Srinagar, Aug 13, CNS: One more youth, Suhail Ahmad Wani injured in Lethpora when SDM Ramban’s security guard opened fired on protesters, succumbed early Saturday at SKIMS hospital, Srinagar. Wani was injured in his head and was battling for his life at SKIMS, Soura. Same day another youth, Farooq Ahmad Kuchay was also shot dead when SDM Ramban’s cop opened fire on protestors in Lethpora on August 2, 2016. With Wani’s death the toll has touched to 60 including 2 cops. Srinagar-Jammu was sealed to stop protests to hit the highway after the news about the death of the youth spread in the area. However, reports said that clashes erupted there after the body of Suhail Ahmad reached home. Witnesses said that the youths placed the body of Ahmad on the Srinagar-Jammu highway and staged a sit-in. Government forces, they said, used teargas shelling to disperse the protesters, triggering clashes. Thousands of mourners participated in the funeral prayers of the deceased youth.
Strict curfew remained in force in all the 10 district headquarters of the Valley in addition to Handwara, Kupwara, Sopore, Trehgam and Qaimoh.
All senior separatist leaders continue to remain under preventive detention in Srinagar for the last 36 days. Strict curfew was imposed in Srinagar city and its outskirts to foil the Referendum March to Lal Chowk, call given by united Resistance leadership.
Eyewitnesses told CNS that all the entry points leading to city centre Lal Chowk, were sealed with barbed wires and heavy deployment of police and CRPF was witnessed. Hundred of policemen and CRPF personnel, were deployed in every nook and corner of the city, downtown area and outskirts of Srinagar district. People alleged that CRPF and police did not allow them to cross the erected barricades.
At several places CRPF and police did not even allowed media personnel and they were asked to take different routes to reaches their offices. Reports said that Army held a flag march from Bypass to Dalgate area of Srinagar city.
Separatists who extended shutdown till August 18 had called for Referendum March. They had urged upon people to march from every Mohalla, Village, locality, Tehsil and District towards Lal Chowk Srinagar. The separatist leaders had asked people hailing from Jammu and Kashmir and their sympathizers which which are residing outside India will organize referendum march of their respective cities and capitals.
So far, 60 people including two policemen have been killed in the ongoing unrest that started on July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujhadeen Commander Burhan Wani was killed in a South Kashmir village in an encounter with the government forces.
Reports said that Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was arrested after he tried to march towards Lal Chowk as part of resistance programme to hold a referendum rally’ in the city centre. Advocate Shahid-ul-Islam, who is the spokesperson and media advisor of the Mirwaiz, said that a huge deployment of police and paramilitary forces detained the chairman outside his Nigeen residence. He was lodged in police station Nigeen, said Islam. Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani held a sit-in in Hyderpora when he was not allowed to hold his scheduled ‘Referendum March’ to Lal Cowk. Witnesses said that, “When police didn’t allow Geelani sahab and his associates to move forward from his lane, he sat on road in scorching heat for at least 45 minutes.”
Eyewitnesses told CNS that scores of policemen including an officer were injured, one of them critically, in clashes that erupted in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Saturday, police said. An official said that constable Dayim was hit by a stone on his head during clashes in Ashtengoo area of the district. “He was airlifted to Srinagar for advanced treatment,” said the official. Eleven other policemen, including SHO Bandipora police station, were injured in the clashes.
Reports said that doctors and para-medical staff in Bijbehara hospital staged a massive protest against Station House Officer Arshid Khan who according to them has violated all laws and single handedly has been defaming the police institution.
Station House Officer Bijbehara according to protesting doctors let loose a reign of terror in the hospital after he thrashed not only patients but medical staff as well. They alleged that after pumping a bullet into the body of a youth SHO kept him in police station and didn’t allow the family to shift the injured youth to the hospital.
Eyewitnesses told CNS that the the doctors and para-medics of sub-district hospital Bijbehara staged a protest demonstration against the alleged highhandedness of local SHO and accused him of beating the staff.
Doctors alleged that SHO Bijbehara Arshid Khan beat up the hospital staff thrice in last one month.
They said that, “SHO has so far barged thrice in the hospital premises along with his men and ruthlessly beat all the staff members.”
Tipping point for the doctors came on Friday afternoon when a youth was shot by police in the area and the ambulance carrying the youth was taken to police station for two hours on the instructions of SHO which delayed the treatment of the injured youth. Medical Superintendent Bijbehara Dr Showkat said, “We had already informed the higher-ups but nothing has been done so far,” he said adding, the inaction on part of higher authorities has “further emboldened him.” The SHO is also accused of beating an 80-year-old woman in the area.
Talking to news agency CNS, Khan said that there was no deployment on the road when a youth was hit by a bullet in the town. “The deployment reached at police station at around 7 in the evening when we heard a bullet shot. Our CCTV footage showed a large group of people were present outside the Bijbehara hospital. Instead of informing the police, the doctors bundled the bullet hit injured youth into an ambulance. We simply stopped the ambulance and for sake of investigation took the ambulance into the police station for 10 minutes,” he said.
Reports from Sangam area of district Anantnag said that thousands of people after organizing a peaceful pro-freedom rally offered Zuhar prayers on road. “The rally was peaceful and police didn’t intervene. The rally culminated peacefully,” said an eyewitness.
Eyewitnesses said that a huge unity congregation by various religious groups was held in Fohar area of Pahalgam on Saturday. Thousands of people , according to witnesses were part of the rally. The rally was addressed by scores of religious scholars while people chanted Azadi and anti-India slogans.
In North Kashmir, Army held a flag march from Safapora to Sadarkoot. A police official said that Army from 13 RR stationed at Mansbal held a flag march. When this flag march reached near Sadarkoot, people pelted stones on the army vehicles. In retaliation, government forces resorted to tear-smoke shelling that left many people injured. Locals alleged that Army personnel barged into the residential houses and besides causing damages thrashed the people including women. At least 50 people were injured in three villages: Khan Mohalla, Main chow and Kane Mohalla. Locals added that Army resorted to intense aerial firing to scare local population.
Intense clashes and protests were reported from Palhallan town after police arrested some local youth.
Protesters marching from Nadihal to Papchan pelted stones on Higher Secondary School Nadihal, and ransacked its office, beat principal Abdul Rashid Malik who was later shifted to hospital. Sources said other staff members who had reached the school despite shutdown call managed to escape however, there were no students in the school.
Local sources said that as soon as the news spread that some local youth were arrested rom Misra lane in Palhallan, locals came out of their houses and resorted to protests against the arrest spree in the area. ” Later, youth’s made announcements through masjid loudspeakers, asking people to come out of their houses. Intense clashes resulted in the injuries of many protesters and cops.
Reports of protest and clashes also came in from different parts of South and Central Kashmir. (CNS)