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Monday, September 12, 2016

Budgam youth dies at SKIMS, raising death toll to 79

Cop’s bike torched in Srinagar, school in Budgam, truckers thrashed on highway; forces ransack houses, 120 injured, 17 arrested in Pulwama; scores of clashes on 65th day of shutdown in Kashmir

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Sep 11: While as the separatists’ rallies and clashes with Police and security forces continued across Kashmir valley on Sunday, death toll on the 65th consecutive day of shutdown has reached 79 as an injured youth from Budgam has died at SKIMS.

Informed sources told STATE TIMES that 22-year-old school-dropout Javed Ahmad Dar of Wadwan Budgam, who had sustained gunshot wounds in his leg during a clash between the protesters and Police and CRPF at Narbal on August 5, died due to resultant renal failure at SKIMS. Doctors had earlier amputated his leg. With this, death toll of the last 65 days of turmoil in the valley has reached 79. Reports said that a large number of people from Soibugh, Wadwan and adjoining villages attended the youth’s funeral prayers peacefully but amid pro-Pakistan, pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans at Wadwan.

Sources said that earlier in the day, forces swooped on a separatists’ rally at Rathsun in the same Soibugh-Beerwah belt of Budgam district. During the ding-dong clashes, a Government Middle School building gutted. While as the residents alleged that it caught fire by a tearsmoke shell, officials insisted that the building was set on fire by “miscreants”. Half-a-dozen civilians were reportedly injured as Police and security forces foiled their attempts to proceed with the rally.

Reports said that, both at the funeral at Wadwan and during the clashes in Rathsun, people shouted pro-Pakistan slogans and waved Pakistani flags.

Sources said that the unruly youths checking vehicles and frisking drivers, captured a Police official driving his motorcycle on Sunday evening at ‘90-Foot Road’ in Soura area on Srinagar outskirts. Upon being exposed as a Policeman, he ran away and escaped into a locality. The shutdown vigilantes torched his motorcycle.

Reports from South Kashmir said that enjoying a field day groups of unruly youths subjected traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway to heavy stone pelting at Bijbehara. Eyewitnesses said that dozens of vehicles were damaged and a number of the truckers were dragged out and beaten up mercilessly for violating the separatists’ shutdown call.

An official spokesman said that on Friday evening, some miscreants pelted stones on the moving vehicles at Batengo, Sopore. Some vehicles were damaged. Driver of one of those vehicles, namely Parvaiz Ahmad Dar s/0 Abdul Kabir R/o Lalad, Sopore, suffered head injury and his vehicle was also damaged. Case FIR number 253/2016 under section 307, 147, 148, 149, 336, 427 RPC has been registered.

Reports said that a massive motorcycle-and-car rally, carrying Pakistan and ‘Azad Kashmir’ flags, initiated from Qaimoh in Kulgam district. The angry and enthusiastic participants shouted pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans. Reports said that Police and CRPF intercepted the rally and forced the participants to disperse.

High level meeting

Chief Secretary B.R. Sharma, DGP K. Rajendra Kumar, Special DG Law and Order Dr Shesh Pal Vaid and other senior officers landed in Kulgam by a helicopter and took a high level meeting with the South Kashmir DIG and SPs on the current security situation and breakdown of law and order machinery. Sources said that the field officers were directed to observe utmost restraint during a rally or clash but be “tough on the stone pelters and their instigators”. They were directed to arrest and book key mobilisers and instigators of turbulence under PSA and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act so as to ensure that they do not create a major disturbance around Eid-ul-Azha and thereafter.

Reports said that scores of rallies and clashes of protesters with Police and security forces took place across the Valley. Over 150 persons reportedly sustained injuries during the clashes. Officials maintained that nobody was critical.

Pulwama residents thrashed

Sources said that multiple forces, including J&K Police, CRPF and Army early on Sunday swooped down on Kreemabad (Pulwama). They allegedly thrashed hundreds of the residents, ransacked houses and damaged motorcycles and other parked vehicles. Sources said that 17 youths, including the brother of constable-turned-militant Naseer Pandit who died in an encounter with forces earlier this year, were picked up from their residences and hideouts and their antecedents were being verified.

Officials said that the residents disrupted the operation launched in search of some militants. However, a number of the youths wanted for providing support to the militants were arrested. Residents claimed that 120 people were injured in the Police and security forces’ action. Of them, 20 were referred to Srinagar hospitals. Officials maintained that most of them had only “superficial injuries” and all had been discharged from hospitals by the evening. They said that the residents subjected Police and security forces to intense stone pelting.

After the operation, Army was spotted in movement like a flag march at the district headquarters of Pulwama.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

Sunday, September 11, 2016

2 killed in fresh clashes on 64th day of shutdown; Kashmir toll reaches 78

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Sep 10: In fresh clashes across Kashmir valley on 64th consecutive day of shutdown, following Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani’s killing an encounter on July 8, death toll has reached 78 as two more young protesters have got killed in Shopian and Anantnag districts of South Kashmir on Saturday.

Informed sources told STATE TIMES that hundreds of people gathered at Tukroo village of Shopian on the local separatists’ call. No sooner did they begin shouting pro-Pakistan, pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans than the Police and CRPF deployment swung into action. While the crowds were being dispersed with tear smoke shelling, 24-year-old Sayyar Ahmad Sheikh of Ganapora Balpora got hit in his head. He was rushed to Sub District Hospital Rajpora where doctors declared him “brought dead”.

In another incident, hundreds of people gathered at Botengo, between Bijbehara and Khannabal, on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, and blocked a link road with quarry stones early in the morning. A Police contingent rushed to the spot and removed the barrier. Later, in the forenoon, unruly crowds assembled again and began throwing stones on traffic on the highway. Police and CRPF rushed to the spot again and dispersed the gathering.

While the youths in the interior of Botengo were being chased away, Police got trapped by a group of the stone throwing youths. Police used pump action guns, causing injuries to at least four persons. Of them, a critically injured Yawar Mushtaq Bhat (20), breathed his last at District Hospital Anantnag.

Sources said that Anantnag district headquarters and its peripheries turned tense and a large number of the residents gathered again at Botengo. According to the residents, one of the tear gas shells hit Government High School building which caught fire and gutted. Police claimed that the school building was set on fire by “miscreants”. It claimed that hours later another unruly crowd gathered at the same place and torched a number of the government offices.

With the two fresh fatalities, death toll in the 64-day-long turmoil has reached 78. It includes three Police personnel who were killed in violent clashes with the unruly separatist crowds. Thousands of the civilians and Police and paramilitary personnel have sustained injuries in these clashes which are still unabated.

Official reports from South Kashmir said that around 3,500 people participated in the funeral of Yawar Mushtaq Dar at Botengo and around 6,000 in that of Sayyar Ahmad Sheikh Sheikh at Ganapora Shopian. At both places, the participants shouted pro-Pakistan, pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans and waved Pakistani flags.

Sources said that more than 150 protesters got injured in around 50 clashes across Kashmir valley. At some places, demonstrators held peaceful rallies. A thick number of vehicles operated in uptown Srinagar and shops were open after the shutdown ended at 6.00 pm.

Reports from Budgam said that over 30 protesters sustained injuries in clashes with Police and CRPF at Razwen and Dardpora villages where the authorities disrupted the separatists’ programme of a rally. Residents alleged a Police Rakhshak vehicle trampled a youth who was critically injured. He was later rushed to hospital.

According to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan, there was no curfew today anywhere in Kashmir valley. “However, restrictions were imposed in few places in Srinagar as also in some towns in the Valley,” he said.

Official version

Zonal Police Headquarters bulletin issued in the evening said that six incidents of stone pelting were reported from Anantnag, Kulgam, Sopore, Baramulla and Shopian. “At these places, miscreants assembled on the roads and pelted stones on police and security forces deployments and tried to disturb the movement of the vehicles,” the statement said.

It said that at Shopian about 500 miscreants assembled and pelted stones on police and security force deployments at Tukroo.  Police used lathi charge and fired tear smoke shells to disperse the violent mob.  One person identified as Sayar Ahmad Sheikh resident of Ganovpora got injured after he was hit by tear smoke shell. He was shifted to Sub District Hospital Rajpora for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries.

The Police spokesman said that at Anantnag about 200 miscreants attacked police and security force deployments at Botengo. “While dealing with the situation police used lathi charge and fired tear gas smoke shells but the miscreants did not yield,” he said adding while dealing with law and order one person identified as Yawar Mushtaq Dar got injured. “He was shifted to hospital for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries,” he said. He added that miscreants also set ablaze Government High School building at Botengo.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]