Forces target peaceful congregations in south Kashmir, injure many

Forces target peaceful congregations in south Kashmir, injure many

1 person hit by a bullet and 15 with pellet wounds admitted to SMHS alone; protests held in various parts of valley

Pellet victims of Chee village in Anantnag | Photos: Muneeb Gull
Pellet victims of Chee village in Anantnag | Photos: Muneeb Gull

Anantnag/Srinagar: More than a dozen people, women among them, were injured when government forces fired pellets and resorted to baton charge to stop people from protesting peacefully in Chee village of Anantnag district on Saturday.
Followers of different religious groups had organised a ‘Unity Congregation’ in the village. Volunteers were busy erecting tents and making other arrangements when a contingent of police and paramilitary crashed into the venue and straightaway fired teargas shells into the people, the locals said.
The tent where the people were to be seated caught fire due to tear smoke shells.
After the police action, witnesses said, people came out of their homes, shouted slogans and some of the protesters threw stones at the forces.
During the clashes, at least 15 people suffered injuries.
“Nine people with pellet injuries were brought to the hospital. One of them who had critical injury in the eye was referred to Srinagar while others were treated here,” a doctor posted at district hospital Bijbehara told Kashmir Reader.

Pellet victims of Chee village in Anantnag | Photos: Muneeb Gull
Pellet victims of Chee village in Anantnag | Photos: Muneeb Gull

Despite police crackdown, the people regrouped, erected a fresh tent and organised the meeting.
Syed Ali Geelani addressed the gathering telephonically.
Geelani appealed to the people to follow the protest programme of the united resistance leadership.
“You should not indulge in activities that may harm our cause. Besides you should keep this spirit for freedom alive till the goal is achieved,” Geelani told the gathering over phone.
Another unity congregation was held in Hugam village of Bijbehara, which was also attended by thousands of people. The speakers at both the meetings urged the people to unite for achieving the goal.
Two persons, Aqeel Ahmad Wani and Furqan Ahmad, were injured after being hit by a volley of pellets during a protest at Natipora.
Aqeel has been hit by dozens of pellets all over his body and some of these have penetrated his chest. He was shifted to the SMHS Hospital. Furqan has suffered pellet wounds in legs. He is also being treated at the same hospital. SMHS medical superintendent Dr Nazir Chaudhary said both are stable.
A massive procession was similarly thwarted in the area on Friday with dozens of teargas shells.
Dr Chaudhary said that 16 people were admitted to the hospital on Saturday—one had bullet injury and the rest pellet wounds.
Anti-India protests, some of which later morphed into clashes between troopers and protesters, were held in various parts of the valley. Kashmir Reader could not fully ascertain how many such protests were held because of communication gag.
Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of Danish Rasool Mir and Sameer Ahmad Wani  who were shot dead by the forces during protests in Sopore and Khansahib areas on Friday.
Danish was buried at his ancestral graveyard in Wagoora area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The 21-year-old Sameer Ahmad Wani was buried at his ancestral village, Mullanaroo Takya Farooq, in Budgam district.
A rally was also held in the village to pay tribute to Wani and other civilians who have died during the raging uprising.
Thousands of people from Gamgula, Hariwani, Takiya Farooq, Shanipora, Kenura, Dabipora, Yarikhah, Jawalapora of Khansahab started marching towards Mullanaroo from early morning.
At least five persons sustained injuries during clashes that erupted after government forces quelled a proposed peaceful pro-freedom rally and ‘unity seminar’ in Changam Babgam area of Pulwama district.
As per the witnesses, the forces resorted to heavy teargas, pellet gun and aerial firing to thwart the seminar, forcing youths to retaliate with stones.
They said the forces torched a big tent erected by the locals to host the seminar and damaged the stalls where the participants were to be served with beverages. The government forces also attacked several bikes and vehicles belonging to the participants.
However, despite police action, people assembled once again and held the programme as scheduled.
Few other similar seminars, attended by thousands of people, were also was also organized in Ratnipora, Kalen and Mohanpora areas of Pulwama and Kulgam districts where scholars from various religious sections laid stress on unity among the people to keep momentum of the on-going struggle.
Heavy clashes erupted in Trichoo village of Pulwama.

Tent and chairs damaged by government forces in Pulwama | Photos: Muneeb Gull
Tent and chairs damaged by government forces in Pulwama | Photos: Muneeb Gull

Six persons sustained injuries in Hurpora village of Shopian district after clashes erupted between forces and youths in the area. Sources said that forces lobbed several teargas shells to disperse the protesters.
Heavy clashes were witnessed in Golechakri wherein forces resort to heavy teargas and pellet gun firing following the heavy demonstrations held by the people in the area.
Sources said that clashes also broke out in DH Pora area of Kulgam district, where youths pelted forces with stones after a peaceful protest was blocked.
Thousands of people offered Asr and Maghrib prayers on roads in Burhan’s hometown Tral to protest the killing of civilians during the on-going public uprising.
Four persons were injured due to pellet firing in Pattan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district after clashes erupted between forces and youths in the area.
Reports said that people had assembled in Pattan Chowk and more people were heading to join the demonstration after announcements were made through public address systems of mosques.
Witnesses said that forces used heavy teargas and pellet firing to disperse the protesters. The four injured included a girl identified as Muzamila Bano who has suffered an injury in one of her ears.
All the injured were shifted to sub-district hospital Pattan, except the one who has been referred to Srinagar for further treatment, they said.
The residents of Tekipora village of Kupwaraa and Sheeri village of Baramulla allege that the forces have “unleashed a reign of terror” on them from the few days and also misbehaved with local women. They said that forces also smashed windowpanes of several residential houses in the locality.
The locals of Jawahar Nagar area offered Zuhr prayers on a road outside the Abu Bakar Masjid as a protest against the Kashmir killings.
Curfew remained in force in six police station areas of Srinagar— Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Maharajgunj and Batamaloo —on Saturday, a police official said. He said that curfew was also in force in four towns of Budgam district — Chadoora, Khansahib, Magam and Budgam— besides Anantnag town and Khanpora area of Baramulla district.
Mobile internet and phone services continued to remain snapped in the entire Valley that were suspended following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani.
Heavy late night clashes erupted in several areas of Srinagar and other districts of Valley against the killing of civilians during current agitation.

(With inputs from Zia-ul-Salam)

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