Says no damage caused to houses, vehicles or any other property by govt forces during uprising
Srinagar: In a bizarre reply, if not deliberate, the state government on Wednesday said that it was still collecting information about the number of persons killed or injured due to pellet firing during last year’s uprising in Kashmir.
“As per the reports, during the recent ‘law and order disturbances’, 76 civilians and two police personnel have lost their lives. However, the information with regard to persons killed or injured specifically by pellets is being collected,” chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, who heads the state’s Home department, said in reply to a query by National Conference legislator from Uri Mohammad Shafi.
Shafi had sought details about the total number of persons killed and injured due to pellet firing by government forces from July 9 last year.
While the government has chosen not to divulge details, at least 10 persons have died and hundreds others wounded due to the pellet firing which in official parlance remains a “non-lethal weapon to deal with crowds.”
Among the injured, more than 600 alone have been rendered blind, partially or fully, due to indiscriminate resort to pellets by the forces following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on July 8 last year.
The number of dead due to pellets is surely higher than those killed by the munitions in 2010 uprising during the NC-Congress regime headed by Omar Abdullah.
As per Indian Home Ministry figures, six persons were killed and 198 injured due to pellet guns in Kashmir during 2010.
In reply to another question as to whether any enquiry has been conducted for “excessive use of force” during the uprising, the reply said: “In keeping with the statement made by the Chief Minister on the Floor of the Legislative Assembly on 9 January, Police Headquarters have issued orders to the Range DIGs, vide order No. 93 of 2017 to constitute District Level
Investigation Teams headed by the concerned deputy SP Headquarters for carrying out time bound investigation of all such cases where deaths of civilians and Police personnel are involved.”
The Range DIG (south Kashmir) has been directed to constitute Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by an Additional SP for carrying out time bound investigation in case FIR No. 156/2016 registered in Police
Station, Pampore, Mehbooba said. The FIR pertains to the death of Shabir Ahmad, a contractual lecture who, according to Mehbooba, was allegedly killed by soldiers of army’s 50 Rashtriya Rifles after abducting him from Shar Shali Village of Khrew in outskirts of Srinagar in August last year.
She also stated that the Range DIG (central Kashmir) has been directed to constitute SIT headed by SP (South),Srinagar for carrying out time bound investigation in case (FIR No. 57/2016) registered in Police Station Karan Nagar.
The case pertains to killing Reyaz Ahmad Shah, an ATM-guard of Chattabal, whose pellet riddled body was recovered by police in Karanagar on night between 2 and 3 August.
In reply to a separate query by another NC MLA, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Mehbooba said that no damage to houses, vehicles and any other property have been caused by the government forces during the uprising.
Regarding the number of FIRs lodged in Ganderbal, she said 65 cases have been lodged in the central Kashmir district against 481 persons. “The cases are under investigation. As regards particulars of the persons against whom cases have been registered, it is voluminous information and is being collected from the concerned. The same will be provided separately,” she added.