Day 99, toll 99

Greater Kashmir

3 more killed in forces firing; Curfew on without relaxation; Yasin Malik's kin laid to rest

Budgam/ Islamabad/ Srinagar/ Sept 17: Amidst stringent curfew across the Valley for sixth consecutive day on Friday three persons were killed and 20 others were wounded in forces firing in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, Shopian in south and in Varmul north Kashmir. With three more killings today the toll in the ongoing unrest mounted to 99 in 99 days.    

One youth was shot dead and more than 12 persons received bullet injuries as forces resorted to firing at several places in central Kashmir’s Budgam district to disperse youth who tried staging pro-freedom protests. Authorities had called in army to patrol the streets along with police and paramilitary troops at several places here to thwart the demonstrations.
Reports said scores of people of Churpora village in Soibugh defied curfew this morning and took out a protest rally. The protestors, according to the witnesses, tried to fight a pitched battle with forces with stones. However, forces retaliated with opening fire killing
Fayaz Ahmad Dar son of Ghulam Rasool Dar on the spot and injuring three other youth.
In a separate incident, the doctors said, three person received bullet injuries when forces opened fire at a group of protestors near Chirpora, village of Beerwah.
Doctors at Magam hospital told Greater Kashmir that the institute received 12 bullet injuries today of which nine were referred to Srinagar in critical condition.
A senior doctor at Budgam district hospital said a 12-year old boy, who had received bullet injury in his thigh and was suffering from complicated fractures was not allowed by the forces deployed on Srinagar-Varmul highway to be shifted to Srinagar for treatment for long time. The boy identified as Muddasir Ahmad son of Ali Muhammad of Sadrabal village in Palhalan, Pattan was shifted to Budgam district hospital for treatment.
“We are trying to save his life. He has suffered heavy blood loss,” said the doctor. However, family sources of Muddasir said authorities at Pattan hospital refused to give ambulance to shift Muddasir to Srinagar fearing that it would be attacked.
His family members and neighbours later carried the 5th-class-student, Muddasir, on back to Magam hospital wherefrom he was shifted to Budgam, sources said.
Muddasir is now battling for life, as he requires immediate blood. But it is not available in the hospital, sources said.   
Elsewhere in the district, a joint party of police, CRPF and Army patrolled the roads and the streets of different villages.
For the first time in past two decades the authorities didn’t allow people to offer prayers in the Jamia Masjid at Charar-i-Sharief in wake of the apprehensions that people might come on the roads after prayers to protests against the killings in the Valley. Earlier this week a class 7th student, Danish Nabi, of the town was killed in firing by forces.
Authorities had put in heavy deployment of CRPF and army in the main town to prevent people from coming out. The troopers had sealed the main bus stand and entire area around the Jamia Masjid.
The situation was under control in main Budgam town, which continued to be under Curfew, following massive protests earlier this week over the alleged desecration of Holy Qur’an.
Doctors at district hospital, Budgam said, two person were shifted to the hospital from Pattan where the condition of one of them was stated to be critical.
Witnesses said scores of people from several villages of Pattan and Palhallan in Varmul defied curfew and marched towards highway. They raised pro-freedom slogans. However, at Tapper Payeen, witnesses said forces used live ammunition and pump action shots to disperse them. Six persons were injured in the forces action. One of the injured youth Ghulam Rasool Bhat son of Ghulam Muhammad Bhat of Tapper succumbed to his injuries at Sumbal sub-district hospital. The news about his killing sparked fresh protests. More police and paramilitary reinforcements were rushed to the area to deal with the protesters. At Sangrama, near Sopur, three persons were injured in clashes after troopers used force against the protesters who defied curfew and staged demonstrations.
Post-prayer protests were also reported from Sopur town in Varmul district. Witnesses said people staged pro-freedom protests after Friday prayers. Clashes broke between them and the forces when later tried to disperse them. No injuries were reported.
Earlier reports said protests broke outat Kawchak near Wagoora where locals accused the forces of “unleashing terror.”
Elsewhere in north, curfew remained imposed in Bandipora, Ganderbal, Varmul, Kupwara, Handwara and Sopur.

 South Kashmir
Amid  curfew and shoot at sight orders in all the district headquarters and other major towns of south Kashmir , pro-freedom protests and violent clashes erupted at many places while a teenager who jumped into the river Jehlum while being chased away by the forces on Monday continues to be missing. One person was killed and six others were injured after the forces resorted to indiscriminate firing at protesters in Shopian. The condition of three of the injured persons was stated to be critical.
Though the town remained under the strict curfew, massive protests and violent clashes broke out between forces and protestors in the peripheries. During the day long clashes 20 people were injured some of them critically after the forces resorted to baton charge intense tears smoke shelling in the peripheral areas of the town; Shermal, Gagran and Aliyarpora. Several youth were also detained by the police.
 Reports said that the protesters set on fire the seized timber of Forest department at Shermal. Forces, eyewitnesses said first resorted to baton charge, tear gas shelling and aerial firing injuring about 20-persons.
Late in the evening massive pro-freedom demonstrations again broke out at Shermal. The protesters later clashed with the forces who first fired numerous tear gas canisters, pellets and then resorted to indiscriminate firing killing one person and injuring six others.
The deceased was identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad son of Muhammad Yousuf Malla, 23, of Pallipora,  Shopian.
“Imtiyaz was shot at from a very close range and was brought dead to the hospital,” said Medical Superintendent of Shopian District hospital Dr. Ahangar.
Three other persons who had bullet injuries were referred to SMHS, Srinagar in a critical condition. Two of them were identified as Muhammad Ayub and Ghazi Ismail while the identity of the third one could not be ascertained.
Two of the other injured persons had sustained pellet injuries while yet another had canister injury and are being treated in the district hospital.
As the word about the incident spread in Shopian, people came out of their houses and staged massive pro-freedom demonstrations which were on when this report was being filed.

Uneasy calm prevailed in Islamabad town today as the authorities imposed strict curfew for the sixth consecutive day with out any relaxation. Hundreds of force personnel were deployed in the streets to curb the movement of the people. However, in Batengoo area people defied curfew restrictions and pelted stones on the forces after Friday prayers, who retaliated by resorting to tear gas shelling and baton charge.
Late in the evening when the deployment was reduced youth took to streets at Khanabal and clashed with forces who lobbed tear gas canisters and fired several rounds in air. Two persons sustained injuries in the clashes which were on when this report was being filed. Clashes also erupted in several areas of old town and K.P road late in the evening.
Meanwhile, a 14 year old boy Raju Nath of Nathpora, Khanabal who drowned in Jehlum on Monday while being chased away by  forces during the clashes continues to be missing. Though the authorities have already engaged the Navy people for the search but the locals said they too have not been able to fish out his body.
Clashes also erupted in Bijbehara town late in the evening. Several people were injured at Jablipora and Zirpora in intense tear gas shelling, baton charge and aerial firing. Reports of protests were also received from Sangam and Nayinoo.
Clashes also erupted in several areas of Kulgam late in the evening after strict curfew was imposed in the town. In Pulwama town a strict curfew was in place. However, clashes erupted in Padhgampora, Chatipora and other peripheral area.
Protests also erupted in Awantipora, and Tral. While the authorities also foiled a Pampore march called by the Hurriyat Conference (G). Police had erected barricades and laid concertina wires at many places to prevent the people from marching towards the town.
In summer capital here authorities continued to clamp a strict curfew. The restrictions foiled the various protest marches called by the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani. It had asked people from north Kashmir (except Kupwara) to march to Palhallan, Pattan, while the residents of Ganderbal, Budgam and Srinagar were asked to head to Humhama in city outskirts.
The residents of south Kashmir were asked to march to Pampore town in Pulwama district, while the residents of Kupwara were asked to hold peaceful protests at the district headquarters against the killings.
Yasin Malik’s kin laid to rest
Later in the day, JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik’s cousin—Yasir Sheikh—who succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday at a New Delhi hospital—was flown to Srinagar today. He was laid to rest at Malteng, Dalgate.
Apart from Malik, several other leaders including JKLF leader Javed Ahmed Mir, president of Jamiat-e-Ahlihadess, Moulana Showkat Hurriyat (M) leader Shahid ul Islam, Hashim Qureshi and Hilal Ahmed War participated in Sheikh’s funeral prayers.Large contingents of police and paramilitary forces were deployed at Maisuma to deal with the protests against his killing.
No prayers in Jamia
Meanwhile, Friday prayers were not allowed at historic Jamia Masjid in old city here. This is for the seventh Friday since July when the people have been barred from offering prayers in the Masjid.The chief cleric of the Masjid and Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest at his Nigeen residence.

 Police Version
“Situation by and large continued to remain under control, however, stone pelting incidents after Friday Prayers were reported from Padgampora Awantipora, main Chowk Sopore, Malik Masjid, and Aalia pora areas of Shopian, where miscreants were pelted stones on security forces. They were later chased away,” a police spokesman said in a statement.
“In two separate incidents of arson miscreants set ablaze one shop belonging to the family of a Policeman at Singhpora  Baramulla (Varmul) and three huts of Forest Protection Force at Shirmal Shopian.
In Shirmal, Shopian a mob set on fire three FPF huts. The forces in keeping with   the section 103 RPC used a non-lethal weapon to prevent the fire. Three persons were injured.  One of them Imtiyaz Ahmad Malla son of Muhammad Yousuf Malla of Pehlpora Shopian,  later succumbed to his injuries. Fifteen policemen were also injured in this incident,” the spokesman said.
“As has been reported earlier, in an incident of stone pelting, reported from Churpora Beeru, miscreants resorted to heavy stone pelting on security forces. In the retaliatory action four person’s sustained injuries, among one later succumbed to his injuries. The deceased has been identified as Fayaz Ahmad Dar son of Ghulam Rasool Dar of Supers Beeru. In a similar incident at Chachloora Beeru, one person Muhammad Shafi Ganai son of Abdul Ahad resident of Chachloora got injured during a retaliatory action by the forces, during a stone pelting incident,” he added.
“At Tapper Pattan, miscreants resorted to heavy pelting on forces following which forces opened fire in which one Ghulam Muhammad Bhat of Tappar Pattan sustained injuries. He later succumbed to his injuries. Fifteen persons were injured in these incidents of violence,” the spokesman added.