Injured in Amarnath land agitation, Baramulla man dies silently

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Baramulla: A Baramulla man who sustained bullet injuries during 2008 uprising over transfer of forestland to Amarnath Shrine Board, died of severe infection on Saturday, ending his over five-year battle for life.

Shamas-ud-Din Fafoo, 38, a daily-wager in the Flood and Irrigation Department, was on duty at Sheeri pump station on June 30, 2008, when a rubber bullet fired by CRPF and police to disperse hundreds of people protesting against the land transfer, hit him in the abdomen.

Fafoo was removed by some mediapersons to the nearby primary health centre. However, the doctors there had referred him to Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital for treatment. He was later shifted to SKIMS.

“At the SKIMS, he was admitted for three months after being operated upon. He was discharged but due to his ailing condition, the doctors conducted two more surgeries upon him. On Saturday morning, he breathed his last,” Fafoo’s father, Ali Mohammad, who works in Public Health Engineering Department, told Kashmir Reader.

“The rubber bullet had ruptured his stomach. Infection had caused extensive damage to his intestines as well,” he said. “The injury had made his life miserable. Today, he died silently.”

Ali Mohammad said that his son has left behind his widow and three small children, including a daughter.

“In February 2008, my wife passed away. And now the son has gone, too. I’m clueless how to take care of these orphans and their widowed mother,” he said.

Ruing official apathy, he said no official from the civil administration or police had visited the family ever since his son got injured.

Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended in the village when the news about Fafoo’s death spread. Hundreds of people attended his funeral prayers amid heavy rains. He was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard Sheeri.

More than 60 civilians, mostly youth, were killed after government forces used firearms to break up massive anti-India demonstrations over the controversial transfer of 800 kanals of forestland in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam to the Amarnath Shrine Board. The uprising also led to the collapse of the PDP-Congress coalition government bringing Kashmir under Governor’s rule.

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