A 20-year-old youth from Wadwan village of Central Kashmir's Budgam district died at SK Institute of Medical Sciences Soura on Sunday after being admitted there for a bullet injury on August 5, even as 250 more people were injured in day-long clashes as forces continued to foil freedom rallies in South Kashmir and elsewhere.
Reports said 150 people sustained pellet and teargas shell injuries in Karimabad village of Pulwama district alone and of these, 17 received serious injuries and were referred to Srinagar hospitals for specialized treatment.
The slain Budgam youth was identified was Javaid Ahmed Dar son of Ghulam Ahmed of Wadwan. He had sustained a bullet injury in his leg after forces fired on a freedom rally at Narbal area of Budgam on August 5. According to Dar's family members, he was part of a peaceful protest rally.
"Dar was put on a ventilator at the SKIMS ICU. As his condition showed no signs of improvement, doctors decided to amputate his right leg," they said. "(But) today he lost his battle for life."
A doctor at the SKIMS Soura said the bullet had torn apart his "popliteal artery" which had necessitated the amputation, and resulted in renal failure leading to his death.
Reports said when the body of Dar, an auto-driver, reached his native village, thousands of people hit the streets to have his last glimpse and participate in his funeral procession. The slain youth is survived by his aged parents and three brothers. Dar was laid to rest at martyrs' graveyard at Wadwan amid pro-freedom and pro-Islam sloganeering. With his death, the number of people killed in the past 65 days of uprising has reached 80, including two cops while the number of injured has touched 12000.
At least 150 civilians were injured, 17 of them grievously, after forces fired pellets and lobbed teargas shells on people in Karimabad who had hit the streets against arrests and ransacking of houses by forces. 20 civilians were injured in protests elsewhere in South Kashmir, even as massive demonstrations were witnessed at several places. Curfew was also clamped in Anantnag and Kulgam towns to thwart proposed freedom rallies. Locals told Greater Kashmir that police, CRPF and Army without any provocation raided Karimabad during the wee hours and barged into houses and vandalized property. "The forces also mercilessly thrashed the inmates," they said, adding: "Even women and children were not spared."
Later, in the morning, people hit the streets and protested against the forces' "atrocities." The forces in turn "indiscriminately" fired pellets and lobbed teargas shells to quell the protests, witnesses said. This led to clashes in which at least 150 people sustained injuries. "The injured were treated at District Hospital Pulwama and other local health facilities," an official said, adding: "Most of the injured had pellet injuries while some were also beaten up."
He said 17 "grievously injured" were shifted to Srinagar hospitals. "Two of the injured had pellets in eyes while two others had fractures due to assault," the official said.
Protests and clashes continued in the area throughout the day. A report said police arrested at least 19 people from the village, including brother of slain Hizb militant Naseer Pandit. A senior police official, however, told Greater Kashmir that forces raided the village "because we had had information about presence of militants there."
"People made announcements from mosques and resorted to stone-pelting on forces," he said.
In Tukroo village of Shopian district, where a 15-year-old teenager was shot dead by forces yesterday, people alleged vandalism by police and paramilitary forces and "loot of jewellery and cash." They said forces also damaged washing-machines, refrigerators and other appliances.
At least a dozen people were injured in Zamalgam village of Dooru area in Anantnag district after forces tried to foil a freedom rally. A massive road show-cum-freedom march was held in Qaimoh area of Kulgam district, as per a call of locals.
"Thousands of people, young, old carrying flags and shouting pro-freedom slogans assembled in Redwani village and started marching. The procession passed through various villages and finally culminated peacefully at Qaimoh market," witnesses said. However, Kulgam town was put under strict curfew to prevent people from reaching Qaimoh, they said.
An all-women rally organized by Dukhtaran-e-Millat was also held in Bogund village of Kulgam. Stringent curfew was also imposed in Anantnag town to foil 'Lal Chowk march' called by local pro-freedom leaders.
In the afternoon, people in Kadipora area defied restrictions and tried to march, but were dispersed by police and CRPF men who lobbed teargas shells and fired pellets. There were no reports of any injury.
A 70-year-old man was also detained and later released in the evening, reports said. Reports of protests and clashes also came in from Sangam, Vesu, Mir Bazar and Qazigund in Anantnag district, and Charsoo in Pulwama district.
A youth was seriously injured in forces' action at Kelam, Kulgam while another was detained after youth attacked a cavalcade of police officials and district administration. The officials, sources said, were returning after attending a meeting. The injured youth was identified as Shabir Ahmed Bhat of Kelam, who received pellet injuries in his eyes. The youth detained was identified as Tanvir Ahmed Ganai.
Meanwhile, police registered FIR into the case of injury caused to a diver Parvaiz Ahmed Dar of Lalad Sopore on Friday evening in alleged stone-pelting at Batengoo. His vehicle was also damaged, police alleged. The case stands registered at Police station Anantnag. "A case FIR number 253/2016 under section 307, 147, 148, 149, 336, 427 RPC has been registered and investigation taken up," a spokesman said.
At least 15 people including a woman were injured after forces allegedly resorted to indiscriminate teargas shelling to foil a freedom rally in Rathsun village of Budgam district. Witnesses said the rally was underway at Markazi Jamia Masjid Rathsun grounds with around 12000 people in attendance when the forces attacked it.
"Scores of people were injured after the forces' action," said a participant.
He said that forces personnel torched a dozen motorcycles besides tents erected to accommodate the participants.
"The forces personnel raided the village at around 2:30 am as well and resorted to teargas shelling. They created terror, apparently to send a message to people to stay away from the proposed morning rally," said a local, adding: "They even damaged three transformers." In Ganderbal district, during relaxation hours (after 6 pm), market places witnessed rush of people in several areas of the district.
Reports said a massive freedom rally was taken from Rajouri Kadal this evening and tried to march towards Aali Kadal.
Peaceful protests also broke out at Nawa Kadal, Khanyar, Eidgah, Palpora, Noorbagh and Qamarwari areas. Reports of evening clashes poured in from Lawaypora, HMT, 90-feet Road Soura and Lal Bazar areas.
Clashes also broke out in Azad Basti Natipora and Chanapora area while a torch procession was taken out at Nowgam. Reports of peaceful protests also poured in from Lasjan, Soiteng, Bemina, Barzulla, Hyderpora, Peerbagh and Humhama areas. Reports of evening clashes came in from New Theed, Harwan, Nishat and Shalimar areas.
Forces foiled a pro-freedom rally in Markundal village of Bandipora district. However, police foiled it by firing dozens of tear-gas shells to disperse people who had gathered there, reports said. Locals alleged that police and CRPF men entered the venue and vandalised the tents, triggering clashes. Witnesses said that youth pelted stones on forces who responded by firing teargas shells and pellets. Clashes were going on when reports last came in. However, there was no immediate report of any injury.
Reports from Sopore said peaceful protest was staged in Magrepora area. People including women and elderly, took part in it.
Reports from Kupwara district said curfew was imposed in areas including Trehgam, and Kralpora to foil Ittehad-e-Millat rallies. All routes including Kupwara-Sulkote, Kupwara-Lolab, Kupwara-Drugmulla, Kupwara-Gushi and Kupwara-Bategam were closed for vehicular and pedestrian movement. Barbed wire and barricades were placed on all the roads. Defying curfew and restrictions hundreds of people from adjoining areas of Kupwara town reached Markazi Jamia Masjid Kupwara to attend a conference. After Zuhr prayers, a procession was held which tried to march towards Kupwara Chowk, but forces didn't allowed it to proceed. Protestors who were raising pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans later dispersed peacefully.
Another Ittehad-e-Milat conference was foiled in Trehgam town which was completely sealed by forces. Even CRPF men were seen on roof-tops of residential houses to not allow movement of people. Due to restrictions, Zuhr prayers in different masjids of Trehgam could not be held, locals said.
Meanwhile, Baramulla police has made several arrests in the past many days. Among the arrested youth include close relatives of some of Hurriyat activists allegedly involved in present unrest, police said.
On Saturday afternoon, police arrested a Hurriyat activist, Asif Gul, triggering protests. According to reports, Gul was arrested near Janbazpora by a contingent of police and army. Soon after his arrest, announcements were made on loudspeakers asking people to register their protest against his arrest.
Meanwhile SSP Baramulla Imtiyaz Hussain said arrested youth is involved in "anti-social activity and spearheading the present unrest along with others in town."
According to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan, there was no curfew today anywhere in Kashmir on Sunday. "However, restrictions were imposed in few places in Srinagar as also in some towns," he said. The overall situation remained under control throughout the valley, he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, said "stray stone pelting incidents were reported from Sopore, Pulwama and Budgam."
"There was increased movement of traffic in Srinagar as well as in the towns. Shops were open at various places and people were seen making purchases," he said.
(With additional reporting from Altaf Baba, Eijaz –ul Haq Bhat, Gulam Muhammad, Sheikh Nazir)