SRINAGAR: The dance of death returned to south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday when Indian army troopers shot dead a teenager at Larkipora village after villagers resisted arrest of two youngsters. The angry villagers, in retaliation, burned down the residential house of a Territorial Army soldier. The government troopers also went berserk in several parts of Bandipora, Ganderbal, Baramulla and Kupwara districts.
Sources said that army troopers opened fire on a group of protesters at Larkipora village near Dyalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday morning when a group of youngsters had assembled to protest against the arrest of two youngsters. Locals said that the protesters were peaceful and shouted slogans against the teenagers’ arrest. Some army vehicles arrived at the scene and began using force to disperse the protesters. This infuriated the youngsters who intensified sloganeering. Instead of leaving the area, the troopers opened fire on the protesters. During the army action, at least 11 persons were injured, several of them hit with bullets. The injured were shifted to hospital in a highly chaotic atmosphere where 20-year-old student Aamir Ganai was declared dead on arrival by the doctors.
Sources said that massive protests erupted in the village when Ganai’s body reached his native Naidpora quarter of the village. The angry protesters later set the residential house of a local Territorial Army soldier Sajjad Ahmad Ittoo on fire. Ittoo is reportedly posted at Dyalgam army camp.
Locals said that the army had beaten up several villagers and taken two of them into custody before the protests erupted in the area.
Sources said that five policemen were injured when unidentified persons, suspected to be militants, hurled a grenade at the police station at Kakapora in Pulwama. No militant group claimed the attack that occurred at 9 pm.
Sources said that a convoy of armoured vehicles of the Indian army entered Kurhama village in Ganderbal district on Tuesday morning. The troops soon after disembarking from their vehicles began beating up whosoever came in their way. Locals alleged that the troopers attacked residential houses, broke windowpanes and doors with a deliberate intention to harass the population.
Locals from the area said on phone that around two dozen army vehicles entered the village at around 12 noon and wreaked havoc for about three hours. At least 35 civilians have been wounded in the army action. One of them was shifted to Srinagar for treatment.
A protest demonstration was held in Sumbal area of Bandipora district against the ransacking of residential houses and thrashing of windowpanes of houses by the government forces during night hours.
A peaceful demonstration was also held in Bandipora against the civilian killings and atrocities committed by the forces during the on-going public uprising. The protesters were raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
At Hajin, a 9-year-old boy Zubair Ahmad Rather was detained by the army for his alleged involvement in stone pelting. He was later handed over to police.
Zubair was caught from the paddy fields after troopers chased away some young boys who, according to their parents, were playing near Army Goodwill School. The police refused to set him free when Zubair’s relatives approached them.
One of his relatives told Kashmir Reader that the army handed him over to police so that they could hand him over to parents. “The police are unnecessarily delaying his release,” he said.
Several youth of the area have been detained and this is the first case of a minor being detained. Many of them have been slapped with Public Safety Act.
Police a few days ago charged four persons — Shabir Ahmad Rather, Naseer Ahamd Rather, and two Tehreek Hurriyat activists Abdul Hameed Parray and Khursheed Ahmad, all residents of Hajan — with Public Safety Act and shifted them to Udhampur jail.
Sources said around two dozen people were injured in north Kashmir districts after protests erupted at several places on Tuesday.
In Trehgam area of Kupwara, several youth were injured during clashes with government forces. Similar clashes were witnessed in Baramulla, Pattan and Palhalan areas.
Meanwhile, two graves have been kept ready in Gantumulla area by the locals after police said that two bodies of slain militants killed in encounter with CRPF at Nowhatta Srinagar on Monday, were scheduled to arrive there.
However, till evening the bodies did not arrive at the graveyard where several foreign militants have been laid to rest this year. Most of these militants died in encounters in south Kashmir.
Sources said that a massive public rally was organised at Buddur village in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. The rally was addressed by prominent religious leaders of the area, cutting across their sectarian ideologies.
Normal life remained paralyzed in the entire valley for the 39th consecutive day. Curfew and restrictions remained imposed in Anantnag and Srinagar districts and all major towns and sensitive areas in south, central and north Kashmir. Locals in Rajbagh and Lal Chowk areas alleged that police imposed strict restrictions after 6pm to foil the pro-freedom leadership’s plan to offer breather to the common people.
Broadband and mobile internet services remained suspended in the Valley. The snapping of internet services has hampered the publication of newspapers.