At least 135 people sustained injuries most of them with pellets when forces attacked their rally in Kulgam district of South Kashmir on Wednesday.
Witnesses said that people from Kulgam villages—Bugam, Muhmadpora Yaripora, Nehama, Frisal, Buchru and others—held a massive bike and carry rally towards DH Pora area of the district.
The protesters mostly youth were waving Pakistani flags and shouting pro-freedom, anti-India slogans.
People in the area have been holding similar rallies by-passing security camps to avoid any confrontation.
However, today the forces all of a sudden appeared near Aadijan village and attacked the rally by resorting to baton-charge, lobbing teargas shells and using pellet guns, injuring more than 100 people, witnesses said.
"The forces also set ablaze at least 20 bikes and a load carrier of the protesters," witnesses alleged.
The injured were shifted to different hospitals of Kulgam.
"28 injured mostly having pellets are being treated at District hospital Kulgam, 8 at SDH-Kaimoh, 55 at PHC Mohanpora, five at SDH DH Pora, two at PHC Nehama and five at PHC Katrusoo," doctors said.
They said seven of critically injured have been referred to Srinagar hospitals.
"Five of them had pellet injuries in eyes," they said.
Witnesses said forces caught hold of many people and mercilessly thrashed whosoever came their way and later fired pellets from point-blank range.
The army reportedly also resorted to aerial firing.
Situation in the area was tense when this report was filed.
Meanwhile, curfew continued in South Kashmir towns including Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Kakpora for 26th running day. However, protest demonstrations were reported in peripheral areas of Seeer Hmadan, Pahalgam, Aishmuqam, Kokernag, Dooru, Verinag, Qazigund, Kiamoh and Khudwani. Several people were injured after forces resorted to baton charge and lobbed teargas shells on a protest demonstration in the famous tourist resort of Pahlagam.
Local hoteliers alleged forces smashed windowpanes of several hotels.