Srinagar: At least five people, including a policeman were injured Wednesday when paramilitary CRPF and police burst teargas canisters and opened fire upon hundreds of people who were protesting against the killing of a youth by Army in Chrar-e-Sharif town of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Army says the slain youth was a militant.
Reports said hundreds of people came out of their houses and converged at Dalwan village after news spread in the area that Army had killed an alleged militant in a brief gun-battle.
Chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, the protesters tried to march towards the Army camp to seek the body of the alleged militant. However, the CRPF troopers and police contingents that had been deployed in advance intercepted them.
“This agitated the protesting youth who pelted stones on the forces. The forces used batons and fired teargas canisters to disperse the protesters. This led to violent clashes,” Javed Ahmed, an eyewitness, told Kashmir Reader.
As the clashes turned fierce, forces opened fire upon the protesters. A youth suffered injuries after receiving two bullets in his leg. The injured youth has been identified as Bilal Ahmad Sheikh, son of Mohammad Afzal, of Pakherpora.
“He was removed to Srinagar for treatment. Three more youth were injured in clashes that continued for several hours,” the eyewitness added.
A policeman of the CID wing identified as Bashir Ahmad was also injured in the clashes.
Meanwhile, Army’s Srinagar-based spokesman in a statement said that an Army patrol “came under fire when it was moving towards Dalwan village. During the ensuing fire fight one unidentified gunman got killed. From his possession, one SLR, 4 magazines, 13 rounds, one grenade, one pouch, and a Pan card was recovered.”
The Pan card identified the deceased as Tauseef Ahmad Dar, son of Ghulam Hassan, of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. “The police have taken the body in possession and are trying to ascertain its identity,” the Army said.
However, a local news agency GNS said the youth was shot dead when Army intercepted a motorcycle (JKO4A- 451) in Dalwan village after receiving inputs about militant movement in the area. “While the pillion rider managed to escape, the biker was shot dead by Army when he tried to open fire upon the Army men,” the news agency said quoting sources.
Meanwhile, late night reports reaching from Pulwama said that hundreds of youth took to streets when the news spread that the youth killed in Chrar-e-Shareef was a local. Besides chanting pro-Azadi slogans, groups of youth also attacked CRPF and police deployments at many places. Angry protesters also attacked police station, Pulwama with stones and rocks.
“The forces used teargas canisters at many places in the town to disperse the stone pelting youth. Massive protests and clashes are going on. The situation in the town is very tense,” reports added.