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Srinagar, Mar 3: A civilian was killed and four others, including a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were injured in a grenade attack in Pulwama district of South Kashmir today while security forces arrested 23 persons in the district on charges of stone pelting during nocturnal raids. Meanwhile, fierce gun battle is going on in Shopian district of South Kashmir.
At least three militants were trapped in Chillipora Shopian in South Kashmir after security forces cordoned off the village tonight.
Sources said that Army and police on a tip of cordoned off Chillipora Shopian tonight and militants from inside fired at them leading to a gun battle. They said that the security forces had information about presence of three militants including Saddam and Irfan of Hizbul Mujahideen inside the village. More troops have been rushed to the village to prevent militants from fleeing the village.
Militants lobbed a grenade at a CRPF party in Murran Chowk, resulting in injuries to four civilians and one CRPF personnel. One of the injured civilians succumbed to injuries at a hospital. He has been identified as Mohammad Ayub Wani son of Mohammad Ahsan Wani of Gussu Pulwama.
Sources said that the militants targeted a CRPF bunker that was on duty since morning in Murran Chowk and the grenade exploded near the bunker in which one CRPF personnel Daljit Kiran and three civilians were injured who have been identified as Abdul Ahad Sofi son of Ghulam Nabi Sofi of Dalipora Pulwama, Shaheena wife of Manzoor Ahmad of Pathan and Abdul Rashid son of Abdul Ahad Lone of Monghama. The injured CRPF man was shifted to Srinagar for advanced treatment.
Senior police and CRPF officers rushed to the spot to assess the situation. However, militants fled after carrying out the attack.
In the meantime, security forces arrested 23 persons from Ratnipora and Kakapora villages of Pulwama district during nocturnal raids. Nineteen persons were arrested from Ratnipora and four from Kakapora on charges of stone pelting.
Sources said that these persons were wanted by police for their involvement in stone-pelting during a PDP minister’s visit and bank robbery by militants in the village last month.
All shops and commercial establishments were closed while traffic was off the roads in the village against the nocturnal raids. A complete shutdown was observed in Ratnipora village. Protesters also clashed with Police and security forces at Ratnipora and Kakapora after Friday prayers. Protesters pelted stones on security forces who responded by firing tear smoke.
Stone-throwing clashes and protests erupted in parts of Srinagar and in North Kashmir’s Sopore Town of Baramulla district today after Friday congregational prayers.
After culmination of Friday prayers, large number of youths came out of Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area here and started sloganeering.
As a result of stone-throwing by youths, the commercial activities came to a halt in Nowhatta area. Police lobbed several teargas shells to disperse the protesters. Clashes later spread to adjoining Rajouri Kadal and Saraf Kadal areas. At Rajouri Kadal, police had to fire in air after youth cornered a Rakshak vehicle of cops.
Meanwhile, several separatist Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) activists were held by police after they held a sit-in protest at Budshah Chowk in Lal Chowk here post-Friday prayers. The held leaders were shifted to Central Jail Srinagar.
Clashes also erupted at Sopore town in Baramulla district after Friday prayers between youths and security forces. Scores of youth assembled in Jamia Masjid area in Sopore and pelted rocks on security men who retaliated by lobbing teargas shells. The clashes in the area continued for several hours. No one was reported injured in these clashes.