Srinagar: Chaotic scenes were witnessed in Hyderpora locality of Srinagar on Thursday when police fired multiple shots of pellets and tear gas shells directly towards a peaceful rally, which was heading towards the residence of octogenarian Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani. Dozens of people were injured.
As per reports, thousands of protesters from many villages of Budgam district were leading a peaceful protest rally towards Geelani’s residence.
A group of people who were part of the rally described the incident, “When the protest rally reached near the residence of Geelani sahib, we came under heavy teargas shelling and pellet firing by the police. The rally was moving peacefully and there was no stone pelting. But the police targeted peaceful protesters without any reason. Scores of people were injured, including women and children.”
When Kashmir Reader reached Galwanpora area of Hyderpora where the incident took place, people informed that the police had created terror in the area with unprovoked teargas shelling and pellet firing. “It is like a situation of war,” a resident said. “Today, many injured wincing in pain lay on the streets. The mass of smoke from the teargas shells filled the air.”
A few women who were in the rally said they were shocked by the indiscriminate pellet firing and tear gas shelling. “We never expected that they would act like that. There were children and women in the rally,” said an elderly woman named Hajra.
The women also alleged that they were beaten by the police. “First they fired tear gas shells and pellets, and later they beat us,” said Mahjabeena.
One woman, Afshana, compared the police action to that which took place in Jalian Wala Bagh. “They fired in every direction and on everyone. It looked like Jalian Wala Bagh,” she said.
She said that the indiscriminate firing led to a stampede, resulting in injuries to many people.
She also said that police personnel on the direction of the SHO Humhama behaved like hooligans and fired pellets on whoever came in their way.
Witnesses said that the injured were rushed to SMHS hospital. Those accompanying the injured said that police deliberately targeted people on the heads and faces. “Most of the injured people have injuries on their faces, which clearly shows that the pellets were aimed to maim,” said Tariq, who was accompanying an injured.
People informed Kashmir Reader that the son of APDP Chairperson Parveena Ahanger was also injured in the incident. He has injuries to his face and neck.
(With inputs from Nouman Parvez)