Protests erupted in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday after security forces killed three militants – two from the Hizbul Mujahideen and one from the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Train and mobile were suspended for most of the day, and eight people were injured as law enforcement officials tried to quell the clashes. Mobile services were restored later in the day.
The militants were killed in an operation by the Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operations Group. Officials said the three were senior leaders who were involved in several operations in Kashmir. They were tracked down to a house in Dogripora, near Panzgam, which was razed to the ground. The operation was carried out swiftly before sympathisers could gather and stop them, officials said. The two Hizbul operatives had close links with top commander Burhan Wani.
Similar protests have emerged in South Kashmir over the past few months after operations against Hizbul leaders. While the government targets them as militants or terrorists, local groups often see them as freedom fighters for their communities.