Two army men including a major and several locals were injured in an ongoing encounter and subsequent protests in Drubgam village of Pulwama in south Kashmir on Monday.
The official sources claim that at least two militants, probably top commanders, are trapped at the encounter site. The 44 Rashtriya Rifles of Army, Special Operations Group of J&K police and CRPF launched a joint crack down in Drabgam village and encounter started as soon as they established contact with the militants.
As soon as locals heard gunshots, they gathered near the spot, triggering massive protests, attempting to break the cordon and help militants to escape. The government has snapped the mobile Internet facility in several parts of south Kashmir to avoid any flow of information on social media, which can attract larger crowds at the spot and also trigger clashes in other parts of Valley. “The trapped militants have not been identified yet. Kindly don’t speculate,” J&K police spokesperson said. Earlier this month at least two militants managed to flee from an encounter site after a daylong gun battle in Kulgam district of south Kashmir, due to massive civilian protests, during which armed forces killed four civilians.
Locals claim that at least 12 people were injured during the protests till now and police and paramilitary forces have resorted to heavy tear smoke shelling and pellet firing to disperse the crowd.
“Two armymen including a major were injured, who have been evacuated and are being treated at army’s 92 base hospital in Srinagar,” a senior police official told ET.
The encounter took place a day after an unverified video purportedly of militant commander Sameer Tiger, who also hails from Drubgam, where the encounter is going on, went viral on social media. The video, shot during the night, shows a man identifying himself as Jeelani Ahmad Dar squatted before the militant (not seen in the video) who is seeking details of other army and police informers from him. Dar seeks forgiveness in the video and the militant directs him to convey to Shukla (probably an army officer in the area) to confront them directly.
In 2018, till date over 114 people, including 27 civilians, 55 militants, three political workers and 29 police, members of the Army and paramilitary forces have been killed. After the killing of Burhan Wani in 2016, around 100 locals joined militancy in 2016, 124 in 2017 and over 35 in 2018 till now. The government launched Operation All Out to wipe out the militancy and killed more than 213 militants in 2017.