Kashmir seethes as death toll mounts to 37


Beaten by cops, Kulgam youth succumbs to injuries
• Over 1600 civilians injured in 6 days of clashes
• Mobile, internet services snapped
• House, where Burhan was killed, set ablaze in Kokernag
• Police conducts test flight of drone in Lal Chowk

Kashmir seethes as death toll mounts to 37


Kashmir continued to be on the edge as one more critically injured youth succumbed to injuries on Thursday, taking the death toll of people killed in six days of protests in Valley to 37 with over 1600 injured.
Sixteen-year-old Irfan Ahmad Dar, son of Manzoor Ahmad of Tool-Nowpora village near Qaimoh in Kulgam district, succumbed to injuries at SKIMS, Soura in the morning.
Son of a small time spice vendor, Irfan, according to family members, was helping his family out at their orchard in Tool-Nowpora when anti-India protests were going on some parts of the area few days back.
They said some protestors, who were being chased by forces, ventured into their orchard and the forces followed them.
“The force personnel caught hold of Irfan and beat him mercilessly in front of our eyes. In their rage they did not let him go and took him along with them,” they said.
They said Irfan was later dumped at the gate of a local hospital by forces after his condition had deteriorated in their custody.
A doctor, who attended to Irfan at SKIMS, told Rising Kashmir that his trachea (windpipe) had been cut open, and a tube had been inserted to keep oxygen supply reaching his lungs.
“He had been hit on his head with a rod fracturing his skull and eventually leading to brain hemorrhage. His chances of survival were very bleak,” he said.
Irfan’s body reached his native place in the late afternoon. Later hundreds of people attended his funeral prayers amidst chanting of pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
The protests continued at many places in Valley for the 6th consecutive day today. However, situation was relatively calm today.
A police spokesman said minor clashes were reported from Qaimoh, Kulgam, Khudwani, Trehgam, Lalpora, Batergam, Kupwara, Hyhama, Hatmulla, Warpora, Sopore, Arampora, Cement bridge, Baramulla, Palhalan, Suzaith, Parimpora, Narbal, Chinkral Mohalla and Habakadal.
In Kupwara district, a youth was injured in Tiker area after being hit by a tear smoke shell.
Meanwhile, a house in Bumdoora, Kokernag where Hizb commander, Burhan Wani, was killed in an encounter with troops on July 8 was set ablaze by villagers following rumors that the inmates of the house were by some means involved in getting him trapped.
“For now we know that a house has been set ablaze by a mob in Bumdoora. A police party has been sent in to ascertain the sequence of events, damage done and other details,” a senior police official from the area told Rising Kashmir.
He refused to comment on why the house was set ablaze.
The fire was later brought under control by firemen. However, reports said two other houses were also partially damaged.
There were, however, no reports of anybody getting injured as the family was not present in house when it was set on fire.
Burhan was killed on July 8 along with two other militants, one of them a local named Sartaj, after an hour long gun battle with forces.
The house in question belongs to one of relatives of of Sartaj (the slain militant).
The rumor about the family’s involvement in getting Burhan killed had started doing rounds in the area since yesterday.
The injured youth identified as Umar Sultan Zarger (19) was rushed to District Hospital Handwara.
The curfew-like restrictions remained in force in four districts of South Kashmir, parts of Srinagar and north Kashmir for the 6th day today.
Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps remained shut while government offices and banks also remained closed. Except for police and security forces, all kinds of vehicular traffic was off the roads.
The Valley has been on the edge after killing of 21-year-old Hizb commander and two of his associates in an encounter with troops in south Kashmir on July 8. His killing triggered protests across the Valley
Over 1600 people have been injured in six days of clashes in the Valley.
A government spokesman said 1640 persons have been treated for injuries in various government hospitals.
“At present, 198 patients are currently admitted in the hospitals and the remaining have either been discharged from hospital or treated for minor injuries in OPD,” he said adding over 1500 security personnel have also sustained injuries during the clashes.
According to official sources, due to communication breakdown at several places, the exact number of deaths and injured is yet to be ascertained.
Due to continuous curfew, people are facing shortage of essentials, baby food and medicines.
Separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, Ayaz Akhbar and many others leaders and activists continue to be either under house arrest or detention.
Geelani and Mirwaiz were arrested yesterday after they attempted to defy house arrest restrictions. They water later in the evening again placed under house arrest at their respective residences in Srinagar.
Police this evening arrested senior Hurriyat (G) leader and DFP chairman Shabir Shah from his Sanat Nagar residence.
On Thursday evening, authorities snapped broadband and mobile internet services throughout Kashmir and also disabled all mobile networks ahead of Friday.
Meanwhile, police today conducted a test flight of drone in Srinagar’s deserted Lal Chowk area.
Sources said police officials opened a box in Lal Chowk near Ghanta Ghar and an SP-ranked official started demonstrating the unmanned drone.
“There were no official orders from police to conduct the drone test,” they said adding the official who conducted the test was later reprimanded by higher authorities.




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