SRINAGAR: Two policemen hijacked the ambulance and kept in the police control room for three hours the body of Amir Nazir Latoo, the young man who lost his life after being shot at in his hometown Bijbehara.
Family members of Amir Nazir and of another Bijbehara youth, Sajad Ahmad Shah, who was critically injured in the police firing in Bijbehara town on Monday, also alleged that police and paramilitary forces attacked their ambulance outside the sub-district hospital Bijbehara, and beat the attendants as well as the injured youth for half an hour. Had this disturbance not occurred, the two young men may well have survived.
Other witnesses corroborated the allegation, saying that police and CRPF men thrashed everyone in the Bijbehara sub-district hospital, including doctors and paramedics, on Monday. “Many doctors fled from the hospital after the troops started ransacking and thrashing everyone present there,” the uncle of Sajad Ahmad, Syed Hussain Shah, told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the forces did not even spare the injured and beat them up as they lay in the ambulance. They also smashed the window panes of the ambulance and removed the IV tubes attached to the injured youth. When the ambulance driver fled, a local youth drove the ambulance to SMHS.
Adding more humiliation, two policemen stopped the ambulance in which Amir Nazir’s body was being carried back to Bijbehara from SMHS on Tuesday morning. Dressed as civilians, the policemen waved the ambulance to stop and requested a lift.
“They pleaded for a lift. We gave them the front seat. Soon our ambulance was being followed by a police vehicle, and the two men ordered the driver to take the ambulance to the police control room,” said Nazir Ahmad, uncle of Amir.
When the ambulance was taken to the Srinagar PCR, the policemen said that they had to complete some official formalities related to the dead body. They ordered the body to be taken out of the ambulance and took it inside the control room where they kept it for nearly three hours.
Amir, an MCom student at Delhi University, was shot by government forces outside his home on Monday afternoon. He had come home to celebrate Eid and was leaving in a few days back to Delhi, for which he had booked air tickets in advance.
His uncle said that Amir had left home in the afternoon after midday prayers to join his friends. There was no stone-pelting taking place at that time, the uncle said.
Initially he was rushed to sub-district Bijbehara on a pull-cart where doctors referred him to Srinagar. Outside the hospital, Nazir said, the police and paramilitary went berserk, tore off the two infusion cords attached to Amir’s arms, and beat up the attendants and the driver.
“Our home is separated by the Jhelum from the town. Amir was fired upon from the opposite side of the river,” Nazir recounted. “He succumbed to his injuries at 2.30am, ten hours after he was admitted to SMHS hospital. We arranged an ambulance for home. At the hospital gate we were intercepted by two men who presented as civilians but turned out to be policemen. We landed at the police control room. At 8am the police handed over the body.”
Amir had last updated his Facebook wall with the post: “May Allah accept your Shahadat (martyrdom) bro, n give you highest place in jannat. Burhan logeya meuy zoov.”
On hearing the news of Amir’s death, his father had said, “Yakka korwi bayakah asi tahreeqas hawali (Here we have offered one more martyr to the nation).”
A bullet had pierced his abdomen, shattered his liver and damaged his lungs, one of the doctors who operated on him, told Kashmir Reader. Amir was given 14 pints of blood, 11 supplied by the hospital and 3 arranged by volunteers.
On Monday evening, the doctor said, the hospital was short of the required B –ve blood. A doctor volunteered, visited his home at Malabagh and announced on the mosque loud speaker that B negative blood was needed. Two locals volunteered and gave their blood.
Amir reached his home at 10am where a massive crowd participated in his funeral.