No civilian injured in Kupwara clashes, says Govt

Minister Kichloo in Legislative AssemblyA day following the uproar in Jammu and Kashmir’s frontier Kupwara district over the killing of seven foreign militants, government said that no civilian was injured during the clashes, adding that twenty-one police personnel received injuries when the protesters attacked a police station.

“No civilian got injured as police exercised maximum restrain, discipline and professionalism”, said State’s home minister – Sajad Ahmed Kichloo – while talking in the Legislative Assembly about the encounter and the uproar in the locality on the following day.

Pertinently, reports suggested that at least sixteen people were injured in day long clashes in Lalpora area of this district on Tuesday. The injured reportedly included five civilians, four policemen, and seven media persons.

Kichloo blamed a ‘mob of people’ for damaging police station building and eighteen vehicles including eleven government vehicles and an ambulance. He also said that the mob set ablaze the bunkers near the police station. The minister said that a First Investigation Report has been registered at police station Lalpora against the incidents that happened on the day.

Responding to the allegations on police of opening aerial firing and resorting to teargas shelling on the protesters, the minister said that police used tear smoke shells to disperse the mob ‘in order to protect the life and property’ and prevent the protesters from storming the station building. “With the help of re-enforcement from Kupwara, the mob was dispersed and situation brought under control”, he said.

According to Kichloo, the district administration has taken ‘all possible measures’ to ensure peace in the area and avoid any law and order situation.

The minister reiterated the claim made by Army earlier that the slain militants were active in the forests of Lolab. He said that the local Auqaf Committee confirmed that none of the militants was a local resident.