Srinagar: One person was killed and four others were injured during clashes with security forces who were engaged in an encounter with terrorists in Shopian district, a police official said on Wednesday. The security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Turkwangam village of Shopian following information about presence of terrorists there, the official said. He said a gunfight broke out between the ultras and the security forces, which was going on when the reports last came in. In a related development, a group of youngsters assembled near the encounter site and started pelting stones at the security forces, the official said. He said five people were injured when the security forces opened fire to chase away the stone pelters.
One of the injured, 17-year-old Umar Kumhar, later succumbed to injuries, he added. Locals, however, claimed that more than a dozen youngsters were injured in the security forces action.
Meanwhile, stone-pelters targeted a school bus in Kanipora village in Shopian leaving one student of Class II with a head injury and sending the rest into shock.
Police said the injured student was rushed to hospital. There were some 50 children on the bus, some as young as four years old, reported Times Now, which added the bus belonged to one Rainbow International School. An FIR has been filed against those who stoned the bus.
“My son has been injured in stone pelting, this is against humanity. This could have been anyone’s child,” said the father of the students who suffered a head injury.
Police said the miscreants will soon be arrested.
“The area has been sanitised, search for stone pelters is underway and they will be arrested soon,” said Shailendra Kumar, Senior Superintendent of Police, Shopian.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and former chief minister Omar Abdullah condemned the incident.
“Shocked & angered to hear of the attack on a school bus in Shopian. The perpetrators of this senseless & cowardly act will be brought to justice,” tweeted Mufti.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah condemned the attack on the school bus.
“How does pelting stones on school children or tourist buses help advance the agenda of these stone pelters? These attacks deserve our unequivocal condemnation & this tweet is mine,” Omar wrote on his Twitter handle.
“The amnesty granted to stone-pelters was meant to encourage more reasonable behaviour but some of these goons are determined to use the opportunity given to them to just pelt more stones,” said Abdullah further.
Director General of Police SP Vaid called the incident “complete madness”.
Earlier this month, two buses carrying tourists from Indonesia were pelted with stones near Dal Lake. Prompt action by houseboat owners saved them. As well, two women tourists from Abu Dhabi also suffered head injuries after being hit by stones thrown at their cab near the airport, also earlier this month. And some weeks ago, a mob attacked a tourist bus at Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district and threw stones at it, injuring two women from Uttar Pradesh.
In yet another incident, miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at the ancestral home of PDP MLA Mohd Yusuf Bhat in Shopian, police said.
The PDP MLA was not present at his home when the incident took place, they said.
The police guard present at the spot immediately informed the fire brigade and the fire was doused, police said.
A window of his attic was damaged in the incident, they said.
“Miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at my house in Shopian today,” Bhat said.
He said he was not present at his residence at the time of the attack and was not aware of any damage in the incident.
“Police has reached the spot and are assessing the damage,” he said.
Bhat’s residence has been targeted by militants in the past, who carried out a grenade attack in October 2016, while a security guard picket inside his house was set afire by mob in August 2016.