Pellet Guns Continue to Kill: 2 Dead, 50 Injured
SRINAGAR: The induction of PAVA shells in the crowd-control armoury of forces hasn't stopped the use of pellets against protesters in the valley with a 17-year-old boy from north Kashmir succumbing at a hospital in Srinagar last night due to pellet injuries.
In another incident, a youth was killed, reportedly due to pellet injuries, when police and paramilitary troopers used force to disperse a protest demo, reportedly peaceful, in Seer Hamdan village of south Kashmir' Anantnag district today morning.
According to witnesses, hundreds of residents had poured onto the roads in the village to protest against the alleged excesses of forces who had last night carried out raids and assaulted villagers, injuring around 50 residents, many of them with firearm injuries.
Witnesses said the forces fired without any provocation, killing Naseer Ahmad, a furniture seller, on the spot, reportedly due to pellet injuries, while a woman protester, Jameela, suffered grievous injuries and her condition is reported to be critical. Around 50 protesters were wounded in fresh action by forces, residents said.
The killings come two days after the union home minister Rajnath Singh, who led a parliamentary delegation to the restive state, said the Centre has found an alternative to pellet guns in PAVA shells.
On Sunday when the home minister made the announcement, Musaib Majid, a 12th class student, was grievously injured when police and paramilitary forces, fired pellets to disperse protesters in north Kashmir's Sopore, embedding 100-200 pellets in his skull, doctors treating him said.
"He was on ventilator support for two days and his condition worsened gradually. His brain mass was displaced by nearly 100-200 pellets which had perforated the skull. At 10 pm last night, he was declared dead," a doctor at SMHS hospital where the victim was undergoing treatment, said.
A brilliant student who was among the toppers of Class 10 board exam in 2014, Musaib was engrossed in studies throughout the day, his father Adul Majid told The Citizen. "He had gone out for a walk since he was restricted to his room throughout the day. My son never participated in protests but the forces killed him in cold blood," Majid said.
In an emotional farewell, thousands of men, women and children, shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, gathered in Langate village to participate in the funeral procession of Musaib who was laid to rest in the Martyrs' Graveyard.
Situation continues to remain tense in the valley with authorities launching a massive crackdown on civilian population who are accused of participating in anti-India and pro-freedom protests that swept the region since the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani.
The fresh killings have taken the toll of deceased in the ongoing civilian unrest to 75. Over 10,000 civilians have been admitted with firearm injuries to different hospitals across Kashmir valley over the last nearly two months; hundreds are facing prospects of permanent disabilities including loss of vision and limbs.
(Cover Photograph Basit Zargar)