Scores injured in protests after the boy’s drowning in Noorbagh area, government forces injure a hundred more in other parts of Valley
Srinagar: A 12-year-old boy drowned into river Jhelum after he along with three others jumped into the river to escape arrest by police who were chasing a group of youths from Pamposh colony in Noorbagh area of Srinagar.
As per witnesses, police chased youths near New Colony Palpora and four youths who were about to be caught jumped into the river. One among them, identified as Danish Sultan Haroon, son of Mohammad Sultan Haroon, resident of New Colony Palpora, Noorbagh, was a Class 7 student. His body is yet to be brought out from the river.
Clashes erupted around Noorbagh and adjoining areas as soon as the news of the boy’s drowning spread. An estimated 150 persons were injured after forces resorted to teargas, pellet and bullet firing to disperse the angry crowd.
Medical Superintendent of SMHS hospital, Dr Nazir Choudhary, told Kashmir Reader that the hospital received 55 injured on Thursday from different parts of the Valley.
“Majority of them have pellet injuries while 12 persons have eye injuries,” Choudhary said.
Chief Medical Officer, SKIMS Bemina, told Kashmir Reader that more than 20 injured, mostly by pellets, were admitted to the hospital on Thursday.
Till late evening, heavy clashes were going on in Noorbagh and many women were also holding demonstrations against the forces.
Elsewhere, scores of people were injured in clashes between youth and government forces on Thursday. Near Khwaja Bazaar in Srinagar, forces intercepted a massive pro-freedom rally and attacked it with teargas and pellets. Participants at the rally told Kashmir Reader that the forces, without any provocation or stone-pelting, lobbed teargas shells and fired pellets at the “peaceful demonstration”.
“We told them (forces) that nobody would pelt a stone and neither would anyone provoke them, as we had to march towards Lal Chowk. But the forces fired dozens of teargas shells and pellets that triggered clashes,” a participant said.
Witnesses said that the rally, raising loud slogans in favour of freedom, later moved back towards Hawal and held a demonstration there against the forces’ action. At least 15 people sustained injuries in the firing by troops.
Clashes were also reported from Rajouri Kadal, Bohri Kadal, Saraf Kadal, Nowhatta, Gojwara, Khanyar, Chattabal, Sakidaffer, Safa Kadal, Tengpora, Illahi Bagh, Malla Bagh, Noorbagh, Parimpora and Nawakadal areas of Srinagar city. Youths raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans hurled stones at the troops, which answered with several rounds of teargas and pellet firing.
Intense clashes also erupted at Batamaloo area and lasted for several hours. A dozen people are reported to have sustained injuries during the pellet firing and teargas shelling.
At least 22 people sustained injuries during clashes between youths and troops at Mazhama and Kanihama villages of Budgam district. Locals said that the forces damaged private vehicles and residential houses in the area, against which the people held demonstrations. Announcements were made from masjid loudspeakers for people to come out on roads and protest the “highhandedness” of government troops. The injured were rushed to nearby health centres of Budgam district. Three persons were also injured in clashes between government forces and protesters in Ompora locality of the district.
A woman and her son were injured after a teargas shell fired by police landed inside the kitchen of her home near Plan area in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. Eyewitnesses said hundreds of youth were holding demonstrations in the area and had placed blockades on the roads. When forces came to the area, they started massive teargas shelling, and fired some into residential houses.
One of the shells landed in the kitchen of a family, resulting in injuries to a woman, Nasreena, and her Class 9-student son. Both were rushed to hospital by family members.
Many people were injured during clashes that occurred after forces tried to foil pro-freedom rallies at several areas in south Kashmir. Five people were injured when forces raided a pro-freedom seminar-cum-rally in Furrah village of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. Witnesses said that the forces shot several rounds of teargas and pellets at people who were making arrangements for the scheduled rally.
The forces vandalised the stage set for the speakers and damaged the arrangements and vehicles belonging to locals, people of the area said.
Forces injured 10 people when they attacked a pro-freedom seminar at Badazgam village in Kokernag area of Anantnag district. The injured were shifted to nearby health centers.
Witnesses said that a heavy contingent of forces reached the rally venue and created havoc by firing dozens of teargas canisters and pellets at the rally participants. Angry youths in retaliation hurled stones at the troops, triggering clashes in the area.
At least 7 persons were injured when forces attacked a pro-freedom seminar at Arigatnoo in Kulgam district with teargas and pellets. Witnesses said that the forces damaged the stage at the venue and lobbed dozens of teargas canisters to prevent people from attending the seminar. The people, however, defied the forces and made a counter attack by hurling rocks at troops to chase them away. Later, the seminar was successfully organised and saw participation of thousands of people.
In Wakea village of the district, a huge pro-freedom rally was organised in which thousands of people from several villages participated. The speakers at the rally asked people to follow the resistance leadership’s programme and be vigilant about “Indian agents”.
Thousands of people from several villages attended a pro-freedom seminar-cum-rally at Trenz area in Shopian district. Carrying green flags, participants raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. The huge gathering was addressed by Muslim League chairman Mohammad Yousuf Mir.
Unity-cum-Azadi congregations were organised at Shamsipora and Pakharpora villages of Anantnag and Pulwama districts. The representatives of different religious groups addressed the rallies, urging people to be steadfast and united in the ongoing struggle for freedom.
Later, clashes erupted at Pakharpora between youths and forces, which resorted to teargas shelling to disperse the protesting youths.
A protest demonstration was held at Murran in Pulwama district where people offered Asr prayers on the roads as a mark of protest against the civilian killings.
People also held demonstrations at Marvel and Khadrumoh villages in the district, alleging that troops had damaged private property and broken the windowpanes of several residential houses.
An undeclared curfew was imposed in Kaloosa area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district in which locals were told to remain inside their houses. Locals said that troops deployed in the area announced that a “strict curfew had been imposed area and whoever ventures outside would be dealt with severely.”
In Kaloosa, dozens of people were injured during clashes with government forces on Wednesday.
Clashes erupted in Gulshan Chowk of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district after forces removed barricades erected on roads by the locals. Angry youths pelted forces with stones, while the forces fired teargas shells.
A protest demonstration was held at Ownagam village in Bandipora district against the arrest of a shopkeeper. The protesters demanded immediate release of the shopkeeper.
Reports said that a massive pro-freedom rally was organised in Kehnusa area attended by scores of people. Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani addressed the rally on telephone.
Hundreds of people held a sit-in protest against the “arrest spree” of police in Sonawari area of Bandipora district, after five more youths were arrested on Thursday. Locals said that police have “let loose a reign of terror” in the area and many youths have gone into hiding to evade arrest.
Minor clashes and demonstrations were reported from Azad Gunj Bridge and Nadihal villages in Baramulla district. Witnesses said that forces lobbed teargas canisters to scatter stone-throwing people.
In Nadihal village, a huge protest march that witnessed participation of women was carried out against the killing of 17-year-old Danish Manzoor Lone, who was killed by forces on Wednesday. The protesters raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans and held demonstrations near the Baramulla-Kupwara highway.
—With Inputs from Bilal Habib, Mushtaq Ahmad and Gowhar Maqbool