At least 10 persons including five militants were killed during the gunfight with government forces while equal numbers of civilian were killed in the subsequent clashes with the forces in South Kashmir’s shopian district on Sunday.
The day long clashes at the encounter site and the surroundings areas of Shopian left 50 injured, of whom, some received grievous bullet wounds.
Early in the morning, encounter broke out in between the militants and the government forces in Badigam village of south Kashmir’s shopian district.
As forces zeroed in on the house where militants were trapped, police used loudspeaker to make them surrender.
The militants refused the offer and exchanged fire with the forces, triggering an encounter.
As the encounter progressed, it became clear that the assistant professor, Dr Muhammad Rafi Bhat, who was missing from Kashmir University since Friday afternoon, was also among the trapped militants.
The forces called the family of Assistant professor so that they persuade him to surrender, an offer he rejected.
Later during an exchange of heavy gunfire, five militants were killed with the forces.
Apart from the professor, the dead also include the top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Saddam Padder who was part of the Burhan group.
Padder was the last surviving militant from the Burhan group.
Other militants who were killed in the gunfight include Tawseef Sheikh, Molvi Bilal and Adil Ahmad Malik.
Adil Ahmad malik was affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit while the rest were associated with Hizb, excluding assistant professor.
During and after the encounter, fierce clashes erupted in Shopian and surrounding areas between the youth and the government forces.
Police sources said that a protesting civilian, Adil Ahmad, injured during the clashes was declared dead on arrival by doctors at the Kulgam district hospital.
Reports from the area said Adil was injured in Behibagh village in Kulgam district.
Another injured civilian, Sajad Ahmad Rather of Dooru in Anantnag district, also succumbed to his injuries. Earlier, Asif Ahmad of Rohmou village of Pulwama died in a Srinagar hospital due to injuries suffered in the clashes. Nisar Ahmad Kumar and Zubair Ahmad were other civilians who were shot dead by the forces.
Over fifty people sustained injuries during the clashes with the forces, many of them received bullets in their lower parts.
Angry protesters torched two fire tenders during the protests.
The clashes continued till late night while as the internet remained suspended in central and south Kashmir.