Seven militants and a policeman were killed in two separate encounters on Sunday in Baramulla and Poonch districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the civilian death toll in the Valley rose to 78 with another youth succumbing to injuries and over 120 injured in mass rallies and clashes on the 65th day of unrest. Javaid Ahmad Dar, died in a Srinagar hospital on Sunday. He was hit by bullets during clashes in central Kashmir’s Budgam district recently.
Rajnath takes stock of situation
In Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation in the Kashmir Valley at a high level meeting at his Ashoka Road residence on Sunday evening.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma were present at the meeting.
Officials have been instructed to redeploy security forces and enforce Section 144 in rural areas, the flashpoint of protests, ahead of Bakr-Eid on Tuesday, while curfew has been lifted in the Valley. In an early morning encounter, the Army spotted a group of militants in Baramulla district’s Nowgam Sector around 2.30 a.m. triggering an exchange of fire that continued till 10 a.m.
“Four militants were killed as the Army foiled an infiltration bid in Nowgam Sector. Four AK-47 rifles and war-like stores have been recovered. The operation is on,” Army spokesman Colonel Manish Kumar said in Srinagar.
120 hurt as security forces foil rallies
Over 120 persons were injured as locals clashed with the Army, police who conducted raids and foiled rallies and pro-freedom processions in Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Bandipora and Budgam districts. Around 100 persons were injured in Pulwama’s Kareemabad area when security forces raided the village to detain protesters.
Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Lone, said the district administration was monitoring the situation and “will make assessment on Monday to decide whether to enforce Section 144 on Eid-ul-Azha or not”.
Rajnath meets topper
At a high-level meeting in Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh instructed officials of enforce Section 144 strictly in rural areas.
Mr. Singh also met J&K resident Nabeel Ahmed Wani, who has topped the entrance examinations of Assistant Commandant’s (works) post of the Border Security Force. In a departure from protocol, Mr. Singh called in Wani to the conference room where he was holding a meeting on Kashmir crisis with senior officials, including Mr. Doval. Mr. Singh introduced Wani to all the senior officials and everyone congratulated him.
Three killed in Poonch
In Pir Panchal Valley’s Poonch district, militants, believed to be Lashkar-e-Taiba’s fresh infiltrators, opened fire around 7:30 a.m. when a policeman spotted their movement.
The heavily armed militants, were hiding in a school and an under-construction government building near the Army’s 93 Brigade headquarters.
One policeman, identified as Raj Kumar, died in the attack in which three militants were killed. Three persons, including a soldier, sustained injuries.