Police deny, say boy fell from a height
Sopore: A family in Arampora area of Sopore has alleged that their 10-year-old boy was seriously injured in his head from a rubber bullet fired by paramilitary CRPF forces on Saturday evening. They said the boy, Rizwan Ahmad, is currently admitted to SKIMS Soura in Srinagar.
According to reports, during minor clashes at Arampora in Sopore on Saturday evening, paramilitary forces used rubber bullets to disperse the protestors. It was during then that Rizwan Ahmad Kaboo was hit by a rubber bullet in the head. He was immediately rushed to Sopore sub-district hospital, from where he was shifted to SKIMS Soura for advanced treatment.
Father of Rizwan, Riyaz Ahmad Kaboo, told Kashmir Reader that his son left home on Saturday for the Asr prayers at a nearby mosque. Riyaz said that when people came out from the mosque, a CRPF vehicle passed by. It was about 6pm, Riyaz said, when he heard a sound and moments later his son was lying on the road, bleeding profusely.
“We rushed him to Sopore hospital from where they shifted my son to Srinagar hospital. I was not able to accompany my injured son as I am a paralysis patient myself,” Riyaz said and broke into tears at SKIMS Soura, where he has come with the help of a couple of neighbours and his elder brother.
Waseem Ahmad, Rizwan’s elder brother, told Kashmir Reader over phone that doctors have decided to perform a surgery on Rizwan and the family is arranging blood for him. He said that since Saturday night Rizwan was kept under observation because he was suffering from persistent vomiting, which now has stopped a little.
“Doctors here told us that his skull bone is fractured and he has lost a lot of blood. Some of the blood has gone inside his brain. He is just a boy. What was his crime that they punished him so?” Waseem said.
When asked by this correspondent what was the cause of Rizwan’s injury, he replied that doctors told him that it was due to a rubber bullet. “Everyone in our locality knows that my brother was shot with a rubber bullet as everyone witnessed it while coming out from the mosque,” Waseem said.
The Block Medical Officer (BMO) of sub-district hospital Sopore, Dr Sami, told Kashmir Reader that the injured kid was immediately shifted to Srinagar hospital after given first-aid. When asked the cause of injury, Dr Sami said it was most probably either a teargas shell or rubber bullet, as the boy’s skull was fractured.
Medical Superintendent SKIMS Soura Dr Farooq A Jan told Kashmir Reader that the boy’s family said he had a firearm injury. He said he cannot comment whether it was actually a firearm injury or something else.
“We are examining him and the surgery is going on,” Dr Jan said on Sunday evening. “We will be able to tell you about the nature of the injury once the surgery is complete.”
The Sopore Police issued a statement regarding the injury. It said that that on Saturday evening a minor boy got injured at Arampora Sopore. “It has surfaced in some newsgroups that the minor namely Rizwan Ahmad Kaboo S/o Riyaz Ahmad Kaboo aged 9 yrs got head injury due to rubber bullet but now it has been confirmed that the minor had fallen from a height. He has not received this head injury due to any sort of firearm,” the statement said.
The police in their statement refuted the family’s claims and ruled out any type of firearm injury.
Before filing this story, Kashmir Reader again spoke to Rizwan’s brother Waseem, who confirmed that the surgery had just been completed and the doctor who operated upon Rizwan said that they had removed the broken parts of the skull from his brain and he will be kept at SKIMS for three to four days under observation.
Rizwan was unconscious when this story was filed.