At least a dozen civilians and 20 police men were injured in clashes in Pulwama town today amid a complete shutdown against the killing of a local militant in Bandipora forest on Thursday evening. The district administration had imposed curfew in the town after apprehending protests against the killing of LeT militant, Omais Ahmad Sheikh alias Hamza. Omais, a student BA II year in Degree College Pulwama, had joined LeT in June this year after snatching weapon from policemen deployed in the Pulwama District hospital. Omais was a resident of Chatapora locality of the town. Talking to KNS, Superintendent of Police, Tajinder Singh, Pulwama, said that at least 20 policemen and 12 civilians were injured during clashes. “Police showed maximum restraint and maximum patience during the clashes and did not use any lethal weapon on the protesters,” Singh claimed. However, eyewitnesses said that a youth from Pampore, identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad Gojri, 27, was injured in his right eye due to pellets. “He was rushed to SKIMS by his friends in a vehicle,” eyewitnesses said. Reports said that shops, business units and government offices were shut during the day, while transport was off the roads for the day. Earlier, the police had handed over the body of the slain militant to the family in the wee hours of the Friday morning. His funeral prayers were offered in Industrial Complex premises in the town after Friday worship, which was attended by thousands of mourners, eyewitnesses said. To defy the curfew, hundreds of people assembled at Rajpora and Murran Chowks today morning and raised slogans against the government and security forces. Reports said that police and security forces were deployed in strength to thwart the protests and any untoward incident. “The agitated people defied the curfew and pelted stones on security forces who retailed with shelling of teargas and pepper gas. Due to shelling one youth, Imtiyaz Ahmad Gojri of Pampore was injured in his right eye,” eyewitnesses said. The SP said that the police is assessing the situation and will decide tomorrow whether to impose curfew or not in the town. Meanwhile, Army spokesman in a statement said that it killed an HM militant, Omais Ahmad Sheikh, in the forested area of Ajas near village Dudhwan of Bandipora district during an encounter which erupted last evening. “One 9mm Chinese Pistol, Magazine and 8 rounds along with other war like stores were recovered from the sight of encounter,” the spokesman said, adding the search is underway in the area.
2015 Kashmir Despatch