Srinagar: More than a dozen friends and relatives of the cousins Sajad Ahmad Bhat, 27, and Amir Ahmad Bhat 21, waited anxiously at SKIMS Soura when the duo was being operated upon by doctors on Thursday. The cousins had both received bullet injuries a few hours ago when government troops opened fire on protesters in Padgampora village in Pulwama district during a gunfight with militants.
Doctors treating the duo described the condition of Sajad as stable but said that Amir required more attention. “Both the cousins have received bullet injuries in their legs. Sajad is relatively stable. Amir has already had a surgery conducted on his leg and an external fixator has been placed in his thigh as his femur bone is fractured. He has also suffered vascular injury and another surgery might be required,” the doctor who operated on him said.
Relatives of the duo said that none of them were involved in stone-pelting but had become victims of indiscriminate firing by the government forces. “They were watching the action from the back of the crowd. It is a ploy of government forces to target those who are at the back to create chaos. In this way those who are pelting stones at the front get disturbed,” a cousin of the duo said.
Suhail Ahmad, a friend of the injured duo, said that bullets and pellets were “showered” upon protesters. “It was mayhem,” an angry Suhail said. “God willing, I will pick up a gun as soon as I get my hands on one. India has to leave our nation at any cost.”
Suhail revealed that he had been pelting stones at the government forces as soon as he heard the announcement on a loudspeaker. “Since 3am I had been fighting from the front. I wanted to help those who are helping us (referring to the militants), but these two cousins were not throwing stones,” he said.
Another person waiting to see the cousins said that the people of south Kashmir had realised that it was up to them to free Kashmir. “We have had enough. As soon we find weapons, we will join our militant brothers,” he said.
A relative of the cousins, Abdul Majeed, expressed disappointment with the Hurriyat leaders. “They are nowhere to be seen. They should have at least sent their representatives to the hospitals to help the injured,” he said.