at the demands of the people. “The support for militants is not limited to Tral only. It is across entire Kashmir,” Shah said.
Even as there has been no civilian killing in Tral during the ongoing unrest, it is here that the seeds of a pro-militant unrest grew and got nourished amid popular support.
The road leading to Tral remains blocked near the Awantipora crossing as police and paramilitary personnel have set up a joint checkpoint to prevent any entry and exit. Inside the sub-district, Burhan’s grave — a mound of soil and an epitaph in the graveyard of militants — has become a site of reverence for locals.
“Since Burhan’s killing, people have been coming to his home and graveyard every day,” said a resident of Tral town. “During the nights, boys and young men stay awake and keep guard so that the police do not come and raid houses,” he said.
When the militants in Tral — among them the young teenager Burhan — began mounting a new-age insurgency, militancy around the region was fading and facing a battle for survival as Pakistan’s 2003 ceasefire along the LoCallowed India to build a multi-tier counter-infiltration grid that prevented infiltration by foreign militants — then the backbone of insurgency’s fighting machine.
At the end of 2012, the number of militants in Kashmir had fallen to 91 — a double-digit for the first time since insurgency erupted in the region in 1989. It is around this time that militants from Tral sub-district began to emerge on social media sites through photographs and rudimentarily shot videos, removing anonymity and providing a face to insurgency.
The gamble of giving up anonymity at the cost of a security risk delivered dividends for the militants — a group of whom was led by Burhan after 2014 — as it helped them establish a new method of communication with the locals.
In the past two years, signs of a pro-militant unrest were becoming increasingly clear. Civilians stormed encounter sites to help the militants escape, clashes erupted between police and civilians for possession of bodies of militants, and thousands began attending the funerals of slain militants — the phenomenon that had its genesis in Tral and had by the beginning of this year spread to all districts of south Kashmir.
With Burhan’s killing on the evening of July 8, the phenomenon had reached the entire Valley, paralysing the writ of the state government and pitching civilians against police and paramilitary forces.

Detention of 8 Year Kid; HC directs SSP to hand over custody to motherTaking a strong note of the detention of an eight-year-old boy by the police in Pulwama, the J&K High Court today directed the Senior Superintendent of the district to immediately hand over his custody to his mother.
Stating that “nothing is an offence which is done by a child above seven years of age and under 12 under the Ranbir Penal Code,” the court also asked the Principal District and Sessions Judge and Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pulwama, to get the child examined by a doctor and submit the report within two days as the parents of the child have alleged torture and beating up of their ward in the police detention.
These directions were today passed by Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar while taking cognisance of a newspaper report about the arrest of the boy, who has been lodged at the Pulwama police station on the charges of stone-throwing.
“Section 82 of the Ranbir Penal Code provides that nothing is an offence which is done by a child above seven years of age and under 12, who has not attained the sufficient maturity of understanding to judge the nature of consequences of his conduct on that occasion,” Justice Attar said in his order today while issuing a notice to the government.
“The child was to be dealt with in accordance with the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2013. Ours is a society governed by the rule of law. Even in extreme adverse circumstances, this court is duty-bound to enforce the law of the land,” the Bench said.
While directing the Registry to treat the order passed today as a petition, the court directed the government to order SSP, Pulwama, Rayees Ahmad to hand over the custody of the child to his mother forthwith and report compliance during the course of the day to the Registrar, Judicial, of the High Court.
The court further directed the Principal District and Sessions Judge and the CJM, Pulwama, to get the child examined by the doctor and send a report within two days.

Pro-freedom rally held in Pulwama despite raids; Geelani lashes out at Touseef Mir police official KhanabalThousands of people held a pro-freedom rally in a village in Pulwama district in south Kashmir despite a forces raid to foil it.
Reports said that forces thrashed the participants and ransacked the venue of a rally in Babgam-Chandgam village hours ahead of its scheduled beginning.
People resisted the forces’ action and kept on marching towards the village where the rally was attended by thousands.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani Saturday strongly reacted and condemned the atrocities at Khanabal this morning.
“According to reports reaching here at Hurriyat Headquarters that one policeman Mr. Touseef Mir duty officer (Bus Stand Choki Islamabad) came to the spot at Khanabal where men & women were protesting against the recent killing,” Geelani said in a statement. “He (the officer) without any provocation resorted to pellet shelling injuring dozens of people including more than 7 women who received pellet injuries in their private parts.”
“This criminal & butcher Touseef Mir is warned that it is high time that rogues and killers like you should be brought to book & we cannot stop people to tackle you directly. You should be ashamed for such heinous crimes against your own people.”

Two suspected informers shot in legsTwo persons were wounded in a militant attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Friday night.
The police said the militant suspected that the duo was working as informers.
The police said Shabir Ahmad Pandit, 30, and Manzoor Ahmad Pandit, 45, residents of Karimabad, Pulwama, were shot in their legs at their native village around 10 pm on Friday.
“The two were brought out from their houses and shot at in the open in their legs. The two were later shifted to a Srinagar hospital where their condition is stable,” the police said.
Shabir, is a cousin of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Tariq Pandit, who was a close aide of slain Burhan Wani. Tariq is also resident of Karimabad and forces had claimed that he was arrested in May by the Army. However, there were also reports that Tariq had surrendered before forces.
In his last video message on June 7, Burhan had maintained that Tariq’s arrest would not affect them.

Militants kill cop, snatch weapon from another in PulwamaA policeman was killed on Wednesday when militants attacked a National Conference (NC) leader’s security guard and snatched his service rifle in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

“The militants attacked the security guard of NC district president Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir in Manghama village today (Wednesday) afternoon and decamped with his service rifle,” a senior police officer told IANS here.

The deceased policeman Riyaz Ahmed Ganai was in civies and standing alongside the NC leader’s security guard at his (Ganai’s) cousin’s marriage when the guerrillas struck.

The NC leader had gone to the village to attend the wedding function.

On Monday, three policemen, including an officer, were killed and the weapon of one policeman was snatched in two guerrilla attacks in Srinagar.

During search for militants in Pulwama, locals resort to stone peltingClashes erupted between local residents and forces at Lelhara Kakapora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district when the latter cordoned off a residential area and an orchard between Mohanvig and Lelhara villages at about 5:30 pm Tuesday. At least three civilians, including two females, were injured in the clashes.
Reports said that following inputs about presence of militants, forces cordoned off the area this evening. “As the news about the cordon spread in the area, youth from different villages assembled near the spot and pelted stones on forces from all sides,” witnesses said.
The forces lobbed tear gas shells, triggering clashes.
Soon the cordon was lifted, officials said. The clashes erupted from all sides of the cordoned site. Three locals including a woman and a girl were injured, witnesses said. They were identified as Bisma Jan D/o Khursheed Ahmad, Showkat Ahmad Bhat son of Ghulam Ahmad Bhat and Raja Begum w/o Ghulam Rasool Bhat, all residents of Lelhara Kakapora, Pulwama.
They were shifted to hospital where they were being treated.
Panic gripped the area due to the clashes and some locals said they faced problems due to the tear smoke. When contacted, SP Pulwama Rayees Mohammad Bhat said, “We cordoned off the area between Mohanvij and Lelhara today. As we concluded the cordon, youth pelted stones on forces so we retaliated.”
“We have no information that any one has got injured in the clashes,” he said. Earlier, forces cordoned some areas of Sangarwani Pulwama this afternoon. However later the cordon was lifted.

Forces attacked with stones during search operation in PulwamaIn yet another such incident, protesters on Monday targeted government forces who had gone to a village to carry out a search operation following information that some militants were hiding there.

Forces fired tear gas shells to disperse the mobs, police said, adding nobody was injured in it.

Forces of 50 Rastriya Rifles and policemen conducted a search operation in Lelhaar village of Pulwama district, following information about presence of militants in the area, police said.

The search operation yielded nothing and the forces called off the operation, police said.

“The security forces were forced to fire few rounds of tear smoke shells to disperse the mob. There were no injuries reported in the incident,” a police source said.

Stone pelting incidents by mobs during and after army operations has become very common in Kashmir over the past few months.

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