Army jawan martyred, 4 civilians die in ensuing clashes -
Army jawan martyred, 4 civilians die in ensuing clashes
Posted 12 Apr 2018 05:26 PM

Four civilians were killed and 20 injured as protesters clashed with security personnel in Kulgam district on Wednesday while an encounter was on with terrorists that left one soldier martyred and two others wounded, police said.
Meanwhile, three terrorists cornered by the security forces managed to escape after a prolonged fire-fight in Kulgam district even as a jawan was killed in action while four civilians onlookers lost their lives in the crossfire, police officials said.
Briefing reporters, senior police officers said there was specific intelligence about the presence of three local terrorists owing allegiance to Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba terror group at a house in the Khudwani area following which a cordon was thrown at 10 pm on Tuesday night.
As the news of civilian deaths spread, protests broke out in several areas of north Kashmir including Baramulla, Bandipora and Sopore towns and several security personnel including the Station House Officer of Baramulla were injured in stone-pelting by protestors, a police official said.
Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Khudwani area of the district during the night following information about presence of terrorists there, the official said. Three soldiers were injured in the initial exchange of fire with the terrorists out of which Sapper Sada Gunakara Rao (24), a resident of Andhra Pradesh, succumbed to injuries at 92 Base hospital of the Army here.
A group of people from Khudwani and adjoining areas started pelting stones on security personnel during the encounter on Wednesday in order to facilitate the escape of the terrorists, the official said, adding 24 civilians, who were actually stone-pelters, were injured in the ensuing violence, four of whom died.
“Four civilians died in the law and order situation that erupted in Khudwani area of Kulgam district when security forces were engaged in a counter-terrorism operation,” the official said.
Three of the deceased youths were identified as Sarjeel Ahmad (25), Bilal Ahmad Tantray (16) and Faisal Ilahi (14).
The condition of the other injured persons is stated to be stable, he said.
The police official said that the gun-battle broke out between the terrorists and security forces in the early hours on Wednesday.
While police and army officials maintain that the search operation was in progress, sources said the security forces withdrew following the clashes. The sources said two to three terrorists managed to escape from the cordoned area.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi, flew to Srinagar instead of Jammu to review the law and order situation in the Valley.
Expressing her grief, she said there was an urgent need “to get together to get Jammu and Kashmir out of this vicious cycle of violence and killings.”
“There is an urgent need to get together to get Jammu and Kashmir out of this vicious cycle of violence and killings,” Mehbooba Mufti said.
She has also paid tributes to the Army jawan who lost his life during the encounter.
Meanwhile, Army paid tributes to the soldier who was martyred in a gunbattle with terrorists.
“Army paid befitting tributes to Sapper Sada Gunakara Rao, who attained martyrdom during counter terrorist operations in Kulgam district,” an army spokesman said in a statement.
Rao sustained bullet injuries during the fierce operation at Khudwani early today. He was provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital but he succumbed to injuries, the spokesman said.
General Officer Commanding of Chinar Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, led all ranks in paying homage to the soldier on behalf of the nation.
Rao (24) had joined the Army in 2012 and belonged to Atisurikaviti village of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh. He is survived by his parents.
“The mortal remains of the martyr were flown for last rites to his native place, where he would be laid to rest with full military honours,” the spokesman added.

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