Pulwama Firing Incident: 9 injured, probe ordered; Curfew to continue

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Pulwama, Dec 29: Curfew was imposed in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district after nine persons were injured in firing by government forces on protesters following a gun battle that left two Lashker-e-Toiba militants dead and four army men including two officers injured on Friday.
A police official said that information was received about the presence of two militants in village Bubgam, in the district, some 50 kms from summer capital Srinagar. “Based on this specific information a joint party of Special Operations Group, army’s 55 Rashtriya Rifles and 182 Bn of Central Reserve Police Force cordoned off the area and launched searches,” he said.
Militants present there opened fire on the search party in which two officers of army and SOG personnel, Imtiyaz was injured.
Sources in army identified the injured officers as Major Tanmay and Captain Kapil Mamraj. Both the injured were immediately rushed to army’s 92 base hospital in Srinagar for treatment.
“In the ensuing gunfight that lasted for several hours, two militants were killed,” the official said.
He identified slain militants as Imtiyaz Ahmed Teli a resident of Pulwama and Mohammad Aamir Bhat a resident of neighboring Shopian.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir range, SM Sahai said,” Imtiyaz was a local trained militant and was presently the District Commander of LeT outfit. He was active in the adjoining districts also. He was arrested by Srinagar police and after 10 months detention was released in June 2010. However, Imtiyaz recycled again in 2011 after being motivated by the then Divisional Commander of LeT Rehman Bhai.”
Sahai added: “Imtiyaz was involved in the grenade attackat Narwal in November in which one person had died, and five others were injured. The slain militants were also involved in the grenade attack in Bijbehara in which four tourist were killed in July this year.” Though it seemed to be a gas cylinder blast at that time. However, after forensic examinations and other investigations it was termed as a grenade attack.
Meanwhile, police had to “fire in air” at Pulwama town fearing stone pelting from the protesters.
Reports reaching here said that people in Chandgam village started marching towards the gun-battle site shouting anti-India slogans.
As the force personnel who were injured in the gunfight was being shifted to a hospital, the people who had gathered at Pulwama Chowk started shouting anti-India slogans. The police opened fire, resulting injuries to nine people and led to severe damage to a Sumo vehicle, reports said.
The forces allegedly opened fire to chase away stone-pelting protesters as they were evacuating their injured army major, a police official said.
All the injured were rushed to hospital for treatment, the official said. He said that two injured were shifted to SMHS, three to Bone and Joint Hospital and two of the injured civilians were referred to SKIMS hospital for specialised treatment.
A senior doctor in the SMHS hospital said most of the injured had reported bullet injuries. Senior administrative officials were rushed to the town to take stock of the situation.
The Pulwama town went on a spontaneous strike against the firing incident, reports said.
“A mob attacked the ambulance at Pulwama, by hurling stones. In the retaliatory action, seven persons Mohammad yaseen Bhat son of Ghulam Ahmad Bhat resident of Tahab, Ashiq Ahmad Mir son of Bashir Ahmad, Jahangir Ahmed Mir son of Bashir Ahmad Mir, Gowhar Ahmad Mir son of Ghulam Mohammad Mir, Imran Bhat son of Abdul Rehman, Showkat Mir son of Ghulam Mohammad and Younis Mir son of Parviez Ahmad Mir residents of Pulwama. Three have been admitted in Bone and Joints Hospital and four to SMHS Srinagar for treatment. The condition of all the injured persons is said to be stable,” a police spokesman said.
Following the tension in the area, authorities on late Friday afternoon imposed curfew like restrictions at Pulwama town and its adjoining areas, a police official said.
“I have ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident that led to the firing by forces in the town and resulting injuries to the civilians. The enquiry shall be conducted by Additional District Magistrate Pulwama who has been asked to furnish the report within a period of 15 days,” the deputy commissioner, Shafat Noor, said.
“Curfew has been imposed in Pulwama town as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” he said.
Minister of State for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani this afternoon visited SMHS and SKIMS hospital to enquire about health of injured persons.
Nasir directed the hospital authorities to provide adequate medicare to the injured persons so that they could recover at the earliest.
Earlier, the MoS, Home along with DIG, South Kashmir range visited Pulwama and took stock of the situation. He said the firing incident would be enquired into while expressing sympathies with the injured.
Meanwhile, the district authorities have ordered to continue with the curfew restrictions today (Saturday) as well. Security forces have been deployed at all the volatile and sensitive places in the area. However, students’ Admit Cards will be treated as curfew passes to ease their movement to and from examination centres.

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