Suhail A Shah
Anantnag: At least 30 civilians were injured, most of them by pellets, as hundreds of youth who had gathered for the funeral of a local militant in Yenned village of Pahalgam clashed with government forces on Saturday.
Two among the injured with serious pellet injuries to their eyes have been shifted to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar for specialised treatment.
Thousands of people had assembled in Yenned village to participate in the funeral prayers of Arif Ahmad Mir, a local militant killed along with four other militants by government forces in Killora village of Shopian district. Mir had joined militant ranks only a week ago. He was a Class 10 student at a government school in Kullar village before he decided to take up arms against the government forces.
On Saturday morning, soon after the news of his killing started doing rounds, hundreds began to throng Yenned village in Pahalgam area of Anantnag district. By late afternoon, the crowds had swelled to thousands.
As the people waited for the body of Mir to arrive, the youth assembled there clashed with government forces deployed in and around the village.
“The government forces fired indiscriminate pellets at the protesting people, leaving scores injured,” a local source told Kashmir Reader.
Hospital authorities in Sallar, Srigufwara, and Seer told Kashmir Reader that 20, six, and four injured, respectively, were brought to their facilities.
“Two youths with serious eye injuries were shifted to Anantnag district hospital and then to Srinagar,” a medico told Kashmir Reader.
A doctor at Sallar Sub-District Hospital told Kashmir Reader that at least two ambulance drivers were beaten up by government forces who did not allow the ambulances to ferry the injured.
“We have 9 ambulances of different hospitals stuck somewhere or the other, as forces are not allowing them to reach hospitals,” the doctor said.
As the clashes continued, Mir’s body reached the village at about 5:30 PM and was taken home straightaway. The mourners, thousands in number, were waiting for the body to be brought to the funeral ground when this report was filed.