April 2017 News

Youth Killed In Firing In Srinagar, 54 Injured In Clashes With Security Forces In Pulwama

15 April 2017
India Today
Shuja-ul-Haq and Ashraf Wani

Srinagar: A 22-year-old youth was killed in Batamaloo area of Srinagar city on Saturday after the security forces opened fire on a group of protesters who were pelting stones at them. The victim, identified as Sajad Hassan, succumbed to head injuries, according to sources. Meanwhile in south Kashmir's Pulwama, at least 54 students were injured in Government Degree College during clashes between students and security forces. According to eyewitnesses, two police vehicles stopped at the entrance of the college. This infuriated the students as they thought the police had come to arrest them, a day after they had objected to allowing an Army vehicle from entering the college. The students and the security forces started hurling abuses at each other. 'As students assembled at the site, police fired pellets and teargas shells into the college premises, which provoked more students to join in and shout slogans against the police. Additional security forces were called in to rein in the protesters. The students started pelting the security forces with stones and the latter were forced to fire more teargas shells and pellets', the eyewitnesses said. They added that due to shelling and beating of students, there was absolute chaos outside the college. Employees at the district hospital in Pulwama said since the rush of those injured was too high to attend to, there was total chaos at the premises. The employees said that forces fired at the hospital premises which led to greater chaos. Dr Abdul Rashid Parra, Medical Superintendent of Pulwama hospital, said that 54 injured students were treated at the hospital. 'Most of the injured were girl students, who had fainted or received bruises during the violence. Three of the students were critically injured and they were referred to SMHS and SKIMS', Dr Para said. Rayees Muhammad Bhat, Senior Superintendent of Police of Pulwama district, said that 30 students had been injured. 'Only three students were injured due to pellets and teargas shells.' Explaining the situation, the SSP said that students pelted the police and the CRPF personnel with stones, which were there as a party patrolling the checkpost. 'The checkpost party, which includes two police vehicles and CRPF personnel, is everyday placed nearly 200 meters away from the college for anti-militancy purposes, not to arrest students of the college', he said, adding that a video was being circulated on social networking sites and was being falsely attributed to the Pulwama situation', he added. 'We are investigating why the party was attacked today. May be the attack was pre-planned to create unrest in the wake of the bypolls', the SSP said. Meanwhile, a police statement said that a normal checkpost was set up around 200 meters away from the Pulwama Degree College. 'As classes in the college ended, some miscreants started pelting stones at the checkpost. To rein in stone pelters, Army reinforcements were rushed to the spot. The mob swelled as more students joined in and started pelting stones on the forces', the statement said. 'In this incident, some miscreants and police personnel were injured. One of the injured was referred to the Srinagar hospital, where his condition is said to be stable', the statement added. The district police administration in a statement clarified that no raids were conducted and the video being shared on social networking groups, which has already gone viral on social media, was not from Pulwama. Meanwhile, as soon as the news spread in the town, shops and business establishments were shut and clashes erupted at Murran Chowk. The traffic movement also came to a standstill in the town.

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