2016 Uprising: ‘Ambulance Driver Dies Of Pellet Injuries’

SRINAGAR: A pellet hit injured youth from South Kashmir’s Kulgam district succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday after battling for life for more than five months.

Waseem Muhammad Thokar (26), a resident of Shouch hamlet of Kulgam district had suffered pellet injuries when he had gone to ferry wounded protesters at Marhama village on 7 September last year. He was an ambulance driver by profession.

“During Marhama ‘Chalo’ call on 7 September, many protesters had suffered injuries. My son, Waseem, who was driving an Ambulance for Yateem Foundation Chawalgam had gone there to ferry those wounded people. During the process, he was hit by pellets and was shifted to hospital for treatment,” Haji Mushtaq Ahmed Thokar, father of the deceased, told news agency CNS adding that his son had received more than 200 pellets on his body.

“We treated him at different hospitals from past few months. Yesterday, he developed pain and we shifted him to SDH Chawalgam. After check up, we brought him home and here Tuesday morning he succumbed to his injuries,” Haji Mushtaq said.

Haji Mushtaq who himself runs the Yateem Foundation Chawalgam said that there are 410 pellet victims in the district.

“Yateem Foundation takes care of all these pellet victims. A few days back we provided Rs 12,000 kits to each of the pellet victims. These pellet victims need proper care,” he said.

He said that his son was not part of the protest.

“He was an ambulance driver not a protester. On 7 September last year, during the 61st day of uprising, government used force to foil ‘Marhama Chalo’ and vandalized the stage and sound system. Even a school building of Jawahar Navodya Vidyalay was set on fire. The government forces showered pellets critically injuring scores of people. My son was too hit as those days, ambulance vehicles and drivers were the prime targets of government forces,” he said and added that he has himself served Jammu Kashmir Police Department “but took voluntary retirement in 2006 after accused of being the member of Jama’at-e-Islami. I was even booked and lodged in Kathua Jail”.

‘Worst Form Of State Terrorism’

Terming the killing of yet another civilian by lethal pellets as worst form of “state terrorism”, spokesperson of All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Tuesday said use of “brutal force by government forces and indiscriminate use of pellet guns on unarmed peaceful protestors had become a part of state policy”.

Paying glowing tributes to Wasim Mushtaq Thokur, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Thokur, of Soch Kulgam, who was critically injured in pellet firing and succumbed to his injuries, the Hurriyat Conference (M) spokesperson said, “using lethal weapons to crush peaceful protest demonstrations and peaceful protestors had become a routine for the government forces while the ruling class was adopting inhuman and anti-democratic tactics to break the will of the people fighting for their just right of right to self determination.”

Condemning night raids carried by Indian forces at Saderkoot Bala in Sonawari area of north Kashmir where residents were beaten up and harassed, the spokesperson said, “government forces had without any provocation ventured in the area, beaten up residents, harassed and threatened them, creating a reign of terror in the entire locality.”

The Hurriyat Conference (M) spokesperson further said, “the forces were misusing the unbridled powers they enjoy under infamous laws like AFSPA that gives impunity to them and unleash its barbaric face on the innocent people in Jammu Kashmir whenever and wherever they like.”

Terming the negligent attitude of the ruling class towards the migrant Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu as “unfortunate”, the spokesperson said, “the government’s tall claims of resolving the problems of the community were only proving to be hollow.”

The Hurriyat Confernce (M) further said that many representatives of Kashmiri Pandits from Jagti Nagrota migrant camp in Jammu had contacted the APHC-M and informed the conglomerate that the Kashmiri Pandits living in migrant camps had been devoid of many basic facilities and essential commodities like rice and sugar and ahead of the community’s religious festival of Maha Shivratri, the government was not paying attention in making ration available for the community members.

“As far as the problems of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits were concerned, the government was only making hollow slogans and taking no steps in resolving their problems,” the spokesperson added.

The Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz has demanded redressal of the problems faced by migrant Kashmiri Pandits ahead of their religious festival of Maha Shivratri.

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