3 women injured critically after forces fire pellets into a procession
Srinagar: Although the government forces did not kill any protester today, a 17-year-old boy from Shopian district succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS, raising the number of the protesters killed in the raging anti-India uprising to 56.
Also, the forces went berserk at Senthan village in Bijbehara and fired pellets into a procession, injuring seven people, four women among them, the residents said.
Thousands of people participated in anti-India protests across the valley, which were organised by local committees.
The day began on a gloomy note when doctors at SKIMS, Soura, announced the death of Amir Bashir Lone, a resident of Sedow village in Shopian district. Lone was admitted to the hospital on Friday with multiple pellet injuries, including serious skull wounds that had damaged his brain.
The government forces had pumped hundreds of pellets into his body during a campaign to quell anti-India protests in the area. A welder by profession, Lone had left his home to offer Friday prayers. Such was his state of the bloated face that his closet relatives and friends were unable to recognize him at first sight in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.
A huge number of people hit the streets in Lone’s native village shortly after the news of his death reached there. Thousands of mourners took part in the funeral of the deceased who was the lone bread-earner of his family. He is survived by his parents and a younger brother.
In Senthan village, residents said the police and paramilitary forces came to the village at around 9am and without any provocation fired pellet munitions and tear smoke shells on a group of youth who had assembled on the village road. The forces, they alleged, also forced their entry into many houses and smashed window panes and other household goods.
Following the police action huge number of people including women came out of their houses, held protests and clashed with the forces. During the clashes at least seven persons including four women sustained injuries. They were removed to sub-district hospital Bijbehara where three of them were referred to SMHS Srinagar on the basis of severity of their injuries.
“Three women who had severe multiple pellet injuries including eye injuries were referred to Srinagar while as four are being treated here,” said a doctor posted at the hospital.
The back and neck of one of the injured women was completely bruised and her condition was critical, he said.
The injured were identified as Ruby Jan, Haseena, Renu Jan , Adil Ahmad , Firdosa Akhter and Towseef Ahmad. The clashes continued in the area for several hours.
Locals said that an injured youngster Muhammad Umar was beaten up by the government forces when was he had gone to local hospital for treatment. He was saved by the locals from the clutches of the forces.
Our correspondent from Baramulla said that a four-year-old boy Mehran Jeelani, a resident of Mohalla Jamia, was injured with pellets on Sunday evening when he was passing through civil lines area along-with his mother where a clash was underway between protesters and police. The injured infant was hospitalized for the night but was discharged in the morning.
In south Kashmir’s Tral area, at least six protesters were injured when government forces entered Rathsuna village to raid houses of suspected protesters. The Block Medical Officer, Tral, said that six pellet-hit villagers were admitted for treatment. The locals alleged that the government forces ransacked houses and ruthlessly beat up villagers.
In Shopian area, thousands of protesters gathered at Nagbal village and held massive anti-India protests. A senior pro-freedom functionary Muhammad Yousuf Falahi led the protests. Similar protests were held in Gulzarpora area in Awantipora.
Hundreds of protesters offered maghrib prayers at Kadlabal Chowk in Pampore. The prayers were followed by anti-India and pro-freedom protests, which continued till late in the evening. However, the protests allowed essential vehicles to play on the highway.
In Srinagar, the clashes were reported from Lawaypora, HMT and Rainawari area. A youth was critically injured after he was hit by a pellet in Lawaypora during clashes between forces and protesters.
Identifying the injured youth as Abdul Rouf Parray of Lawyapora, a doctor at JVC Hospital said that they referred him to SKIMS Srinagar. Stone-pelting incidents were also reported from Rainwari Srinagar where police used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters.
In Baramulla, all the bridges connecting Old town Baramulla with civil lines were closed by the government forces and people were not allowed to cross the bridges. However some road vendors were doing their business in civil lines areas while private vehicles were seen plying on the roads. The reports from the other areas of north Kashmir including Pattan, Palhalan, Tangmarg, Kunzar, Sheeri, Sangrama, Sopore, Handwara, Kupwara also said that complete shutdown was observed.
Meanwhile, the authorities on Monday continued curfew and restrictions in parts of Kashmir as life remained paralysed across the Valley for the 31st consecutive day since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani that triggered massive anti-India protests.
Towns of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian, and Pulwama were under curfew. Restrictions continued in old city areas of Srinagar, north Kashmir’s Sopore, Baramulla, Handwara and Kupwara towns, police sources said.
Police spokesman in a statement said that barring five minor incidents of stone pelting by “miscreants” on police deployments in Anantnag, Sopore and Bandipora districts, overall situation in the Valley remained normal and under control.
Referring to the news report published in a section of print and social media today regarding the number of persons injured in Langate town, the spokesman said that the number of injured was false, baseless and misleading.
“It is clarified that a mob of more than 2000 miscreants assembled at main chowk Langate and started heavy stone pelting on deployment and police post Langate, due to which 38 police/security personnel were injured. While dispersing the mob, 11 miscreants were injured, most of them due to stampede out of which three of them were referred to Srinagar. The condition of all of them is stable,” the statement added.
—With inputs from KR correspondents from Anantnag, Baramulla, Sopore