March 2017 News

Civilian Killed In J&K Grenade Attack

3 March 2017
The Hindu
Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar: Two security personnel and a resident injured as militants throw grenade at CRPF patrol in Pulwama One civilian was killed and four persons, including two security personnel, were injured when militants lobbed a grenade at a CRPF patrol vehicle at Muran Chowk, Pulwama, in south Kashmir on Friday afternoon. The grenade exploded near the vehicle even as local residents ran for cover. The police said the militants escaped in the ensuing melee. Two injured CRPF personnel and two civilians were immediately shifted to hospitals. However, a civilian, identified as Muhammad Ayoub Wani, a resident of Gusoo village, died. The death of the civilian sparked fresh protests in the area, with local residents hurling stones at the security personnel, who used tear smoke shells to disperse the restive crowd. 20 detained for probe Earlier, local shopkeepers downed shutters in protest against a series of arrests in Pulwama's Ratnipora area on Thursday night. Police sources said around 20 youths were rounded up as part of investigations into the recent stone-pelting incidents, in which Forest, Environment and Animal Husbandry Minister and Pampore MLA Zahoor Ahmad Mir's motorcade was attacked on February 27. Meanwhile, both separatist leaders and mainstream politicians have expressed apprehension over the Centre's reported move to stockpile 4,000 pellet shotguns. Former Chief Minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah on Friday said it showed 'that the present government had chosen to not learn any lessons from the recent unrest and the devastating effect of pellet guns that saw hundreds of young kids losing partial or complete eyesight.' Ads by ZINC 'The Peoples Democratic Party's continued subservience to the BJP is alarming and could have long-lasting adverse implications on the State and its stability,' Mr. Abdullah said. Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani said, 'The Indian authorities are hell-bent on muzzling our voices. It illustrates arrogance. Unfortunately, New Delhi looks at the Kashmir issue through the prism of law and order only.' Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who heads another Hurriyat faction, said 'stock-piling pellet shotguns or lethal weapons or packages cannot make the people of Kashmir to give up their basic political demand.' 'Kashmir is a disputed territory. Instead of looking at ways and means to maintain status quo, it would be in the best interest of all parties involved in the Kashmir dispute to resolve it in accordance with people's wishes,' said the Mirwaiz. A media report had said that the CRPF was 'planning to procure 4,000 pellet guns this year to deal with demonstrations during counter-insurgency operations'. At present, there are only 640 pump-action guns in the Valley. In the five-month-long street protests in 2016, over 10,000 people were injured in the Valley, mainly due to pellet guns. Around 1,000 were hit in the eyes. At least 10 civilians died due to pellet injuries.