9-year-old girl injured in army firing during nocturnal raid

9-year-old girl injured in army firing during nocturnal raid
  • Protests against army in Pattan; police says FIR filed but don’t give details

Umar Shah

Srinagar: A nine-year-old girl was injured in firing by army during a raid on a house in Pattan on Sunday night, triggering protests on Srinagar-Baramulla highway on Monday.
According to eyewitnesses, the army cordoned the house of Habib Ullah Sheikh in Nihalpora area of Pattan in Baramulla district on Sunday night and herded the family members in the courtyard.
“Apparently to create fear among the locals the army fired in air but a bullet grazed Insha (a class 3 student) in the forehead and leg. The soldiers took her along,” said a local resident, asking for anonymity.
It was learnt that the girl was shifted to the army hospital at the 15 Corps headquarters in Badami Bagh, Srinagar. There was no official word on her condition but local residents said they learnt that she was stable following a surgery.
In protest against the firing, people on Monday blocked the Srinagar- Muzzaffarbad road and demanded stern action against the army personnel involved in the incident.
They said that the dreaded Special Operations Group of the police and soldiers have been harassing the people in the area for the past several days.
On August 18, the SOG personnel had raided the house of a militant, Fayaz Ahmad Baba, and detained his 14-year-old son Irshad Ahmad.
Irshad, despite being a minor was, according to locals, taken to an unknown destination. Locals also alleged that that house of one Ghulam Rasool War was raided on Monday and his family members were harassed.
The protestors, led by the pro-freedom leader and National Front chief Nayeem Ahmad Khan, were demanding stern action against the local SOG men and army.
Khan, while addressing people, pitched for the release of Irshad.
The protestors got pacified and ended protests after they were told that an FIR has been filed against the army at the Police Station Pattan. Irshad was also released after seven days of detention.
Pattan sub-divisional police officer Farooq Ahmad said a case has been registered against the army and asked this reporter to ask the station house officer for details of the FIR.
However, the SHO refused to provide the details.