Clashes erupt in Palhallan during gunfight, militants escape

Clashes erupt in Palhallan during gunfight, militants escape
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Srinagar, Feb 16: Militants on Friday fired “indiscriminately” and lobbed a grenade before escaping from a cordon laid by the government forces in Palhallan area of Baramulla district.
Army’s 29 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), SOG and 53 bn Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had jointly launched the operation following inputs about the presence of some militants.
The militants, believed to be locals, fired some shots and hurled a grenade before escaping from the area amid stone-pelting clashes.
They said the forces in the wee hours on Friday launched a cordon and search operation in Tantraypora area of Palhallan of the northern district following inputs about the presence of militants.
However, people took to streets and clashed with the forces to help the militants escape. “A group of locals resorted to stone-pelting to disrupt the gunfight. However, the forces responded by lobbing teargas shells triggering clashes.” said a local.
A police spokesman meanwhile, said that the operation was launched following information about the presence of some militants in the area.
“While the cordon was being established and civilians being evacuated from the area, militants fired indiscriminately and managed to escape taking advantage of darkness,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Train service was suspended for security reasons on Friday in north Kashmir, where an encounter ensued between militants holed up in a house and security forces Friday morning.
However, trains in south Kashmir were running normally, a railway official said.
He said as encounter ensued in Palhalan area of Baramulla district, an advisory was received this morning to suspend all train runs in north Kashmir. Therefore, he said, no train will chug on Srinagar-Budgam in central Kashmir and Baramulla in north.
He said all scheduled trains will chug on Srinagar-Anantnag-Qazigund in south Kashmir to Banihal in Jammu region.
He said railway department is acting on the advice of police for the safety and security of passengers and railway property.
Over a dozen times train service had been suspended partially or fully in the Kashmir valley for security reasons. Last year more than 50 times the train service remained suspended.
Train service has become very popular in the Kashmir valley as it is being considered cheap, fast and safe.
However, during 2016 railway suffered loss of crores of rupees after demonstrators damaged rail property besides due to cancellation of train service for about six months due to summer unrest.