Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Mar. 31 (ANI): Despite sustaining heavy injuries post the stone-pelting that took place during the Budgam encounter, the recovering jawans hold no grudge for the locals and urge them to help in restoring peace in the Valley.
Narrating the horrific ordeal of witnessing their own people acting against them, one of the jawans admitted in the military hospital said that stone-pelting was done in order to help the terrorists escape.
"On the day of encounter we were in the outer cordon. The locals resorted to stone-pelting in order to break the outer cordon and take the militant out. So, we were injured in that. Stone-pelting was massively being done, both from behind and above the building," Dilip Kumar, the injured jawan, told ANI.
Kumar urged the locals to understand that militants are their enemies and appealed to them not to be influenced by them.
"This is the new trend which has started. There were 12 from our unit and many others from other units as well. We want to tell the locals that militants are everybody's enemy. We urge them not to get influenced by them and support the army there so that we get help in restoring peace in the Valley," he said.
Another jawan Mohammed Faizal said that several locals had assembled at the encounter site so as to help the militants flee.
"I am from Uttar Pradesh. Many locals had assembled there and resorted to stone-pelting. The locals do so in order to help the militants in fleeing. This happens most of the times. Stone-pelting took place during the Burhan Wani encounter also," he said.
An official from the battalion said that the locals resorted to stone-pelting in order to divert the forces attention.
Keeping their spirits high, the official said the jawans are recovering now, adding they are ready for any such future incident.
"In the Chadoora encounter, a total of 12 personnel including constables, inspectors and officials from our battalion sustained injuries. There was heavy stone-pelting done. The public should favour us," he told ANI.
Earlier on Tuesday, three civilians were killed in the Chadoora area of central Kashmir after the security forces opened fire on the protesters, who were allegedly pelting stones during an encounter between the militants and army.
A local militant was also killed in the encounter. (ANI)