Budgam: J&K DGP SP Vaid appeals to youth to stay away from encounter sites.
On Tuesday, three young civilian protesters were killed and nearly three dozen were injured when forces opened fire to break protests by locals, who rushed to the encounter site in Budgam to rescue a militant.
Vaid said, “Despite provocation we have minimsed casualties, but youth coming to encounters sites are committing suicide.”
Last month, Army chief Bipin Rawat had warned those attacking security forces during anti-militancy operations of tough action. The stern message from Rawat came after three soldiers faced heavy stone-pelting at Parray Mohalla of Bandipore in north Kashmir when they were about to launch an operation against militants holed up there.
In Budgam, as the encounter started, people of the area took to roads and tried to march towards the encounter site to allow militants a chance to escape from the besieged area.
Chanting pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans, the protestors clashed with the security personnel, who fired dozens of tear smoke shells. As the clashes intensified, the security men fired on the protestors.
At least 22 people sustained injuries in the security forces firing. 17 of the injured were shifted to SMHS hospital, Srinagar where three of the critically injured youth succumbed to injuries.
The deceased were identified as 21-year-old Zahid Rashid Bhat, Saqib Ahmad, 20, and Ishfaq Ahmad, 24.
According to doctors, the deceased had firearm injuries.