Shopian encounter: Civilian succumbs; operation called off

Srinagar: The civilian who was grievously injured during an encounter in Shopian on Monday evening succumbed on Tuesday here, while the operation has been called off. The slain civilian has been identified as Shahid Ahmad Dar (19) son Abdul Ghani Dar, a Bachelors of Arts (BA) student and a resident of Pandoshan village of Shopian.

“He succumbed here at the 92 Base Hospital of Army this morning,” officials said, adding that body has been handed over to family for last rites. Two civilians and a soldier were injured during an encounter in Pandoshan village, while police said that terrorists managed their escape from the spot.

“Based on specific input about presence of terrorists in Pandoshan in Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched yesterday evening by Shopian Police and Army in the said area,” Police said.

“As the joint team was establishing the cordon around the area, the hiding terrorists started indiscriminate firing upon the search

party. In order to save the civilians present in the area, the joint team while exercising maximum restraint started evacuating them,” Police said.

“However during evacuation process, the hiding terrorists targetted the civilians as well as the joint team in a bid to escape. Although, the civilians were evacuated to safer place however, due to heavy firing by terrorists, one soldier Lance Naik Sanjib Das and two civilians Shahid Ghani Dar and Suhaib Ahmad received gunshot injuries.”

Police said all the injured were immediately airlifted to 92 Base Hospital, Srinagar for treatment However, the civilian Shahid Ghani Dar succumbed to his injuries while as the other injured civilian, Suhaib Ahmad and Lance Naik Sanjib Das are under treatment.

After all medico-legal formalities dead body of the slain civilian was handed over to the family for last rite. Taking advantage of the darkness and civilian presence police said: “The terrorists managed to escape from the site of encounter. Efforts are on to track the terrorists,” police said.

Police quoting Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar as saying: “IGP Kashmir said that it has been observed in some encounters recently in Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts that Pakistani terrorists started firing on civilians and security forces while laying initial cordon to escape from cordon,” he said . “In few of such encounters terrorists managed to escape from cordon but we have lost precious lives of civilians and security forces. We are trying bring some change in our tactical SOPs.”

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