Troops open fire on protestors, 16 injured referred to Srinagar, Class 9 student hit by bullet
PULWAMA: A civilian was shot dead by government forces and 66 others were injured when government forces fired bullets, pellets and teargas shells at protestors following the killing of three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants in Kakapora area of Pulwama on Thursday.
Thousands of people, witnesses said, started rushing towards Kakapora since early morning to participate in the funeral prayers of two of the slain Lashkar militants, Shariq Ahmad alias Hanzala and Majid Hamid Mir alias Abass, both residents of Kakapora.
Witnesses said that government troops, who had sealed the Kakapora bridge, fired bullets, pellets and teargas shells at the people who came marching towards Kakapora from Samboora Pampore and other villages to attend the funerals. At least 24 persons were injured in this firing, according to locals. The injured were taken to public health centre (PHC) Kakpora where doctors referred five of them to sub-district hospital (SDH) Pampore due to the severity of their injuries.
Doctors at the Pampore SDH declared one of the injured youth as arrived dead. He was identified as Tauseef Ahmad Wani of Tengpuna Pulwama.
“Touseef had been hit by a teargas shell in his neck and had pellet injuries in other parts of the body as well,” a doctor told Kashmir Reader.
After the civilian’s killing, angry youth attacked a police station and army camp with stones, triggering fierce clashes in the town, witnesses said.
During the fresh clashes, which continued for hours, 40 more persons were injured. All of them were taken to PHC Kakapora. “16 injured were referred to Srinagar, mostly with pellet injuries,” said a paramedic at the Kakapora PHC.
Government forces also allegedly beat up two medical staff of PHC Kakapora and damaged two of their vehicles near the army camp in the area, the PHC’s officials told Kashmir Reader.
Intense clashes also erupted at Awantipora over the killing of the Lashkar militants, one of whom was a native of Awantipora. As soon as the body of the slain militant, Irshad Ahmad Dar, reached Padgampora village, hundreds of youth took to the Srinagar-Jammu highway and clashed there with police. Witnesses said that the police resorted to heavy use of force against the protesting youth. The stone-throwing protests forced the authorities to suspend traffic movement on the national highway for several hours.
A Class 9 student was injured after police opened fire on stone-pelting protesters in Koil area of Pulwama on Thursday evening, locals told Kashmir Reader.
Identified as Kamran Mohidin, son of Ghulam Mohidin, the boy was immediately rushed to District Hospital Pulwama from where he was referred to SKIMS Soura Srinagar for further treatment.
The incident happened when scores of youth pelted stones on a police team passing through the south Kashmir village. The police team immediately resorted to aerial firing to disperse the protesters, witnesses said, and one of the bullets hit Kamran’s shoulder.
Locals alleged that soldiers of 55 Rashtriya Rifles after the minor stone-pelting incident entered into Masjid and thrashed the people who were observing Aitiqaf in a local Jamia Masjid in Koil. “They (soldiers) dragged worshippers out and beat them up with lathis and gun butt. Two young boys including a mentally week boy suffered fracture in his arm. Rest of the worshipers too have suffered bruises on their body parts after being thrashed,” a local Basharat Ahmed told Kashmir Reader.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed across Pulwama district over the killing of the three local militants. Clashes were reported also from Tengpuna, Pahoo, Newa, Murran Chowk areas of Pulwama against the killing of the militants.