August 2016 News

Day 31: Shopian Teenager Succumbs, Death Toll 57

8 August 2016
Greater Kashmir
Khalid Gul and Abid Bashir

Srinagar: A teenager from South Kashmir's Shopian district succumbed to his injuries in a Srinagar hospital on Monday, taking the death toll in the 31 days of unrest in the Valley to 57. Four women and a six-year-old boy were among dozens who sustained pellet injuries in protests that erupted in various areas of South Kashmir, even as curfew remained in place in many places across the Valley for the 31st straight day. Mild clashes were reported from various Srinagar areas while protests and candlelight marches were held in various parts of Kashmir after 'Magrib' (evening) prayers. Amir Bashir Lone, 19, from Sedow Shopian succumbed to his injuries at SK Institute of Medical Sciences at Soura here this morning, hospital sources said. Amir was among 12 persons hit by pellets on past Friday in Narwa Nagbal area and doctors at SKIMS had termed his condition as 'very critical'. He had been hit by pellets from a very-close range, a SKIMS doctor said, adding: 'Pellets had perforated his skull at various places and damaged his brain severely.' Amir, a welder by profession, was the lone bread-earner for his family and his father is physically challenged and mother a cardiac patient. He is also survived by two younger brothers and two sisters and the family, according to his villagers, lives in abject poverty. Meanwhile, the body of Amir was taken away by cops from Police Control Room Srinagar and later handed over to his family for last rites. Thousands turned up to participate in his funeral prayers amid pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India sloganeering, witnesses said. 12 INJURED IN BIJBEHARA Meanwhile, 12 persons sustained injuries after forces fired pellets on people protesting against their excesses in Semthan village of Bijbehara-the hometown of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Locals told Greater Kashmir that forces personnel early in the morning barged into several houses, beat up inmates including women and ransacked household goods. People protested against the forces' atrocities but the cops in turn resorted to baton-charge, lobbed teargas shells and used pellet guns, triggering clashes, they said. 12 people, including four women and a six-year-old boy, sustained injuries and were shifted to Sub-District Hospital (SDH) Bijbehara. Four of the critically-injured women including Haseena wife of Fayaz Ahmad Dar and Ruby wife of Muhammad Shafi who had sustained pellet injuries in eyes and chest respectively were shifted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar for specialized treatment. Two more women including Reenu wife of Younus Ahmad Lone and Ishrat daughter of Javaid Ahmad Mir were also injured in the forces' action and were too referred to the SMHS hospital. 'A six-year-old boy received stitches in his eyebrow while one youth had sustained pellet injuries and was operated here,' a doctor at SDH Bijbehara told Greater Kashmir. A local photojournalist Muneeb-ul-Islam was roughed up by CRPF men at Semthan Bijbehara while he was performing his professional duties, reports said. 6 INJURED IN TRAL AREA Six more youth sustained pellet injuries in clashes that erupted in Rathsuna village of Tral. Reports said youth pelted stones on forces who resorted to intense teargas shelling and also fired pellets. Meanwhile, pro-freedom rallies which have become a common sight in South Kashmir during the ongoing uprising, were held in Imam Sahib Shopian and Gulzarpora-Awantipora. Thousands of people waving Pakistani flags participated in these rallies. The rallies-besides religious clerics from different sects-were also addressed by local pro-freedom leaders including Muhammad Yousuf Falahi, the Shopian district president of Tehreek-I-Hurriyat. A rally was also held in Saali area of Aishmuqam Anantnag which was addressed by local leaders of Peoples League. Protest demonstrations also rocked Kaimoh and its adjacent villages including Khudwani, Redwani, Frisal, Yaripora and many other Kulgam villages. Reports of protest demonstrations also came in from several Pulwama and Anantnag villages. Curfew and restrictions remained in place in Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Awantipora, Pampore, Bijbehara and Kakpora. Roads in various villages that would lead to DC and Tehsil offices were also blocked by protestors with barricades. Reports said violent clashes broke out at Batengoo and Uranhal villages of Anantnag in which one youth sustained pellet injury in his eye. He was removed to district hospital Anantnag. In late-night clashes at Tahab Pulwama, four youth sustained pellet injuries, reports said. NORTH KASHMIR Strict restrictions were put in place in Kupwara villages and also in Handwara while complete shutdown was observed across the district. Reports said Army men were seen patrolling Langate areas. 'Soldiers made several rounds of streets in Langate,' residents said. The Army officials, however, said it was a regular patrolling by the army men. Meanwhile locals alleged that Army has closed Kupwara-Lolab road at Zangli. 'The Army's 28 Infantry Division has closed the road for pedestrians since July 8, causing huge inconvenience to the residents of Kupwara town, Galizoo, Zangli, and other villages of Lolab. Both the gates of Kupwara-Lolab road remain closed round-the-clock,' the residents alleged. Late evening protests were held in Kupwara, Rigipora, Trehgam and other parts of the district. In Baramulla district, Old Bridge continued to remain sealed while complete shutdown was observed in the district. In Sopore, amid restrictions, people staged pro-freedom protests at Batpora, Seelu, Arampora, Chanakhan, Noorbagh, Badambagh, Taarzoo, Tujjar Sharief, Bomai and main town. Locals alleged a few youth sitting in an orchard were allegedly roughed up by Army men who were on a regular patrol. Meanwhile, clashes were reported from various areas of Bandipora district. SRINAGAR While strict curbs were in place in areas falling under six police stations in Old Srinagar, protests were held in many areas including Rainawari, Chattabal, Qamarwari, Cement Kadal, Rajouri Kadal and other adjoining areas. Police resorted to tear-gas shelling at Dalgate when residents came out to offer 'Asr' prayers on road. The prayers were organized by the Coordination Committee Dalgate. Evening clashes were reported from Chottabazar, Kanikadal, Guru Bazar, Zaindar Mohalla, Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal and other places of old Srinagar. Torch procession was held at Nowgam after Magrhib prayers while clashes were reported from Natipora, Chanapora and Naikbagh area of uptown Srinagar. Late evening reports said clashes rocked Batamaloo when forces were being withdrawn from the area. Reports said intense clashes broke out at Lawaypora on Srinagar outskirts in which six youth sustained pellet injuries. One of the injured was referred to SKIMS Soura. Clashes were also witnessed in Maloora on city outskirts against the alleged forces' atrocities. CENTRAL KASHMIR Clashes were reported from Nagam Chadoora and some areas of Narbal while situation remained largely calm in rest of Budgam district. Meanwhile, hundreds of protestors from many villages of Chadoora town tried to march towards Loolipora, the native village of civilian Muhammad Maqbool Wagay who was killed in forces' firing on August 9. The people wanted to offer congregational Fateh prayers for the slain youth, but were intercepted by police and other forces at Nagam. Reports said police fired dozens of tear-gas shells to disperse the protestors. However, thousands of people participated in the Fateha prayers of another slain youth Sameer Ahmed Wani of Mulnooru, Khansahib. Peaceful protests were also held in the area. In Ganderbal district, situation remained by and large peaceful but evening clashes were reported from Saloora, Dudherhama and Beehama areas of the district. POLICE VERSION 'Except for the five minor incidents of stone pelting by 'miscreants' on police deployments in Anantnag, Sopore and Bandipora Districts, overall situation in the Valley remained normal and under control. Although restrictions under section 144-CrPC remained in force in the Valley, curfew was imposed in some parts of Srinagar and Anantnag town only,' a police spokesman said in a statement. 'A group of miscreants assembled near village Simthan on Highway and tried to block it by placing wooden logs and obstacles to restrict the vehicular traffic movement. The miscreants also smashed the panes of some vehicles and tried to stop the vehicles-trucks carrying essential commodities. The police party headed by SHO Bijbehara visited the spot to ensure smooth vehicular movement on Highway, following which the miscreants resorted to stone pelting upon the police-security forces due to which 12 police-security personnel were injured.' He said in order to clear the Highway and ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic, the Police-Security forces 'were compelled to use mild force, which caused injuries to eight miscreants-stone pelters.' 'Two of them were referred to SMHS-SKIMS for further treatment, and the condition of both is stable,' he claimed. Referring to news report published print and social media regarding the number of persons injured in Langate town, the police spokesman claimed that it was false, baseless and misleading. 'It is clarified that a mob of more than 2000 miscreants assembled at main chowk Langate and started heavy stone pelting on deployment and police post Langate, due to which 38 police-security personnel were injured. While dispersing the mob, 11 miscreants were injured, most of them due to stampede out of which three of them were referred to Srinagar. The condition of all of them is stable,' he claimed.