Free Press Journal

Clashes in J&K village after youth’s death in BSF firing


Pakistan firing in indian border

Srinagar: Padgampura, a village 35 km south of Srinagar, was tense today, a day after the killing of a young man in firing by BSF troops, with locals clashing with police, who have registered cross complaints by the border guarding force and villagers in connection with the incident. 23-year-old Bilal Ahmed Bhat was killed when BSF troops opened fire at a stone-pelting crowd at their bunker in Koel near Awantipura Indian Air Force base.

Police have registered a case based on the complaint by locals against the BSF and also filed a second FIR against unknown people following a counter complaint by the paramilitary force, which alleged the locals hurled stones and wanted to ransack their bunker, official sources said.

BSF has also instituted a regular inquiry in the case, they said. In Padgampura, considered a LeT stronghold, stone-pelting crowds were fighting pitched battles with police to protest Bilal’s killing. The police team under Senior Superintendent of Police Irshad Ahmed was exercising restraint despite some policemen being injured, sources said.

Violence had erupted in Padgampura in Awantipura district and adjoining Pulwama yesterday following the gunning down of Bilal and two local militants Gulzar Ahmed Bhat and Showkat Ahmed Lone during a 20-hour gun battle with the army and police.

Bodies of the two Lashkar militants, who had emerged as local faces of the Pakistan-based terror outfit, were laid to rest today amid slogan shouting. Involved in a number of militant activities, Bhat and Lone were killed in Rathnipora area of Pulwama district.

Bhat alias Shaheen was a graduate and had applied for a Masters course before joining militancy in November last year. According to a spokesman for the police, he was involved in motivating the youth to join militancy in the recent past when a number of educated young men have picked up guns.

Besides being involved in some cases of snatching of weapons, Bhat was playing an important role in strengthening the overground network of LeT in the area. Lone was middle pass and had joined militancy in 2013. He was involved in several incidents that left civilians and security personnel dead, the spokesman said.