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Protests after three killed in encounter in Jammu and Kashmir


SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday said three militants, including a top commander of TRF, were killed in a brief encounter in Srinagar. However, the eyewitnesses said the trio was unarmed and killed by policemen when there was no retaliation from the former’s side.

A police spokesman said acting on specific input regarding movement of militants, a team of police signalled a suspected car to stop at Rambagh area. “However, militants started firing indiscriminately on the police party from inside the car while trying to flee. The fire was effectively retaliated and in the ensuing gunfight, three militants were killed,” he said.

The slain militants were identified as TRF commander Mehran Yaseen Shalla, a Srinagar resident, Manzoor Ahmad Mir and Arafat Ahmad Sheikh, both from Pulwama. The police spokesman said Mehran was wanted for his involvement in militant attacks. “He was involved in killings of SI Arshad Ahmad, school principal Supinder Kour and teacher Deepak Chand and another civilian”.

However, a woman, who said she witnessed the incident, alleged that three youths were standing on a road. “The policemen came and fired indiscriminately on the trio. We could not initially understand what was happening, but they fired indiscriminately on the three, who ran towards a lane but police followed them and brought them in injured condition on road and kept them there till they breathed last and then took away the bodies,” she said in a video which has gone viral.

She said they were not carrying any weapons. “Had they been carrying any weapon, they would have retaliated”. The woman said if police had any suspicion about the trio, they could have arrested them as they were unarmed. Asked whether they had come in a vehicle, she said, “May be they had come on a bike or a vehicle but at that point of time, they were standing on the road near a three-wheeler”.

The killings triggered protests in Rambagh with women demanding an end to killings in Kashmir. Protests also took place in Jamalatta area of downtown Srinagar, where Mehran hailed from. The youth of the area also took to roads and chanted pro-freedom and pro-Islamic slogans. Several areas of Srinagar also observed spontaneous shutdown after the killings.