Injure more than 170 while raiding, preventing pro-freedom rallies; people allege forces ransack houses in various places
Srinagar/Anantnag: Government forces shot dead two more youth and injured more than 170 people in Anantnag and Shopian districts of south Kashmir on Saturday.
Seventeen-year-old youth Sayar Ahmad Shiekh son of Shameem Ahmad Shiekh, a resident of Ganawpora, was killed after the government forces resorted to heavy teargas and pellet firing to foil a pro-freedom rally in Tukroo village of Shopian district.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers arrived at the rally venue and fired pellets and tear gas canisters into the people, triggering intense clashes between youths and government troops. Sayar was hit by a tear smoke canister in his head.
He was immediately removed to nearby public health centre in Rajpora where doctors declared him “dead on arrival”.
In forces’ action more than 12 civilians were also injured, three of them were referred to Srinagar for specialized treatment.
Despite heavy restrictions imposed by the government, scores of people hit the streets in main town Shopian as soon as the news about the killing of youth spread in the area.
The protesters clashed with government forces that resorted to heavy teargas and pellet firing to prevent them from carrying out a freedom march. The clashes were going on till this report was being filed.
Witnesses said that forces attacked the proposed march thrice at three separate venues with scores of pellets and teargas shells that left dozens of people injured.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that around 50 civilians injured during the forces action at Tukroo were admitted to the public health centre Rajpora and other health facilities of Shopian and Pulwama districts. One among the injured was referred to Srinagar due to gravity of his injuries. Sayar was a 9th class student at local high secondary school.
In another incident, a 22-year old youth was fired at with pellets in Batengoo area of Anantnag on Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
The incident took place in the afternoon after the government forces reached the area to arrest some youth allegedly involved in the stone throwing protests.
As soon as the forces reached the spot along with a bulldozer and tried to remove the barricades placed by the locals on the road link leading to the village, scores of youth came out and pelted them with stones and rocks triggering clashes.
The forces, witnesses said, fired pellet ammunition and tear smoke shells resulting into the killing of a youth identified as Yawar Ahmad Dar son of Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, a resident Batengoo. Over a dozen youth suffered injuries during the clashes.
The youth was immediately rushed to district hospital Anantnag where doctors declared him brought dead on arrival. “The pellets had penetrated deep into his chest and abdomen. He seemed to have been fired from a very close distance,” said a doctor at DH Anantnag.
Witnesses, however, alleged the forces shot the youth with pellets from a close range when he was standing on a culvert outside his home.
“He was not part of the stone throwing protests. The forces fired pellets on him near his home after they faced stiff resistance from stone throwers,” an eyewitness told Kashmir Reader.
The forces later, witnesses said, teargassed and showered pellets at the mourners when they were carrying the body of the youth for funeral prayers. The heavy shelling by troops forced mourners to leave the body of Yawar on road and retreat for several minutes. His body also received pellets.
A government school building was also damaged after it caught fire due to numerous teargas shells fired by the troops towards the building.
In north Kashmir, more than 20 civilians were injured after government troops attacked a pro-freedom seminar with dozens of tear smoke canisters at Dooru village of Baramulla.
The witnesses said that scores of people from Bomai, Botangoo, Shiva, Zaingir, Sopore and other adjoining villages had assembled at Dooru to participate in a pro-freedom seminar. However, a huge contingent of forces reached the rally venue and showered pellets at the participants that left more than a dozen people injured.
The injured were rushed to primary health centre Dooru where doctors said that four persons were shifted to sub-district hospital Sopore due to severity of their injuries.
The witnesses said that forces dismantled the Shamiyana erected for the seminar and decamped with audio system worth lakhs from the venue. The locals alleged that forces damaged private property and smashed windowpanes of several residential houses.
Thousands of people later held heavy demonstrations as soon as the announcements were made on public address systems asking people to come out of their houses and protest against the forces action.
At main chowk Baramulla, scores of people offered Zuhr prayers at the chowk and held a protest demonstration that was followed by clashes between youths and forces near Cement Bridge and Azad Gunj Bridge of Baramulla. Around five youths have sustained injuries during these clashes.
Pro-freedom rallies were also held at several places in Baramulla including Jamia Masjid Sopore, Patten, Palhallan, Watergam, Wagoora, Warpora, Bomai, Kunzar and Singhpora areas wherein people amid sloganeering in favour of freedom, held demonstrations against the civilian killings.
Locals of Cement Bridge in Baramulla town said that forces lobbed teargas shells and pellets at few shopkeepers as soon as they opened their shops during the relaxation period of pro-freedom leadership.
The forces move’ later triggered clashes in the locality and till last reports; clashes were going in the area. Several people sustained injuries during the clashes.
In Badragund area of Qazigund in Anantnag district, around 14 people were injured during the clashes that erupted after forces tried to foil a pro-freedom rally announced by the locals.
The forces fired dozens of teargas canisters and pellets to disperse protesting people. The angry youths, in retaliation, hurled rocks at the forces and pitched battle continued for several hours. The injured were either treated locally or were rushed to nearby health centres.
Force injured at least 45 people at Dangerpora village in central Kashmir’s Budgam district after troops raided the village to foil a pro-freedom rally. Marifat Ahmad was seriously injured when the police ran a Rakshak vehicle over him while he was fleeing the rally ground. A girl named Shagufta was also injured in the forces’ action.
Witnesses said the troops entered the village and lobbed scores of teargas shells and pellets at the people who were marching towards the venue. They said that forces beat-up people including women and children in which several people sustained injures.
Score of people from Razwein, Dardpora, Choon, Thokar pora, Nagraat Khah and Mamath were marching towards the rally venue when forces fired teargas shells at the people.
The injured were taken to nearby health facilities of Khansahab and sub district hospital Krimshore villages while as, few of them were treated locally. One among the injured was referred to Srinagar.
Earlier in the day, thousands of people participated in the funeral of a 45-year- Abdul Qayoom of Aali Kadal Srinagar, who was allegedly beaten by the CRPF troops on Friday and succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS hospital in Soura hours after he admitted to the hospital. He was laid to rest in Martyrs Graveyard in Eidgah on Saturday morning.
Intense clashes erupted near Aali Kadal, Eidgah and old city areas like Nawa Kadal, Kawadara, Safa Kadal and Nawab Bazar where youths pelted forces with stones amid heavy anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. The forces fired several tear smoke shells and pellets to scatter stone-throwing youths. Late night clashes were also reported from several areas of Srinagar city and across the Valley.
At least eight persons were injured during clashes between youths and government forces after later attacked a pro-freedom rally Dooru village of Anantnag district. The forces action triggered fierce clashes in the locality that lasted for many hours. Sources said that an injured was referred to Srinagar for advance treatment.
Mild clashes and late night stone-pelting were reported from Narbal in Budgam, Shopian and Pampore town, Reshipora and Goosu in Pulwama district.
Five persons have also suffered injuries at Khuri, Batpora area of DH Pora in Kulgam district where troops fired pellets and teargas shells at participants near Gandwani village of the district. The youths later hurled rocks at the forces.
Five persons have also sustained injuries during clashes at Hillar village of Shahabad in Anantnag district. Local said that a few volunteers were busy in making preparations for the rally when forces came and shot them pellets and teargas shells.
A youth sustained serious injuries during clashes at Chittibandey village of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district after he was hit by a tear smoke canister in his head. He was identified as Shakeel Ahmad Lone and was rushed to sub district hospital Bandipora.
According to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Mr Baseer Khan there was no curfew today (on Saturday) anywhere in Kashmir valley. “However, restrictions were imposed in few places in Srinagar as also in some towns in the Valley,” he said.
A statement issued by the Police, 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 statement said that 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 in which 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,” he said.
“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,” it said.
“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,” the statement said. The statement said “miscreants” also set ablaze Government High School building at Batingoo.
With inputs from ZIA-UL-HAQ, Bilal Habib, Mushtaq Ahmad, Owais Farooqi