2 Dead, Many Injured In Fresh Wave of Protests in Kashmir
SRINAGAR: Tension prevails in parts of Kashmir valley where fresh protests broke out Saturday morning, resulting in the killing of two civilian protesters while dozens, including security personnel, suffered injuries.
The fresh killings took place in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Anantnag districts after police and paramilitary forces fired pellets and teargas shells to disperse pro-freedom rallies that have swept the valley following the killing of Burhan Wani.
The four districts of south Kashmir, including Kulgam and Pulwama, have witnessed massive anti-India and pro-freedom protests with the authorities mulling to deploy the Army as a last resort to restore normalcy in these areas.
The first incident took place in Tukroo village of Shopian where, residents said, the slain youth identified as Sayar Ahmad, a resident of Shopian who is believed to be in his twenties, was reportedly hit by a teargas shell in his head after forces pounced on a freedom rally.
"He was shifted to Rajpora hospital where doctors declared him brought dead," sources said, adding that scores of protesters were wounded, some critically, who have been referred to different hospitals.
In the second incident, 23-year-old Yawar Ahmad was critically injured when forces fired pellets and teargas shells to disperse protesters in Batengoo village of Anantnag district. Doctors at the hospital, where the victim was taken for treatment, declared him dead on arrival with grievous pellet injuries.
The killing, which comes three days ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha, has taken the toll of civilian protesters killed in the valley since the ongoing uprising broke out onJuly 8 to 79.
Authorities are mulling to impose Section 144, which criminalises gathering of three or more, on the day of Eid to foil a separatist-sponsored march to the UN office in the capital Srinagar.
The announcement triggered sharp reaction from the former chief minister Omar Abdullah who took an oblique jibe at the incumbent CM Mehbooba Mufti on his Twitter page.
"Why is the Centre imposing 144? This should be a local decision & in any case how can it be imposed during Eid Namaz," he wrote.
Eid-ul-Azha will be marked on Tuesday in the region with the Hurriyat Conference, spearheading the ongoing uprising, asking people to celebrate the festival with austerity while announcing a march to the UN Military Observer Group's office.
Meanwhile, scores of civilian protesters and security forces personnel were wounded in the clashes that broke out today morning in Budgam and Anantnag districts of the Valley.
Witnesses and police sources said police and paramilitary forces arrived in Razwein and Shahabad villages to foil freedom rallies sponsored by separatists, sparking clashes which resulted in injuries to at least ten protesters.
"One of the protester has been shifted to Srinagar with pellet injuries in eyes," residents said.
Protests also erupted in Qazigund areas where pro-freedom protesters clashed with security forces, resulting in injuries to at least six protesters.
(Photograph Basit Zargar)