1 killed, 18 injured in clashes with security forces after Kulgam encounter

1 killed, 18 injured in clashes with security forces after Kulgam encounter
A youth was killed and 18 were injured today in clashes between stone pelters and security forces following the gunning down of four militants in an encounter in south Kashmir's Kulgam district. Hundreds of people, mostly youths, started sloganeering after four militants and a civilian were killed in the encounter at Frisal in Kulgam this morning, a police official said.

Security forces fired tear smoke shells and several live rounds to disperse the protesters but in vain, the official said. He said 19 people were injured in the security forces' action. One of the four who suffered bullet injuries succumbed. The deceased has been identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Itoo. While 15 injured people have been shifted to Anantnag district hospital, three others have been referred to a hospital here, the official said. He said clashes were going on in the affected areas of Kulgam district till reports last came in.

In a pre-dawn swoop, security forces gunned down four Hizbul Mujahideen militants in an encounter at a village in south Kashmir that also left two army men and a civilian dead.  Meanwhile, Opposition National Conference (NC) condemned the two civilian deaths at Frisal and demanded an impartial and time-bound probe into the incident.

Conveying condolences to the family of the civilians killed in the encounter, NC MLA Homshalibugh Abdul Majeed Bhat Larmi said no amount of apology from the administration can bring them back. Larmi demanded that the administration immediately constitute an independent and time-bound enquiry team to put the facts right. NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar demanded a judicial probe into the deaths.

"The government should order a judicial probe into this incident which has led to civilian deaths," he told PTI. Condemning the firing on civilians, the NC leader alleged that the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state was responsible for the "deteriorating situation" in the Valley.

"The Chief Minister said twice on the floor of the Assembly that she has directed the security forces not to trouble civilians and avoid casualties while dealing with militants but today's incident goes against her statements," Sagar said.
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