SRINAGAR: Skull-fractured, teeth broken, half shaved head swathed in bandage, multiple stitches on shoulder, lacerations in mouth and tongue – this is a brief description of a middle aged woman’s condition after police fired a stun grenade during a protest against the Power Development Department (PDD) on Sunday.
Even the survivors from encounters manage to escape with lesser injuries than her – as if a wild animal mauled her face.
Yasmeena was heading home from market in Shalteng area in city outskirts along with Nelofar, her sister-in-law, when the “shocking” incident left her nearly dead.
“When a few dozen women protest for essential commodities, one can imagine it to be peaceful. Neither was there any stone-pelting nor any violent activity from the protesters, they were just raising slogans against the PDD,” says Nilofar, astonished over the firing of stun grenade at Yasmeena.
While both of them tried to escape the shelling, she says, a policeman carrying a stun grenade aimed his gun towards them and fired. The policeman fired despite the duo was “not part of protest gathering, rather several meters away from the spot”.
The shell exploded so close to Yasmeena that her head and face developed multiple fractures and lacerations and blood kept oozing out of her head. Yasmeena was rushed to SKIMS Bemina and later referred to SKIMS Soura for specialized treatment.
Yasmeena lies in a semi-conscious state in the Post-Operative ward of Neurosurgery Department at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura while doctors continuously monitor her condition. Doctors have told the family that a patient’s condition aggravates even after showing initial signs of improvement.
“She had a multiple skull-fractures and lacerations on the left side of her face. We had to operate her to remove the blood clotted inside her head due to trauma injury by blunt force. She is stable now,” a doctor attending Yasmeena at SKIMS said.
Refuting the allegations, Incharge Station House Officer, Police Station Parimpora, Naseer Ahmad, said that the woman suffered injuries after she fell while running from the scene.
“When we tried to chase away the protesters, she fell on the road while running away from the spot. Around 50 women along with 150 youth blocked the highway, smashed vehicles on the highway and damaged the transformers that forced us to intervene,” he claimed.
He said that police tried to pacify the protesters to let the traffic flow on the highway, but they started “hurling rocks” at the police. “We responded with tear-smoke shells, mirchi bombs and stun grenades to scatter them. A woman (Yasmeena) fell down while running and sustained injuries,” he said.
The Police have now registered an FIR under number 158/2017 at Parimpora Police Station and the “matter is under investigation”.