Day 64: Forces continue killing spree in Kashmir

Srinagar:  Two youth were killed in Kashmir during the clashes with government forces on Saturday taking the death toll of civilians to 78. Kashmir has been witnessing unprecedented pro-freedom protests and clashes post Burhan Wani’s killing since July 9 this year.

A 24-year-old youth was killed in forces action in Batengoo village of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Saturday. The slain was identified as Yawar Ahmad son of Mushtaq Ahmad. Witnesses said that Ahmad was injured in clashes at his ancestral Batengoo village of the district. They said around a dozen youth were injured in the clashes.

Medical Superintendent District Hospital Anantnag Dr Majeed Mehrab said: “The youth had suffered pellet injuries in his chest and abdomen. He was declared dead on arrival.”

Locals informed CNS that shortly after the killing of the youth people staged massive protests while majority of the youth who were part of the protest pelted stones on the government forces. They said that forces fired tear gas shells and pellets on mourners carrying the body of slain Ahmed. Locals alleged that due to intense tear smoke shelling a government school caught fire resulting in the damage of the school. Thousands of people participated in the last rites of the slain youth while clashes in the area continued for hours leaving scores of people injured.

Another youth was killed after he was hit by a teargas shell in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday morning. The killing took place in Tikro village of the district where a pro-freedom rally was scheduled to be held. Locals said that clashes rocked the area after government forces in a bid to foil pro-freedom rally resorted to tear-smoke shelling and pellet firing.  Scores of people were injured in forces action who were shifted to peripheries of Shopian “as army and CRPF has laid siege around district hospital Shopian”, locals said adding that a youth who hit by a tear-smoke shell in his head in the forces action.

The slain youth identified as Sayar Ahmad Sheikh son of Shameem Ahmad Sheikh, resident of Ganawpora Shopian according to witnesses was shifted to sub-district hospital Rajpora where doctors declared him “brought dead”. “He was hit by tear gas shell,” doctors said adding that many injured have been brought to the hospital.  With the death of Sayar, the civilian death toll has reached 79 in Kashmir since July 9, 2016. Sayar was resident of Ganapora Shopian and was aged around 25.

Meanwhile, Kashmir remained shut for the 64th consecutive day on Saturday with authorities deploying  the forces in Srinagar and other places in the Valley.

Clashes, however, broke in old city areas of Srinagar after a state government driver Abdul Qayoom Wangnoo was buried in the martyr’s graveyard Eidgah. People alleged that Wangnoo was beaten to death by CRPF, a charge vehemently refuted by police saying that the driver had died in a road accident. People clashed with government forces after the later allegedly smashed the windowpanes and glasses of houses and parked vehicles.

A pro-freedom rally was held at Wanganpora Eidgah that was attended by hundreds of people. The rally culminated peacefully.

Several people were injured after clashes broke out in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Saturday. Witnesses and reports said that clashes erupted in Razwein village of the district after forces tried to foil a pro-freedom rally. In response to stone-pelting, government forces fired tear-gas shells to disperse them. Witnesses said that over a dozen people were injured during the clashes.

Thousands of people participated in pro-freedom rallies organized in different parts of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district. Reports said that pro-freedom rallies were held at Khuribatapora, Nasu Qazigund, Chayanadigam and other parts of the district that culminated peacefully. At Khuribatapora according to reports government forces cordoned off the venue, however as people started swelling, the forces left the village without any intervention.

Several people were wounded while one of them was shifted to Srinagar hospital after government forces foiled a pro-freedom rally in Hillar Shahabad area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. The locals alleged that government forces resorted to pellet firing and burst tear-smoke shells without any ‘provocation’.  They said that when people were busy in rally preparations, government forces emerged on the scene and fired shells and pellets on the people that left many people wounded. “The police action triggered clashes while people resorted to massive stone-pelting,” witnesses told CNS. The injured are being treated locally and one was shifted to Anantnag district hospital. “He has been hit by pellets in eye and was shifted to Srinagar,” Hospital sources said.

Government forces according to locals resorted to tear-smoke shelling to foil a pro-freedom rally in Dooru Sopore in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. Locals had organized a rally in the village. Witnesses said that people from different villages of the town reached Duroo where government forces fired tear-smoke shells to disperse them. At least 15 persons were injured out of which four were shifted to Sub-District Hospital Sopore. Dooru is the native village of Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani.

“The freedom rally was supposed to be held in the premises of Government High School. After showering pellets and shells upon people CRPF and Police damaged School property and set ablaze the furniture. All but 20 chairs were set on fire in the school premises,” CNS Reporter from Sopore said.

According to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan there was no curfew today anywhere in Kashmir valley. “However, restrictions were imposed in few places in Srinagar as also in some towns in the Valley,” he said.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, said that six incidents of stone pelting were reported from Anantnag, Kulgam, Sopore, Baramulla and Shopian. “At these places, miscreants assembled on the roads and pelted stones on police and security forces deployments and tried to disturb the movement of the vehicles,” the statement said.

The spokesman said, “at Shopian about 500 miscreants assembled and pelted stones on police and security force deployments at Tukroo. The police used lathi charge and fired tear gas smoke shells to disperse the violent mob,” he said and added that one person identified as Sayar Ahmad Sheikh resident of Ganovpora got injured after he was hit by tear smoke shell. “He was shifted to Sub District Hospital Rajpora for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries.”

The spokesman said that at Anantnag about 200 miscreants attacked police and security force deployments at Batingoo. “While dealing with the situation police used lathi charge and fired tear gas smoke shells but the miscreants did not yield,” he said adding while dealing with law and order one person identified as Yawar Mushtaq Dar got injured. “He was shifted to hospital for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries,” he said.

The statement said, “miscreants also set ablaze Government High School building at Batingoo”. (CNS)

 

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