Suhail A Shah
Anantnag: Government forces fired pellet guns and tear smoke shells at civilian protestors, leaving at least 25 youths injured, one of them critically, during a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) here in Khodweni area of Kulgam district on Monday.
The CASO was initiated a day after three militants were killed in the area by government forces.
Police reports said that there were inputs regarding presence of militants in the area, following which the cordon was launched.
“The cordon was launched at about 2 PM today,” a police official said.
Soon after the area was cordoned off, hundreds of youths marched towards the area and threw stones at the government forces. The forces in return fired tear smoke shells and pellet guns, local sources said.
The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital in Qaimoh. A doctor at the hospital told Kashmir Reader that they received 18 injured in total.
“17 of them had pellet injuries and one was hit by a tear smoke shell on his face,” the doctor said, adding that four pellet injured, with injuries to their eyes, and one with the shell injury were shifted to Anantnag district hospital.
Some injured were directly rushed to Anantnag district hospital as well.
The critically injured boy, Raqeeb Ahmad Wagay, was later shifted to Srinagar for specialised treatment.
“Also, six people with pellet injuries to their eyes were shifted to Srinagar,” a doctor at Anantnag district hospital said.
The cordon was lifted after three hours. Clashes continued in the area even after the cordon was lifted, as youth threw stones at a nearby forces’ camp.