Two dead in clashes with police in Kashmir
January 20 2016 09:03 PM
Villagers attend the funeral for suspected rebel Shariq Ahmed Bhat at Bandana village of Pulwama dis
Villagers attend the funeral for suspected rebel Shariq Ahmed Bhat at Bandana village of Pulwama district, south of Srinagar, yesterday.

Agencies/Srinagar

A civilian protester and a suspected militant were killed in clashes with government forces yesterday in Jammu and Kashmir, police said. 
After receiving a tip-off about suspected rebels in Naina, some 35km south of the main city of Srinagar, soldiers cordoned off the village on Tuesday night, triggering a gun battle. 
“One militant was killed during the overnight encounter,” Nitish Kumar, deputy inspector general of police, said. 
Hundreds of villagers angry at the killing of the suspected rebel threw rocks at police who fired back using tear gas and bullets, killing one protester and injuring two others, Kumar said. 
The protesters, chanting “We want freedom” and “Go India, go back” also torched an armoured police vehicle that was sent to help soldiers withdraw from the area after the gun battle ended. 
lAs the new government in Kashmir should be in place by January-end, the Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to place a woman leader in charge of party affairs in the state to streamline co-ordination with its coalition partner the People’s Democratic Party, sources said.
“Now that the initial hiccups are over, the next PDP-BJP government should be in place before the end of this month,” the sources said.
They said BJP general secretary Ram Madhav is likely to have a lesser role in the state once PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti assumes charge as chief minister. 
Madhav is looking after BJP’s affairs in Kashmir since the Mufti Mohamed Sayeed-led government took office on March 1 last year. 
“The party high command is looking for a woman leader to co-ordinate issues with the PDP since Ram Madhav will get busy with elections in Assam and other states.
“The new in-charge of the state BJP is likely to be a woman holding important position in the central government and the party,” the sources said.

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