The weekend brought a sad news from Kashmir where over 7 civilians and 1 soldier got unfortunately killed during an encounter of 3 terrorists, while leaving dozens injured including one reported to be critical. The tragic incident took place in Sirnoor village near Pulwama district in Jammu & Kashmir on Saturday in the morning. As per several TV reports, the security forces were tipped of the hideouts of 3 terrorists including an Army deserter, Zahoor Ahmad Thoker, in the village where the forces laid siege to gun down the terrorists. As soon as the news of encounter of Thoker reached the villagers, a massive mob reached the spot to protest the encounter of their resident as well as tried to attack the vehicles of the security forces, a police official told media. After the forces failed to disperse the crowd with their several warning shots, the forces resorted to fire at the crowd which, allegedly, killed 7 civilians, and left dozens injured.
The total operation of gunning down the three terrorists, reportedly, lasted for only 25 minutes, but the task turned daunting for the security forces as the crowd went unruly with them at the spot where the encounter took place. Thoker has been reported to be the army deserter who went missing since July 2017, allegedly, to join the militants. Thoker had left the camp at Gantmulla area of Baramulla district in North Kashmir with his service rifle with 3 magazines. He was accused of carrying out several killings in the Pullman district of Jammu & Kashmir.
The encounter and killing drew political attention and reaction too. The National Conference (NC) chief and former chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, tweeted criticizing the governor rule. “The administration of Governor Malik has one task and one task only – to focus on the security of the people of J&K & restore peace to a troubled valley. Sadly, it appears that’s the only thing the administration is not doing. Publicity campaigns & full page ads don’t bring peace,” tweeted Omar Abdullah from his official Twitter handle. Another tweet came from the ex-Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, who highlighted governor rule’s failed efforts to provide security to the civilians. “No probe enough to bring back the dead innocent civilians. South Kashmir has been feeling fear for the last 6 months. Is this what was expected from Gov rule. The admin has failed in securing common lives. Deepest condolences to the bereaved family,” tweeted Mehbooba on Saturday. The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has called for 3-day strike to tell the Indian administration to “kill us all at once”.
(With inputs from Agency)