Protests hit held Kashmir after killing of militant leader

Witnesses said a young man was killed and several other people were injured after Indian forces fired on the protesters near the site of the gun battle.

The J&K police has confirmed that two terrorists, including Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Sabzar, who succeeded Burhan Wani, were killed in an encounter in Saimu Tral sector.

In a separate incident, the Indian army on Saturday said they had killed six fighters who had infiltrated across the border from Pakistan in the Himalayan region.

CM Mehbooba Mufti chaired a high-level security meet in Srinagar to ensure the situation does not flare up like it did in the aftermath of Burhan Wani's killing previous year, when 94 civilian protesters were killed in the almost six-month long unrest.

Bhat was the successor to Burwan Wani, whose death in July past year sparked months of anti-India protests in which scores of people died.

A fierce gunfight started in the village on Saturday morning and ended when the houses the militants had been using as fortified bunkers were destroyed, police said.

The official said as the security forces were closing on the building where the militants were hiding, the ultras opened fire. He carried a bounty of R10 lakh on his head and was at the top of the security forces' wanted list.

Two hardcore terrorists, including dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, were killed in an encounter in Tral area of Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir today.

Curfew and other restrictions have been imposed in Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian, Islamabad, Gandarbal and other districts of the territory. Unnerved people rushed to their homes, leading to traffic snarls on certain routes. The state government ordered immediate closure of schools and colleges in Srinagar. Mobile and internet services were suspended on Saturday afternoon, a day after authorities lifted a month-long ban on the social media.

In a statement, the resistance leadership said that millions of people in 2008, 2010 and 2016 while pursuing their genuine struggle, insisted for right to self-determination and instead of assigning any serious concern, were showered with bullets and pellets.

The situation across the Valley is tense.

  • Joanne Flowers