Day 46: Pellet Shower Continues Unabated, Scores Hurt

Srinagar: At least 16 people have been injured after government forces in fired bullets and shotgun pellets to break up protests in the restive Kashmir on the 46th day since protests broke out following the killing of the militant leader Burhan Wani on July 8.

According to the reports, government forces including CRPF, Army and Police went on a rampage and according to witnesses targeted the protesters including children and women in Vehil village of South Kashmir’s Shopian district. Pertinently, on Monday more than 30 people suffered injuries in Ganapora Balapora village of the district.

According to eyewitnesses in a bid to break up peaceful protest, government forces showered bullets and pellets on the protesters injuring more than 16 of them.

Four people reportedly sustained bullet injuries while the rest have been hit by pellets, said a hospital source. Three among the injured were shifted to Srinagar for advanced treatment.

Police said the troops fired after villagers pelted them with stones in the southern Shopian area while they were clearing roadblocks set up by anti-India protesters in about half a dozen villages.

However, local residents said the clashes erupted after troops fired tear gas indiscriminately to intimidate villagers while moving through the villages. Police said the agitated villagers objected and retaliated with rocks, and the troops responded by firing live ammunition and shotgun pellets.

Bashir Ahmed Chak, a villager whose young son was among the injured, said it was a "premeditated attack" by the troops.

The injured are being treated in hospital.

Clashes were also reported in at least two places in the northern Bandipore area, where a woman was injured.

The killing of a popular rebel commander on July 8 has sparked some of Kashmir's largest protests against Indian rule in recent years.

At least 70 civilians have been killed and thousands injured, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotguns at rock-throwing protesters. Two policemen have also been killed and hundreds of government forces have been injured in the clashes.

A strict curfew, a series of communication blackouts and an intensified crackdown since then have failed to stop more than six weeks of deadly protests against India.

Residents have struggled to cope with shortages of food, medicine and other necessities.

Strict curfew continued in old Srinagar city and some parts of South Kashmir while restrictions remained in force in all other districts of Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Baramulla, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kupwara and Badgam towns.

In wake of curfew and shutdown educational institutions, markets, public transports and other businesses remained shut.

Reports from Old Srinagar City said that that strict curfew was in place to restrict the movement of the people. In wake of the killing of Fathekadal youth Irfan Fayaz extra security measures were put in place to quell possible protests.

Old Srinagar city has been reeling under curfew from past 45 days. Many complained that they are short of baby food, medicines and milk.

“My mother was suffering from toothache while CRPF deployed outside the road didn’t allow us to venture out from the house,” a Nowhatta resident said.

Reports added that protesters attacked the official residence of MLA Bandipora and Congress leader, Usman Majid with rocks however he was not present there at the time of attack.

Sources said that dozens of youngster reached very near to Congress leader’s official residence and started pelting stones on it while raising pro-freedom slogans. However, they said, the guards only closed the main gate and did not retaliate. Police fired many tear smoke shells to disperse youth who were busy in making graffiti in Nusu area of the town.

Authorities lifted a daytime curfew in some parts of Kashmir's main city of Srinagar. However, curfew and security restrictions continued in old parts of Srinagar and in other areas in the region.

In the growing security crackdown, Indian border guards have set up camps inside a college and a girl's school in Srinagar's main commercial hub of Lalchowk for first time since 2005, when the guards were removed from counterinsurgency duties and patrols of civilian areas.

Residents have increasingly accused counterinsurgency police and army soldiers of systematically raiding neighbourhoods, ransacking houses and beating residents to intimidate protesters.


BSF Occupies SP College

Srinagar: As Border Security Force (BSF) re-entered State's summer capital after more than a decade a day before, the central government is rushing 26 more companies in order to control the current uprising.

This is close on the heels of the GoI rushing additional 26 companies (100 personnel in each company) of BSF to control the worsening situation across Kashmir, following the killing of Hizb Commander Burhan Wani on July 08 of last month.

Sources informed that the BSF companies are being drawn from Gujrat, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

“The decision to depute BSF who are expected to reach Kashmir within a day or two will taken control the current unrest across the Valley,” sources said.

They said that the GoI believes that BSF is much experienced in dealing the situation in Kashmir and later decided to send them to Valley to control the current uprising in the Valley.

Notably, on Monday, the BSF men entered summer capital and manned the city. It was after eleven years that BSF men took over Srinagar in times of severe crisis.

Pertinently, 40 additional companies of CRPF were brought from outside J&K to man Kashmir streets to control the current protests here while CRPF PRO as per reports has said that its 73 battalions which were deployed for Amarnath Yatra are being redeployed in Kashmir “according to need”.

However, a top police official told KNS that they have no information about the reaching of additional 26 BSF companies to Valley. “We don’t have any information regarding the issue,” he said.

Meanwhile, reports said that BSF troopers who were deployed in Srinagar on Monday occupied the historic SP College campus in Srinagar.

It is worth to mention here that more than 60 civilians and 2 police men were killed while thousands of people sustained injuries during the ongoing protests that erupted after the killing of Hizb commander, Burhan Wani who was killed in a ‘gunfight’ that raged in Bumdoora village of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

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