Youth Critically Injured by Teargas Shell in CM’s Hometown

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SSP claims he was hit by stone; IGP says will investigate the matter

SRINAGAR: Protests and clashes continued for the third day running Wednesday in many areas of South Kashmir amid a spontaneous shutdown. The situation deteriorated in Bejbehara town after a young man suffered critical injuries when he was hit by teargas shell during the clashes.

Anantnag and adjoin areas are in ferment eversince local lad Zahid Rasool Bhat died of his injuries he had suffered in a petrol bomb attack by arsonists on his truck in Jammu’s Udhampur district on 9th of this month.

Reports said clashes broke out soon after riot police backed by paramilitary CRPF stopped small procession in Bijbehara in the morning. Police resorted to cane charge and lobbed dozens of tear smoke shells to disperse the march. Naseer Ahmad Dar son of Gulzar Ahmad Dar of Baba Mohalla, Zirpora was hit by a tear gas shell, witnesses said adding the boy was rushed to SMHS Srinagar for treatment. Doctors at SMHS referred Naseer to SKIMS later.

Doctors at SKIMS told Kashmir Observer that Naseer was operated upon in SKIMS and was shifted to Surgical ICU.

Doctors said Dar was hit by a tear gas shell on his head

Police meanwhile denied that the youth was hit by a tear gas shell. “He was injured by a stone not by a shell,” said Senior Superintendent of Police, Anantnag Abdul Jabbar.

He said that the youth was “out of danger” and has been shifted to SKIMS, Soura.

Inspector General of Police Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani said that the police will investigate as to how the youth was critically injured.

“It is not clear what has hit the youth…whether a stone or a teargas shell. We will investigate it,” Gillani said.

The uncle of the injured youth said that Naseer was not part of any protest march and he was on way to Masjid Sharif to offer prayers when a tear-gas shell lobbed by CRPF hit his head. “He is still in emergency ward but the doctors informed us that he is out of danger,” he said.

In a bid to thwart the possible protest marches, authorities had placed restrictions on the movement of pedestrians and motorists while all the roads leading towards the town had been sealed. 

Clashes broke out between protesters and security forces in the district, with youth defying curfew-like restrictions to protest the killing of Zahid.

Authorities had imposed Section 144 in the district to thwart protests that have been taking place following the death of Zahid.

Youth assembled in the morning at Sarnal, Botengoo, Zirpora, Gooriwan, SK Colony and Anchidoora and pelted stones at security forces.

Police and CRPF reacted by lobbing teargas canisters and pepper shells to disperse the protesters. 

A complete shutdown was observed, with shops, schools, and business units shut on the third day today, while traffic on Jammu-Srinagar Highway remained completely off.

Qazi Yasir, who heads Ummat-i-Islami, has called for the shutdown to continue on Thursday to protest against the killing of Zahid.

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