Curfew was imposed in the Kulgam district of south Kashmir on Monday after the death of two civilians during an encounter between the security forces and militants on Sunday, PTI reported. However, security officials said that there were no restrictions imposed in the rest of the Valley. Two soldiers and four militants were killed during the gunfight that started on Saturday night.
The police told Hindustan Times that two of the militants killed were part of the Hizbul Mujahideen group, while the others belonged to the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Investigators said that all four of them were local youths. Three militants managed to flee from the house where they had been holed up, the police said.
On Sunday, people gathered in thousands at the funeral of the militants and the civilians. Protestors raised slogans against security forces. The police had to resort to force to disperse the crowd. At least 21 people were injured by bullets and pellets in the process. “We have referred at least 21 wounded youth to district hospital Anantnag,” chief medical officer of Kulgam, Dr Shafi said, adding that most of them were out of danger.
The opposition National Conference party has demanded a probe into the incident. The administration has beefed up security in “sensitive areas” in the region after separatist leaders called for a strike to protest against the civilian deaths. The Hurriyat Conference and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front have also called for ‘Kulgam Chalo’ on February 15.