Jawan, minor killed in Valley

One jawan and two civilians, including a minor boy, were killed in separate incidents in Kashmir valley on Wednesday. Meanwhile, separatists’ call for a shutdown against civilian killings during anti-militancy operations affected daily life.

Locals said a civilian, Khalid Gafar (20), a resident of Trehgam, died of bullet injuries when an Army patrol opened fire at protesters in the area. According to hospital sources, Gafar was hit by a bullet in the throat.

Initial reports suggest the Army resorted to firing after youth pelted stones at their vehicles at Trehgam’s Zargar mohalla. National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah demanded that a change in standard operating procedure be brought about “to avoid civilian killings during encounters”.

In a separate incident, six-year-old Saliq Ahmad was killed and four others injuried in a blast at Memender area of Shopian district on Wednesday. The area witnessed a major encounter on Tuesday in which two Jaish-e-Muhammad militants were killed.

Initial reports suggest the five children were fiddling with an object when it exploded. “A Station House Offficer was deputed to the site to verify the cause of the blast,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shopian Sandeep Chaudhary.

“Our children are not safe even while playing. Every day, Kashmiris pay the cost of the lingering conflict,” said Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

A soldier was killed and another injured during an anti-militancy operation launched in Kupwara’s Sadhu Ganga forest area. A police official said sepoy Mukul Meena, of the Army’s 4 PARA, sustained bullet wounds on Wednesday in the gunfight at Sadu Ganga forest area of Kandi. The operation in Kupwara is still on to find the militants who fled.

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