Constable wounded on July 15 in Kulgam also loses battle with life; forces ransack hospital in Lolab, clashes continue across Kashmir
Srinagar: A 19-year-old youth wounded in Pampore town on July 10, who was on ventilator since the day, succumbed at SKIMS hospital on Sunday afternoon. Sameer Ahmad Wani, son of Bashir Ahmad Wani of Khonmoh, Pampore, was hit by a bullet in his abdomen fired by government forces on protesters.
Official sources at SKIMS hospital said that the youth was admitted in the hospital on July 10, after he was referred from sub-district hospital Pampore. “He was on ventilator since then,” he said.
Reports said that thousands of people offered funeral to the slain youth in his hometown while massive demonstrations were held by people in Khonmoh and adjoining areas. People came on roads and raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
Earlier, amid strict curfew and restrictions, youths in several areas of the Valley clashed with government forces and pelted them with stones on Sunday. The forces retaliated with heavy teargas and pellet gun firing to disperse the protesting people.
50 people have died so far in the anti-India uprising caused by Burhan Wani’s killing.
Youth in Munawarabad area of Srinagar clashed with government forces after a protest march of people was intercepted by the forces deployed there. It triggered clashes in which several youths are reported to have sustained injuries.
Clashes also erupted in downtown areas like Safa Kadal, Kaka Saria, Chattabal and adjoining areas in the afternoon. Youths held demonstrations and hurled stones at the government troops. The forces in reply lobbed several rounds of teargas shells to scatter the gathering of protesters.
Reports said that in view of directions given by pro-freedom leaders in their protest calendar, the public address systems of mosques at several places across Kashmir reverberated with pro-freedom songs throughout the day.
The administration maintained curfew in five districts of Kashmir: Anantnag, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama and Shopian. Curfew continued in eight police station areas of Srinagar city.
Defying the curfew, thousands of people including women held a rally outside Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s residence in Hyderpora, where they chanted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, and clashed with forces. Earlier, Geelani addressed the huge gathering from the window of his house where he has been kept under house detention since the uprising started in Kashmir.
Youth in Batamaloo and Bemina areas of Srinagar also clashed with forces and held protest demonstrations against the killings of civilians.
Meanwhile, three female members of a family have accused forces deployed in Fateh Kadal of harassment. The three females said that troops made vulgar comments against them in the afternoon near Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar while they were returning home to Khanyar from SMHS hospital.
“We were coming from SMHS hospital to our home and as we reached Fateh Kadal, a large group of forces there passed vulgar comments on us. They even abused us,” two girls who were on a two-wheeler along with their mother told Kashmir Reader.
Reports of clashes were received from Achabal, Koimoh, Charsoo, Zewan, Pantha Chowk, Frastbal and few areas of Pulwama district in south Kashmir, defying the heavy restrictions imposed by the administration. In Kadlabal area of Pampore, people have accused forces of harassment of commuters and blocking their moment by sealing off the Kadalbal Bridge.
Reports said that post-paid BSNL phone services have also been snapped in Pulwama and Shopian districts on Sunday.
Reports said that the police and para-military forces barged into a hospital in Lalpora area of Lolab valley in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district and ransacked the entire hospital building. The forces smashed the windowpanes and damaged hospital property. Reports said that the forces also harassed and thrashed several hospital staff there.
People in Hajin area of Bandipora district also carried out a protest march against the killings by government forces while chanting pro-freedom, anti-Ikhwan and anti-India slogans.
Sources said that soon after Zuhr prayers, people assembled at main chowk Hajin and raised slogans in favour of freedom of Kashmir while protesting the killings of civilians. The protesters also demanded the release of some youths arrested by the police following clashes in the area.
Similar protests were also reported from Saderkoot, Sumbal and Naidkhai areas where protesters, holding green flags, raised azadi slogans. The protests ended peacefully.
At least three people were injured in Saloora area of Ganderbal following fierce clashes that erupted in the afternoon. Youths have sustained pellet injuries and have been shifted to nearby hospitals.
Phone and internet services continue to remain suspended in Kashmir. People from all sections have decried the communication blockade, calling it ‘violation of basic rights’.
A police handout said on Sunday that the “situation throughout the Kashmir valley remained peaceful and under control today.”
“There were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere in the valley although some stray stone-pelting incidents were reported from isolated places. There was no curfew in most of the towns/areas of Kashmir valley although curfew remained imposed in eight police stations of Srinagar and towns of Awantipora, Kulgam and Anantnag,” the statement said.
Constable Mudasir Ahmad, who was injured in a grenade attack on a police post at Yaripora, Kulgam, on July 15, succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS on Sunday, the police said.
The statement also said that the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) conducted by CBSE was held successfully at Srinagar on Sunday. “Administration provided all help in conduct of the test and facilitated the safe movement of the candidates from different places to Srinagar and back,” the statement said.
—With inputs from Bilal Habib and Gowhar Maqbool