Shopian: Teen Succumbs To Injuries, Army Firing Toll 3

Srinagar—A 19-year-old youth, who was injured in army firing in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on last weekend, succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS SOURA on Wednesday.

Rayees Ahmad Ganie son of Mohammad Yousf Ganie of Narpora, Shopian succumbed to injuries in the wee hours on Wednesday after battling for life for the last five days at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura.

Relatives said Rayees was operated upon by doctors at SKIMS soon he was admitted there. “After conducting surgery in his head, he was continuously kept on ventilator and probably had died late Saturday night”.

However, a doctor who operated upon Rayees confirmed to GNS that he succumbed during the intervening night of Jan 30/31.

“His brain was critically damaged as he was hit on head,” the doctor said. “He could not sustain the head injury and succumbed.”

Reports reaching GNS said thousands of people from Narpora and its adjoining villages took part in the funeral of the slain youth amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.

The youth was finally laid to rest amid sobs and tears, they added.

A spontaneous strike was observed in Shopian district on 7th straight day on Wednesday while as the neighbouring Pulwama had returned to normal on Tuesday after remaining shut for five days. The district however observed shutdown again on Wednesday after Rayees’s death.

According to GNS correspondent, all shops and commercial establishments were closed in the twin districts while as transport was off the roads.

While from last four days, shutdown is against the killings of three civilian teenagers; for previous three days, it was against the killing of a 17-year-old Shakir Mir and injuring of scores of others including two teenage girls near the encounter site at Chaigund Audoo village in Shopian.

Soon after the funeral was over, clashes erupted between youths and government forces at Shopian, Pulwama, Muran Chowk and Rajpora Chowk. Police used teargas canisters to disperse the protesters.

Internet continues to remain blocked in the twin districts on 8th consecutive day on Wednesday.

On Saturday, two youth Javed Ahmad Bhat, 20, of Balpora and Suhail Javed Lone, 24, of Rawalpora Shopian died while several others were injured in army firing at Ganapora area of Shopian.

Police has booked an army unit on murder and ‘attempt to murder’ charges over the shooting of civilians while as government has ordered a magisterial probe into the killings.

Army has claimed they opened fire in “self-defence” after a “mob tried to lynch an officer” during protests. (GNS)

‘No counter-FIR filed’; Army Submitted Its Version  To Police 

The Indian Army has submitted its version regarding firing in Shopian district to the Jammu and Kashmir Police and explained its “reasons” for opening fire, officials said on Wednesday.

According to the army's narrative, submitted on Tuesday, the force's convoy was attacked by a group of stone pelters and its personnel resorted to firing to save themselves, the officials said.

The army's version comes after the state police registered an FIR about the incident in Ganovpora area of Shopian in south Kashmir in which two youths were killed. One more person succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, raising the toll to three.

The police have recorded the army's statement as part of the investigation. According to the SP Shopian, Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar, the Army's statement has been made part of the investigation, which is in accordance with the routine procedure. The officer SAID there is only one FIR in the case.

The police ruled out the reports of counter-FIR filed by the army.

Following the outrage over the killings, the state police had earlier registered a case under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code against the personnel of 10, Garhwal unit, of the Army.

Earlier on Wednesday, the death toll in the alleged Army firing increased to three after a critically injured man succumbed to his injuries.

Northern Army commander Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu said the army opened fire into a crowd in Shopian in the face of the "ultimate provocation" by a stone-pelting crowd.

Calling the FIR against the army as "unfortunate", Lt Gen Anbu called it said there should have been generic FIR in the matter.

"That is an unfortunate thing, in such a case a generic FIR should have been filed. I think they have prematurely put the name of an individual, I am sure when they investigate truth will come out. Notwithstanding what the state government did, we had our own inquiry and are clear that we responded when we were provoked to the ultimate," he added.

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