Another youth critical at SMHS, more than 150 injured by government forces in protests across Valley
Srinagar: A 20-year-old youth was killed by government forces in Prichoo area of Pulwama and dozens others were injured during clashes with government forces on Wednesday.
The slain youth, identified as Amir Ahmad Mir, son of Ghulam Mohammad Mir, resident of Ratnipora village of Pulwama, suffered firearm injuries in chest and head during fierce clashes that erupted after forces barred people from participating in a pro-freedom rally in Prichoo village. Medical Superintendent of SMHS, Dr Nazir Choudhary said that the youth was brought dead to the hospital. “He (Amir) had pellets in his chest and head,” Choudhary said.
Witnesses said that people in the locality had called for “Prichoo chalo” to participate in a pro-freedom rally there. “While people were busy in making arrangements for the rally and hundreds who had already reached there were having a rest, a heavy contingent of forces including the personnel of Special Operations Group (SOG) raided the venue at 3am in the morning and cordoned off the entire area,” they said.
Soon after the raid, announcements were made on the public address systems of local mosques and thousands of people rushed to the spot and held protest demonstrations against the raid.
“But they (forces) used brutal force on peaceful protesters and fired dozens of live ammunition directly on the protesters. They violently assaulted several people including women and children. Two dozen people were injured on the spot,” Shahid Ahmad, an eyewitness, said.
He said that fierce clashes erupted at several nearby villages later that lasted for several hours in which thousands of people pelted forces with stones and shouted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
As per the witnesses, more than 90 people suffered injuries in subsequent clashes that lasted through the day. The injured were shifted to nearby health centres and from where several of them were shifted to Srinagar hospitals.
“Till 5 pm, 22 injured mostly by pellets were admitted to the hospital and more are being admitted,” the MS of SMHS hospital said. He said that 11 people have sustained pellet injuries in eye and all of them are being operated at the hospital.
Thousands of people offered funeral prayers for the slain youths and held heavy demonstrations against the killing.
A senior doctor at SMHS told Kashmir Reader that a youth, Gulzar Ahmad, was critically injured during clashes in Pulwama. He was hit by a bullet in his chest and is undergoing treatment at the hospital.
Eight persons were also injured hours after in fresh clashes which erupted in Pinglena area of Pulwama district after people tried to march towards Pirchoo but were stopped by the forces deployed in the area.
In Tral, the hometown of slain Hizb commander Burhan Wani, fierce clashes left at least 24 people injured, four of them with serious injuries. Witnesses said that the forces didn’t let them open their shops during the relaxation period as per the pro-freedom leadership, triggering clashes between youths and forces.
They said that without any protest or stone-pelting going on in the area, troops fired teargas shells and pellets fires at people. The youths in retaliation hurled rocks at the forces.
Block Medical Officer of Tral sub-district hospital told Kashmir Reader that 10 people injured during the clashes were admitted to the hospital. “All of them are stable,” the officer said.
A huge rally was organised in Turkwangan area of Shopian that witnessed the participation of thousands of people. The scholars who addressed the participants stressed on the need for unity. A similar rally-cum-unity seminar was organised in Verinag area of Anantnag district.
Intense clashes erupted in Safa Kadal and Noorbagh areas of Srinagar after three youths who were on a two-wheeler were stopped and beaten by CRPF men. Hundreds of youths came on roads and hurled stones at the CRPF troops amid heavy sloganeering in favour of freedom. The injured were later rushed to SMHS for treatment where their condition is said to be stable.
Witnesses said that the people were holding a peaceful sit-in protest in Noorbagh area when they were attacked by forces who lobbed several rounds of teargas and fired pellets at the protesters. The youths later engaged in pitched battles with the government forces.
Sources said that dozens of persons sustained injuries during clashes between forces and youths in Kawoosa area of Narbal in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Locals said that the forces smashed windowpanes of several residential houses which led to clashes in the area. The youths pelted forces with stones while the forces resorted to heavy teargas and pellet gun firing to scatter the angry youths. The injured were shifted to nearby health centres.
Residents of Batamaloo area of Srinagar said that forces without any provocation beat up people and fired several rounds of aerial firing during the early morning when people were busy in buying essentials. The firing, they said, created fear and panic in the area while several people sustained minor injuries.
In Kakpora, an official at the public health centre said that 40 persons with injuries were brought for treatment, of whom three with pellet injuries were referred to Srinagar for treatment. In Pampore sub-district hospital, 12 persons were admitted, of whom nine with pellet injuries were referred to Srinagar.
In north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, amid heavy restrictions, a complete shutdown was observed in all parts of the district, including Baramulla town, Sopore, Patten, Tangmarg, Sheeri, Rafiabad and other major areas of the district.
Thousands of people including women took to the streets in old town Baramulla late night on Tuesday and held demonstrations amid heavy sloganeering in favour of freedom.
Women in large numbers raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans at a protest demonstration at Beehama chowk in Ganderbal after a youth was arrested by police from his shop at Beehama over his alleged involvement in stone-pelting.
The women protesters shouted slogans and attempted to block the Srinagar-Ladakh national highway near Beehama. Police reached the spot and dispersed the protesters.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Kishtwar against the civilian killings and registering of cases against two Imams by the police. The call for shutdown was given by Imam Jamia Masjid Kishtwar, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, after a decision to the effect was taken by the Majlis-e-Shoora that comprises various Imams of mosques and religious bodies.
All business establishments including schools remained closed while there was thin attendance in government offices. Majority of the towns in the district like Sanghrambhata, Poohi, Hulkar, Drabshalla, Chatroo, Drabshala, Mughalmaidan, Dadpath, Bhunjwah, Sarthal and adjoining areas of the district witnessed a complete shutdown in support of the Kashmir uprising.
A police statement issued here said that eight incidents of stone pelting were reported from Pulwama, Budgam, Srinagar, Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts.
The statement said that during stone pelting near Degree College Pulwama, “militants hiding in the mob fired and hurled two grenades on the deployment resulting in injuries to 17 police and CRPF personnel and some civilians”. The injured include CO 183 Bn CRPF, ASP Pulwama, DySP Pulwama and SHO Pulwama, it said.
“At Pinglina, Pulwama miscreants assembled on road and started heavy stone pelting on the police and SF deployment. In order to clear the road and chase the miscreants, Police/Security forces were compelled to use some force, which caused injuries to few miscreants. One of them identified as Amir Ahmad Mir, son of Ghulam Mohammad Mir, resident of Ratnipora, succumbed to his injuries,” the statement said. “In this incident a number of police and security forces personnel were also injured,” the statement said.
“Except for these incidents, overall situation across the valley remained under control. Apart from some police stations of Srinagar and town Anantnag there was increased movement of traffic on roads in rest of the valley,” the police statement said.
With inputs from Bilal Habib and Mushtaq Ahmad