Boy injured in firing as Kashmir shuts against braid-cutting

Forces fire on protesters in Nowgam, 16-year old gets bullet in chestCurbs cripple Downtown | People handover 6 suspects to police in Ganderbal

ABID BASHIR/ IRFAN RAINA
Srinagar/Ganderbal, Publish Date: Oct 21 2017 11:32PM | Updated Date: Oct 22 2017 1:14AM
Boy injured in firing as Kashmir shuts against braid-cuttingPhoto: Aman Farooq/GK

A 16 year old boy was hit by a bullet in chest when government forces opened fire to disperse protesters at Nowgam on city outskirts on Saturday, even as Kashmir observed complete shutdown against the unabated braid cutting incidents.

A witness said clashes broke out between government forces and youth at railway track near Nowgam this afternoon. “The protesters were raising pro-freedom and anti-government slogans while some were carrying placards against braid cutting,” the witness said.

As the protests swelled, the witness said, government forces who were present in large numbers fired pellets and tear gas shells. “The protesters, however, continued to fight pitched battles. The government forces personnel fired a few shots in the air but the protesters did not relent. Then the government forces personnel opened direct fire in which a bullet hit the chest of a youth identified as Arsalan, 16, of Kralpora  area of Chadoora,” the witness said.

A doctor at SMHS Hospital said the boy has sustained bullet injury in his chest on the left side. “Nothing can be said as he is under observation,” he said, wishing not to be named.

 

KASHMIR SHUTS AGAINST BRAID-CUTTING:

Kashmir observed a shutdown on Saturday against the unabated braid chopping incidents. The call for the shutdown was given by Kashmir’s joint separatist leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.

All educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities remained closed. 

LalChowk, the commercial hub of Kashmir, wore a deserted look as all the shops were closed and traffic remained off the roads. Very few street vendors had set up their stalls on the pavements from Zero Bridge to Amira Kadal.

Reports from various district headquarters said the strike call disrupted normal life as shops, educational institutions, government and private offices remained closed.

 

CURBS IN DOWNTOWN:

Strict curbs remained in force in majority of areas in Downtown here for the second consecutive day. “All the major roads were blocked by rolls of concertina wires with heavy deployment of forces everywhere,” said Lateef Ahmed of Nowhatta.

Soon after the withdrawal of government forces in the evening, massive clashes broke out between youth and forces at NawaKadal, Braripora, SafaKadal, Khanyar, HabbaKadal, KaniKadal and other areas.

Reports of clashes also poured in from Nowgam and its interior areas after rumours about the death of the injured youth spread. “Forces fired dozens of tear gas shells and pava shells to disperse the protestors in Downtown in the evening. Clashes were on till late evening,” a witness said.

He said elderly persons were feeling suffocation due to the large number of pepper and tear gas shells fired by the forces.

 

LOCALS HANDOVER 6 SUSPECTS TO POLICE:

Locals handed over six suspected braid choppers to police at Lar in Ganderbal district last night.

A source said, “Six young boys were spotted roaming suspiciously in Repora area on late Friday night and were caught by the locals suspecting them as braid choppers.”

“After getting hold of the youth, locals immediately informed the police and handed over the suspects to police without any harm,” the source added.

SHO Lar told Greater Kashmir that six suspected braid-choppers were caught by people while roaming suspiciously. “The good thing is that the people without taking law into their hands called the police immediately and handed them over,” he said.

The police officer said the detained people hailed from neighbouringSaderkot area of Bandipora district.

SSP GanderbalFayaz Ahmed Lone said, “I appreciate the locals for showing sense and maturity. They shouldn't take law into their hands and allow police to investigate and do its job."