[Police stop an ambulance carrying the body of a civilian killed during clashes in Chadoora. (Photo: Aman Farooq/Greater Kashmir)]
Srinagar: Three civilians were killed and 15 others were injured in clashes with security forces in Durbugh village of Chadoora in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Tuesday, police said.
The civilians - all in their 20s, were identified as Zahid Rashid Ganaie, Aamir Waza and Ishfaq Ahmad of Rangreth.
The clashes erupted after a militant was shot dead in an encounter Tuesday morning. Locals protested at the encounter site and pelted stones at the CRPF and police personnel present on the spot, media reports said.
Ishtiyaq had been hit by a bullet in his chest. He was admitted at Community Health Centre Chattergam where from he was shifted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar but later succumbed to his injuries, according to Greater Kashmir.
Zahid Rashid Ganaie and Aamir Waza were shot dead by the security forces during clashes near the gunfight site, the paper said.
Later on a video showing a group of policemen halting an ambulance carrying the mortal remains of Zahid Rashid Ganie triggered outrage on the social media.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed deep anguish over the civilian deaths, saying, "It is highly painful to see the young boys losing their lives."
"We know there are issues that need to be addressed and resolved but no one will be able to do anything at a point when violence becomes a norm," she added.
Reacting to the fresh clashes and consequent civilian deaths, National Conference leader and Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah said the incident reflects the "alarming situation" in the valley .
"The unfortunate tragedy in Chadoora today and all such incidents indicate how alarming the situation has become", he said.
Today's civilian deaths are the highest near any encounter site this year. Separatist leaders have called for a shutdown in the Valley on Wednesday to protest the civilian deaths.
A number of such civilian deaths have been reported from encounter sites in the recent past. Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had warned civilians of “tough action” if they tried to hinder security forces from fighting militants.