SRINAGAR, Aug 12: A soldier and two militants were killed in a fierce encounter in Shopian district of South Kashmir tonight while a massive operation has been launched in Kalaroos area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district after militants attacked an army camp last night.
Sources said that a joint team of Army’s 3 RR, 55 RR and Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police cordoned off Astan Mohalla area of Awanura village in Zainapora, Shopian following inputs about the presence of a group of Hizbul Mujahideen militants.
As the security forces intensified the combing operation, the militants opened fire while trying to break the cordon triggering an encounter. Sources said that two militants were killed in the gun battle so far but the bodies are yet to be recovered.
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A soldier was killed and 4 others were injured during the gun battle. The cordon around the village has been strengthened and the searches of the debris will be conducted in the morning.
Stone pelting clashes erupted near the encounter site as locals tried to hamper the operation but police prevented them from going near the encounter site as they fired teargas to disperse them.
And security forces today called off the cordon and search operation at Noorpora village of Tral in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district that was launched yesterday after suspecting presence of at least three militants including Zakir Musa.
Army’s 42 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), 130 battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Awantipora, cordoned off Noorpora village and launched searches. The youth pelted stones at the security forces during the operation and they fired teargas at them to disperse them.
The search operation was resumed in the morning after it was put on hold during the night. However, no one was arrested.
A soldier was injured after militants attacked an Army camp in Kalaroos forests in border district of Kupwara in North Kashmir last night.
A group of militants attacked 41 RR headquarter camp located in upper belt of Kalaroos forests along the Line of Control (LoC). The indiscriminate firing continued on the RR headquarters for at least 10 minutes. Troops retaliated the fire, resulting in a brief shootout.
A soldier of 21 JAK Rifles was injured in the shootout. He was shifted to military hospital Drugmulla for treatment.
Soon after the attack, Army launched a massive manhunt with the help of para-commandos. The areas that have been cordoned off included ipper belt of Kalaroos forests and Kunnad, Kani Behak, Manigah and Chat forest areas of Batpora Haihama.
A civilian was injured in a petrol bomb attack in Dalgate area of Srinagar. Police said that the petrol bomb was hurled this evening at Badyari Chowk in Dalgate. A civilian identified as Imtiyaz Ahmed was injured and has been admitted in SMHS Srinagar. His condition is stable and SMHS hospital authorities said that he has sustained injuries due to splinters.
Meanwhile, life across Kashmir was paralyzed today by a shutdown amid restrictions against the alleged attempts to abrogate Article 35-A during clashes erupted in few parts of Valley.
The shutdown was called by joint separatist leadership of Kashmir and almost all the business, transport and civil society groups had extended support for the strike call. Shops, commercial establishments and educational institutes were closed across summer capital here since morning while transport was off the roads. Due to shutdown, the banks and Government offices recorded thin attendance.
Apprehending protests, authorities imposed restrictions in five police station areas of Old City. The curbs were imposed in Maharaj Gunj, Rainawari, Safa Kadal, Khanyar and Rainawari Police Station areas since morning hours. Hundreds of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were imposed in downtown areas to enforce curbs. The security forces had erected barbed wires and mobile bunkers at key junctions.
Due to shutdown, the roads and streets across the city were deserted and people preferred to stay indoors. A peaceful protest was staged by Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) near Clock Tower in Lal Chowk against alleged attempts to scrap Article 35-A. Police said that the day passed off peacefully and no major incident of violence was reported from anywhere in the city. However, evening clashes erupted at Nowhatta, Safa Kadal and Zaldagar areas of downtown, police said.
The shutdown was also observed in other parts of the Valley on separatist call. The inter-district transport service also remained suspended due to shutdown call. While the day passed off peacefully in Valley, clashes erupted between youth and security forces at Arampora locality of Sopore Town in Baramulla district. There was, however, no injury to anyone. The Banihal-Baramulla rail service remained suspended today.