Youth killed, scores injured on 7th Friday of uprising

Srinagar: An 18-year old youth of Chandgam village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district was killed by government forces on Friday, during clashes that erupted in Hall village after congregational prayers.
Identified as Shakeel Ahmad Ganaie, the slain youth was hit by a bullet in his shoulder that, as per the Chief Medical Officer Pulwama, Fayaz Ahmad, “had penetrated the youth’s chest”.
“He was brought to death at district hospital Pulwama,” Ahmad told Kashmir Reader. According to witnesses, Shakeel Ahmad, a first-year undergraduate student, “was passing through the village and was not involved in stone-pelting.”
As many as 30 people were injured, four of them seriously, at Haal village following the teargas, pellet gun and bullet firing by government forces to disperse the protesting people.
Fierce clashes erupted soon after the news of Shakeel Ahmad’s death. In his native village youths hurled stones at the forces. Clashes were still going on in the village and several other areas of Pulwama district when this report was filed.
Earlier in the day, dozens were injured during clashes between youths and government forces in several parts of the Valley after the government blocked with force the ‘Eidgah Chalo’ march called for by the pro-freedom leadership.
All roads leading towards the Eidgah were sealed with concertina wires to prevent people from marching towards it. The pro-freedom leaders, including Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, were detained by police after they came out of their houses to march towards Eidgah. Geelani was taken to Humhama police station while Mirwiaz was lodged at Nigeen police station.
More than 20 people were injured in clashes that erupted in Hygam area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district after forces intercepted a protest rally that was heading towards the highway.
Witnesses said that the forces lobbed scores of teargas shells at protesters, causing intense clashes in the area. The youths in retaliation hurled rocks at the forces.
At least 18 people sustained injuries after forces attacked a peaceful protest march in Palhallan and Pattan areas of Sopore town after Friday prayers. Twelve people sustained injuries during clashes at old town Baramulla, Iqbal Market, Tawheed Gunj, Cement Bridge, Kunzer, Patapora, Kreeri, Sopore town, Wagoora, Sangrama, Colony Bagh, Rafiabad and Sheeri areas of Baramulla district.
Witnesses said that following the forces’ action, intense clashes erupted between youths and government forces that left dozens of people injured.
Peaceful demonstrations were held in Hanjiwera and Tapper areas of Baramulla.
Clashes broke out between youths and forces after Friday prayers near Azad Gunj area of Baramulla. The youths hoisted Pakistani flags in the area. After offering Friday prayers at Qadeem Eidgah, people took out a massive protest rally and passed through various parts of old town. Clashes between youths and police also took place at Kanlibagh area of the district.
Two women protesters were injured in Dangdara, Sangrama, after police attacked a peaceful protest march and shot teargas and pellet gun fires to disperse people.
The forces injured at least 13 people in Noorpora area of Burhan’s hometown Tral after locals resisted forces who had come to carry out a search operation in the area. Sources said that forces lobbed several rounds of teargas and pellet gun fires to disperse the protesting people.
In Panzigam area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, at least 10 people were injured after forces lobbed scores of teargas and pellet fires to disperse a gathering of people protesting against the civilian killings.
At least 10 persons were injured in Hajin area while a civilian was injured in Bandipora’s Gulshan Chowk during clashes with government forces. One among the injured has been referred to Srinagar.
Witnesses said that soon after the culmination of Friday prayers a massive protest rally was carried out from New Jamia Masjid in Bandipora. Raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, the rally was joined by women and children from adjoining areas like Papchan, Ajar, Plan and Nowpora. The protest rally, later, stopped at Gulshan Chowk where leaders of Hurriyat Conference including Syed Ali Geelani telephonically addressed the gathering.
Massive clashes erupted between youth and the government forces near Gulshan Chowk as soon as participants dispersed. The police fired numerous tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse people for several hours.
Incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Papchan, Nowpora, Plan, Kaloosa, Ajar and Neabrepora areas of the district. Peaceful rallies were held in Ajas, Saderkoot, Garoora, Aloosa, Hajin Onagam and other areas of the district.
Fierce clashes erupted in Shopian district on Friday where five people sustained injuries after forces resorted to heavy teargas and pellet gun firing.
Witnesses said that after Friday congregational prayers, people assembled at Baba Mohalla and Golchakri areas of Shopian town and held demonstrations against the civilian killings.
The forces attacked the protesters with teargas and pellets, to which angry youths answered by hurling stones at the troops. One of the youths, who suffered an injury in the eye, has been shifted to Srinagar for treatment.
Clashes were reported from Handwara town after Friday prayers where at least 10 people were injured following heavy teargas and pellet gun firing by the government forces. The people accused troops of barging into residential houses and beating up inmates.
Three people were injured in Sangam area of Anantnag district after clashes erupted between youths and forces after Friday congregational prayers.
In Charsoo area of Pulwama district, four people suffered injuries after forces resorted to heavy ammunition firing to scatter protesting people. Sources said that one among the injured was referred to Srinagar due to severity of his injuries.
Thousands of people held demonstrations in Maidan Chogul area of Handwara town against the ransacking of dozens of residential houses and beating of several locals by the forces.
Locals told Kashmir Reader that without any provocation, a heavy contingent of CRPF, army and police led by SP Handwara raided the village and smashed windowpanes of dozens of residential houses and unleashed terror on the people. People said that police also picked up two minors over their alleged involvement in stone-pelting.
Clashes erupted in Kupwara town, Kralpora, Lolab and other adjoining areas amid heavy restrictions imposed by the administration. No one was, however, injured in the clashes.
Thousands of people participated in protest rallies held at several places like Regipora, Darzipora, Bohipora, Bumhama, Drugmulla and Halmatpora after Friday prayers.
Raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, people took to streets in Lalpora Lolab, Kralpora, Trehgam, Mir Molalla, Ganie Mohalla, Dardsun and other areas of the district.
Soon after Friday prayers, people hold protests in Tral town and Shopian against the civilian killings. A women’s rally led by activists of Dukhtaran-e-Milat was also held in Rahmoo Gasoo area of Pulwama district.
Two persons were injured in clashes that erupted in Mirgund and Khag areas of Budgam district after Friday prayers. Locals said that forces used pepper grenades that caused suffocation to the ill and elderly.
For the seventh consecutive Friday, the government did not allow Friday prayers in Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid. In other masjids, Imams held special prayers for civilians killed by government forces in the past one-and-a-half month.
Senior Hurriyat leader and president of J&K Anjuman-e-Sharie Shian, Agha Syed Hassan Almosvi Alsafvi, was arrested by police after he led a march towards Eidgah.
An all-women march was taken out in Dalgate area of Srinagar towards the Eidgah that was disallowed by the forces deployed in the area.
Residents of Pampore town said that the forces barred them from offering Friday prayers at the Khanqah-e-Moulla. They said that the forces sealed off the road leading towards the Khanqah.

-With inputs from Bilal Habib, Owais Farooqi, Gowhar Maqbool and Mushtaq Ahmad

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