Islamabad boy killed in police firing
5 Youth Injured In Maisuma; Protests In Srinagar, Pulwama
KHALID GUL/GOWHAR BHAT
Islamabad/Srinagar, Aug 30: A nine-year old boy was killed and several others injured in police action in South Kashmir’s Islamabad town Monday evening. In an incident of unprovoked firing, five persons were wounded, one of them critically, Monday morning in Maisuma Srinagar when police fired on a group of youth. The injured include the nephew and cousin of JLKF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik. The firing triggered fresh protests in the valley.
Today’s killing has taken the number of civilians killed by police and CRPF during the past 81 days of continuous unrest to 65, crossing the number of persons killed during the summer agitation of 2008. Thousands of persons, mainly youth, have been injured in the period in police and CRPF action.
Witnesses said police and paramilitary forces used indiscriminate force firing tear gas shells and pellets from shotguns to quell the protests, killing a minor and injuring several others.
Irshad Ahmad Parray, 9, son of Muhammad Ashraf Parray of Old Iddgah was hit by scores of pellets fired from shotguns by police at Cheeni Chowk. He was rushed to district hospital Islamabad where from he was referred to SMHS hospital, Srinagar, where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
“He had received a volley of pellets in his chest and abdomen. We received him dead,” said a doctor at SMHS.
After his death massive protests broke out in the area with youth shouting anti-police and anti-India slogans. Protests also broke out in several other areas of old town- Janglat Mandi, Sherpora, Dangerpora, Mattan Chowk, Achabal Adda, Lal Chowk - and fought pitched battles with the forces who again lobbed tear gas canisters and fired several rounds in air.
They also attacked the police station Sherbagh with stones and bricks. Police and CRPF men retaliated by lobbing tear gas canisters, firing rubber bullets and pellets triggering clashes. The angry youth allegedly attacked the Janglat Mandi police post at district hospital Islamabad.
Witnesses said that a group of youth were busy playing carom on roadside in a lane at Maisuma Srinagar. They said a police party led by two senior officers fired pellets from shotguns as well as live bullets on the youth without any provocation.
“There weren’t any protests or stone-pelting. It was all peaceful. The policemen just opened fire on them indiscriminately,” said a group of youth outside the trauma theatre of SMHS hospital where the injured were shifted for treatment.
The injured included Yasir Rafiq, 28, who had multiple pellet injuries in his abdomen and was said to be in a critical condition.
“The pellets perforated his abdominal viscera. He has been operated upon and his condition is critical. He has put on life support system,” a senior doctor at SMHS told Greater Kashmir. Yasir is the maternal cousin of JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik. The injured included his nephew Ashfaq Ahmad, 18; Sajid Mushtaq, 19; Aqib Ahmad, 17; and Feroz Ahmad Dar, 40—all residents of Maisuma.
Doctors said they were stable and had multiple pellet injuries on their bodies.
Hundreds of people, including women and the activists of JKLF, arrived at SMHS hospital after the news spread.
“We fail to understand why they were targeted. They didn’t protest or pelt a stone. It is unprovoked firing,” said a youth, an eyewitness to the incident.
“It seemed as if the policemen wanted to test those new shot guns on these innocent youth. They just want to target teenagers,” said another eyewitness.
The incident brought scores of youth on roads in Maisuma, who staged protests and shouted slogans against police. The angry protesters pelted police and CRPF with stones who responded by caning, tear smoke ammunition and firing several rounds of fire in air.
Additional police and CRPF men were called in to contain protests. Two policemen were injured in the clashes.
Protests also spilled over to Shaheed Gunj locality as people including women poured onto streets and pelted stones on policemen.
INJURED IN CHASE: POLICE
The police today came up with a bizarre theory about the Maisuma incident, literally saying the youth were injured while being chased by the police. Although a police spokesman admitted that one of the injured was so critically injured that he had to be operated upon, he never gave any reason for the injuries except for the police ‘chase.’ Here is what the spokesman had to say: “Today at about 1230 hours, some miscreants violated the orders of restrictions of movement in Maisuma Chowk which was followed by stone pelting upon Police/CRPF personnel. The miscreants were chased. However, 7 persons including 2 policemen received injuries. Among them, Yasir Rafeeq was operated upon.”
He said an inquiry has been initiated to know the facts which led to this incident and one police constable has been suspended. The said constable has been put under confinement to the quarter guard.
The spokesman said policemen used rubber pallets in self defense when youth attacked them in Islamabad. One youth Irshad Ahmad Parray died.
Elsewhere in the city, authorities imposed restrictions on civilian movement during the day, mainly in the downtown areas falling under the jurisdiction of seven police station areas Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Maharajgunj, Bemina and Qamarwari, police said.
However, in the evening markets opened and the traffic also resumed as per the Hurriyat’s programme calling for a relaxation from 5 PM.
Earlier in the day violent clashes were witnessed in the civil lines areas of Islamabad town including at Khanabal-Pahalgam Road; Khanabal, Naibasti, Old Qazibagh, Laizbal and Gulshanabad. In Laizbal several police and CRPF men were hit by stones and bricks and sustained injuries. The forces lobbed tear gas canisters and chased away the youth who offered stiff resistance. During the day, people also offered prayers on the roads at various places and then protested against the excesses committed by the forces.
The police and CRPF men, according to the eyewitnesses also barged inside the Maternity and Pediatric hospital at Sherbagh beating up the attendants as well as the patients.
Reports of sporadic clashes were also received from Bijbehara and Sangam Nayinoo areas of the district. The clashes forced the shopkeepers who had opened their shops at 5:00 PM to again down their shutters.
Protests and clashes were also reported from Kulgam, Qaimoh, Shopian, Pulwama, Tral, Awantipora and Pampore towns of South Kashmir also. People in these areas offered mid-day prayers on the roads and later opened the shops after 5:00 P.M.
3 INJURED IN PULWAMA CLASHES, 2 CRITICAL
In Pulwama town, protests broke out at Kakpora, Chatapora, Delipora, Malikpora, Pichoo leaving three persons injured. The critically injured were identified as Shabir Ahmad Malik and Abdul Majid Nayak. They were rushed to Srinagar for specialized treatment. Doctors attending upon them have described their condition as critical.
Youth pelted stones on police and CRPF who responded by caning and firing tear gas shells.
At Nayin, police arrested five youth after protests. They were identified as Altaf Ahmad, Zahid Ahmad, Jahangir Ahmad, Muhammad Iqbal and Arif Ahmad.
Thousands of people in Samboora took to the roads where they offered mid-prayers and blocked the main highway. After prayers, they marched through the area raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. They demanded urgent release of all arrested youth.
Five persons including a 50-year old woman were injured in the day-long clashes in main town Bandipora.
Youth staged protests in ward No 3, 4, 5 and 6 and fought pitched battles with police and CRPF men pelting stones on forces. They responded by caning and firing tear smoke shells injuring five of them.
The injured were identified as Mudasir Ahmed Mir, Meraj-ud-din Bhat, Aamir Rasool, Fatima Begum and Wahid Farooq.
Reports of shutdown also poured in from Sopur, Ganderbal, Varmul, Kupwara and Handwara.
The residents of Sopur town alleged highhandedness at the hands of army. They said the troopers were snatching their Identity Cards and harassing them unnecessarily.
“The troopers of 22 RR have unleashed terror in Hatishah, Nigli, Arampora, Batpora, Jamia Qadeem and Degree College localities of the town,” they said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 31 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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