120 more civilians, including women and children, injured as pellets, teargas shells continue to rain on protesters across Kashmir
A 17-year-old boy, who was critically injured in forces’ action in Sonawani area of Wadoora in north Kashmir’s Sopore yesterday, succumbed to his injuries at Srinagar’s SMHS hospital on Monday evening, taking the death toll in the ongoing Kashmir uprising to 74. The slain youth was identified as Musaib Majeed Nagoo, who, according to reports, had sustained serious head injury reportedly due to teargas shell and was referred to the SMHS hospital yesterday in a critical condition.
“He succumbed at around 10.30 PM in the Intensive Care Unit,” a doctor at the hospital told Greater Kashmir.
Witnesses had yesterday told Greater Kashmir that after Musaib was hit on his head, forces dragged him and beat him up.
“It wasn’t clear whether a tear-gas shell or pellets hit him. It seemed as if teargas shell had hit his head. It was after hectic efforts of local youth that he was saved from the clutches of forces and right away shifted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar,” they had said.
He was operated upon and later put on ventilator, the boy’s father, Abdul Majeed had told Greater Kashmir.
According to reports, hundreds of people offered funeral prayers of Musaib outside SMHS hospital this evening. His body, however, will be taken to his home at 4 am on Tuesday, they said.
Meanwhile, with no let-up in protests and clashes, more than 120 people sustained pellet and tear-gas shell injuries in forces’ action across Kashmir on Monday. Amid surge in the number of injuries every day, the total number of injured has crossed 10,000 since the widespread uprising triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani started on July 8. Over 600 youth have sustained grave pellet injuries in their eyes, while dozens of them are on the verge of losing their eye-sight partially or fully.
The forces foiled two massive pro-freedom rallies—one in old Srinagar and another in Bagh-e-Mehtab area of uptown—resulting in injuries to at least 75 people, including four women.
Reports said while old city areas remained under strict restrictions, forces foiled a major protest rally at Palpora, Noorbagh. Locals said they had organized a peaceful rally to commemorate the Chehrum (fourth day of death) of slain Danish Sultan who was chased by forces at Parimpora and forced to jump into river Jhelum, leading his death. Residents alleged that police and CRPF men fired dozens of teargas shells and pellets at people, injuring at least 60 including six women and four children. The injured were shifted to SKIMS Bemina, SKIMS Soura and SMHS hospital. Residents said that forces resorted to aerial firing and also fired rubber bullets at them.
The Palpora residents alleged that a particular police official was unnecessarily resorting to indiscriminate firing of pellets in the area. “We ask the IGP Kashmir to stop the police officer who has unleashed a wave of terror in old city areas,” said a group of Palpora residents.
Many volunteers of NOGs—Social Reforms Organisation and Athrout—alleged that forces beat up ambulance drivers and them for ferrying injured at Palpora. “We were harassed and beaten by CRPF personnel at Safa Kadal when we were ferrying injured at Palpora,” the volunteers said.
Forces also foiled a ‘Chalo’ call after firing dozens of tear-gas shells and pellets at participants, including women and children, at Bagh-e-Mehtaab, resulting in injuries to at least 15, including women and children.
Earlier, a massive protest rally was held at Khonmoh area of Srinagar where at least 20,000 people assembled at Eidgah and held the freedom procession which was addressed by scholars and heads of various religious organizations, witnesses said. A similar rally was held at Pantha Chowk area, they said. Reports of protests and clashes poured in from various areas including Batamaloo, Rawalpora, Rangreth, Lasjan, Soiteng, Nowgam, Peerbagh, Hyderpora, Barzulla and Rambagh. Reports of evening clashes also came in from Nawa Kadal, Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, Nawabazar, Chattabal, Qamarwari, while protests were held at 90-Feet Road Soura, Hawal, Gojwara and other areas.
At least 42 persons were injured after forces attempted to foil a peaceful pro-freedom rally in Kulgam village, while eight more were wounded elsewhere in clashes in South Kashmir. Reports and witnesses said police and paramilitary forces raided Zangalpora village of Kulgam where a pro-freedom rally was going on. “The forces ransacked the venue, set ablaze tents and around 200 tarpaulins,” they said, adding, “The participants were also beaten to pulp.”
The police action triggered clashes and forces lobbed teargas shells and fired pellets into the rally, injuring at least 40 people, reports said. 25 people with pellet injuries were treated at Primary Health Center Kelam while three in District Hospital Kulgam.
“14 more with pellet injuries were shifted to district hospital Anantnag where one of the victims, who had pellet injuries in head, was operated upon,” an official said.
A youth from Kelam-Nowpora with “critical and multiple pellet injuries in chest” was shifted to a Srinagar hospital.
“The pellets had penetrated his chest and his condition was serious,” a doctor said.
Angry protesters later torched the house of a local policeman, said a witness. The defiant people again assembled at the venue and the rally was later held successfully. Religious clerics from various sects besides local pro-freedom leaders addressed it. The forces had also conducted overnight raids in the village and arrested many including a religious cleric Maulana Bilal Qasmi and his guest. “The forces also ransacked houses, smashed windowpanes and beat up inmates during the night,” locals said.
Clashes also erupted in Bongam and Tak Masjid area of Shopian town, resulting in injuries to three people.
Meanwhile, people of Pinjoora village alleged that forces ran amok in the area yesterday evening, damaged household property worth crores of rupees, electric transformers and even vandalized orchards. The forces had yesterday attempted to foil a peaceful pro-freedom rally there, triggering clashes in which 300 people were wounded, mostly with pellets. The rally, was, however, organized later.
“In the evening, forces went berserk again, barged into houses and ransacked property including refrigerators, washing machines and other electric appliances,” the residents said.
A huge pro-freedom rally was organized in Kadpora village of Shangus. The rally went on peacefully. Reports of protests and clashes came in from Sangam, Vesu and Qazigund in Anantnag district; Kaimoh in Kulgam district and Charsoo in Pulwama district.
In towns of Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Pampore, Tral, Awantipora, Kakpora, Bijbehara and Mattan, restrictions were imposed by forces, according to witnesses. Meanwhile, Army on Monday morning stopped a Jammu-bound apple-laden truck and beat up its driver and conductor.
Muhammad Rafiq, diver of the truck (JK03-9741), said: “We left Harnag village at around 5:30 am for Jammu via Door-Verinag route and when we reached Larkipira bridge at around 6 am, army soldiers stopped us, searched the truck and later thrashed me as well as conductor Andleeb Rasool.”
“The Army let us go after pleading before them that we are innocent. But before letting us go, the soldiers ran away with our cell-phones and some cash,” he alleged. “We have lodged a complaint in Dooru police station.”
At least 12 youth sustained injuries at main town in Pulwama, reports said. One youth was hit in his head and referred to Srinagar.
At least 10 persons including some women and elderly persons were injured during clashes that erupted in Gouwa, Nihalpora, Pattan in Baramulla district this afternoon after police tried to arrest some youths in the area. According to reports, as a contingent of police reached the village to arrest some youths allegedly involved in stone-pelting. The locals however showed stiff resistance, triggering clashes in which several persons were injured who were shifted to nearby hospitals. One of the injured youths, who was hit with pellets in his left eye, was shifted to a Srinagar hospital for advanced treatment. Strict restrictions remained in place in Baramulla town where all bridges connecting Old Town with Civil Lines areas remained closed throughout the day. However, continuing with curfew after 6 pm, police didn’t allow shopkeepers to open their shops.
Protests broke out this evening at Khanpora Baramulla after police—in bid to arrest an alleged stone-pelter—entered the area. However, police action was resisted by locals, triggering clashes in which a youth identified as Hilal Ahmad Akhoon sustained injuries. Later, scores of women held a protest on Srinagar-Baramulla highway. Reports said a major pro-freedom convention was held in Warpora area of Zainageer in Sopore where thousands of people listened to speeches of Islamic scholars and freedom activists, who laid stress on “steadfastness at this crucial juncture.” Another massive rally was held in Dooru area of Sopore. Thousands of people also staged a massive protest march in Botengoo area of Sopore, amid pro-freedom sloganeering. The protestors were carrying placards displaying slogans: ‘Plebiscite the only solution.’ Reports of similar rallies and protests poured in from many other areas that include Bomai, Muslimpeer, Chanakhan, Arampora, Main Chowk and others. Reports said clashes erupted in Kaloosa area of Bandipora between youth and forces. Witnesses said youth assembled near NM Higher Secondary School and hurled stones and bricks at police and paramilitary forces deployed there. They said the forces responded with firing teargas and sound shells. Clashes were also reported from Saderkote area, but there were no reports of any injuries there.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people in Naidkhai offered Nimaz-e-Asr on road to protest civilian killings. Witnesses said residents of adjoining areas including Markundal, Baharabad and Khumani also participated. Later, a peaceful protest rally was carried out amid anti-India and pro-freedom sloganeering. Reports from Kupwara said protests and pro-freedom rallies were witnessed in Lalpora, Lolab. A major rally was foiled at Trehgam. Protests were also reported at Langate area of Handwara. Reports said the authorities have snapped mobile service in entire Kupwara district, triggering resentment from people. Late night reports said three youth sustained injures at Lalpora while six received pellet injuries at Trehgam in Kupwara district, who were referred to Srinagar.
Locals staged night protests at Chinar area of Kangan in Ganderbal district after forces entered the village to arrest youth, reports said. At Gangarhama, locals offered Asr prayer on road. Two youth were arrested from Baderkond and one from Garaj in Ganderbal area, reports said. The residents of Cherwan Kangan said forces put restrictions in locality on 3rd consecutive day and did not allow them to move towards market place till afternoon. Mild stone-pelting reportedly took place in Margund, Kangan. Reports said a massive protest rally—under the banner of Itihad-e-Milat—was held at Arath cricket ground in Wadan area of Budgam district in which more than 10 thousand people participated. Scholars from various Islamic thoughts addressing the gathering, apart from some pro-freedom leaders. Reports said at Hayatpora village of Chadoora thousands of people assembled. Meanwhile, locals in Sozeth Narbal alleged forces barged into residential houses and damaged property.
(With additional reporting from Altaf Baba, Sheikh Nazir, Eijaz-ul Haq Bhat, Ghulam Muhammad)