Civilian succumbs at SKIMS, Kashmir shuts against killings

Tauseef Mustafa—AFP

Tauseef Mustafa—AFP

Thousands of Indian police and troops enforced a lockdown Wednesday in parts of Kashmir, fearing violent reprisals a day after a top militant commander and two civilians were killed in clashes in the disputed Himalayan territory.

Dujana, a Pakistani national who carried a reward of Rs 15 lakhs and has been involved in over dozen attacks on security installations, was killed along with Arif Lelhari, a local militant.

Sources said Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muneer Khan has sent a letter to police headquarters with the submission that the state government should take up the matter of handing over the body of Dujana with Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs, who in turn could take it up with Pakistani High Commission. Authorities clamped a curfew in the old parts of Srinagar in anticipation of more protests and also blocked internet services to stop activists from using social media to rally support against Indian rule.

"He was involved in planning of nearly all the major militant attacks in Valley including the attack on CRPF convoy at Pampore area in south Kashmir's Pulwama district a year ago in which eight CRPF men were killed and about a dozen injured and the attack on BSF convoy at Udhampur in which two border guards and a militant were killed and 10 others injured", he said.

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"The situation remained under control during the day as police and security forces were deployed in the Valley to maintain law and order", a police official said.

Dujana, who was killed in south Kashmir, was buried somewhere in north Kashmir.

Two houses in the village were destroyed in the gunfight.

"The operation ended after bodies of the two militants were recovered from the site and identified", the police officer said.

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Dujana was replaced by Abu Muhammad Ismail as the Divisional Commander of the LeT, a Pakistan-based group that masterminded the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 Indians and foreigners.

Official sources and witnesses said almost three dozen protesters were injured as residents, including women and children, clashed with security forces at many places in the Valley and resorted to stone-pelting.

After ensuring complete secrecy, Jammu and Kashmir Police took custody of Dujana's body and moved it to the other side of the valley.

Security officials often describe him as a "brainy militant" who was a master in breaking the security cordon.

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Asked about the next militant the security forces were targeting, Khan said: "Every militant active in the Kashmir Valley is our next target".

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