Kashmir simmers as Kangan youth succumbs Civilian toll reaches 5 Kashmir shuts, protests continue

A youth from central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district succumbed Tuesday taking the death toll of civilians for last three days to 5 while Kashmir remained shut in protest to the killings.
The government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the killing of Gowhar Ahmad Rather, 20, son of Abdul Rehman Rather of Kangan in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. Gowhar lost battle for life at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science Soura, Srinagar after undergoing treatment for serious head injuries.
On Tuesday Gowhar had suffered serious head injury while being chased by Police in Kangan. He was reportedly hit by bullet on head while being chased by police.
Later, he was shifted for treatment to trauma hospital Kangan in a critical condition where from he was referred to SKIMS Soura for advanced treatment.
“He was admitted in a critical state and succumbed to injuries today,” said a doctor at SKIMS.
The district magistrate Ganderbal, Piyush Singla, ordered a magisterial probe to ascertain the cause of Gowhar’s death.
As per local reports the youth got injured following police action while dispersing the agitating youth on April 2, Singla mentioned in the order issued here.
“Whereas, it is imperative to ascertain the cause of death besides other circumstantial conditions leading to such incident in order to serve justice in the matter,” reads the order the order.
The district magistrate Ganderbal has appointed additional district magistrate Ganderbal, Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari, as inquiry officer to conduct the magisterial inquiry into the incident.
“The inquiry officer shall submit a detailed inquiry report as per the guidelines of Supreme Court and NHRC, within 20 days of issuance of this order,” reads the order.
A police spokesman said that in a law and order incident at Kangan on April 2 one person namely Gowhar Ahmed Rather was injured who was subsequently admitted at SKIMS Soura. “ Today he succumbed to his injury. In this regard for ascertaining the sequence of events and actions related to the incident, a department enquiry has been ordered and entrusted to DIG Central Kashmir Range, besides regular criminal investigation.”
Soon after the news about Gowhar’s death reached Kangan, people erupted against the killings. The agitating protestors, reports said, came out on roads and started stone pelting on forces, who retaliated by firing tear smoke shells to disperse the people.
Local sources said the furious protestors attacked a local CRPF camp with stones near Power House Kangan.
They said that the forces swung into action and fired towards protestors in which several were injured and one among them sustained firearm injury on head. The injured youth was identified as Amir Hamid Lone of Chitergul, Ganderbal.
Lone was shifted for treatment to trauma hospital Ganderbal where from doctors referred him to SKIMS for advanced medical treatment. Intense clashes were going on till late evening, reports said.
In south Kashmir’s Pulwama district clashes between forces and youth were witnessed at Newa area of the district.
Witnesses said clashes erupted after some youth pelted stones on police and CRPF, who retaliated by firing tear smoke shells to disperse the crowd. However, there were no fresh injuries reported. Similarly, mild clashes between forces and youth were also witnessed at Memander area of Shopian , main town Kulgam and minor stone pelting incidents were reported from Nadihal Rafiabad.
Kashmir remained on boil a day after the killing of 13 militants and four civilians in south Kashmir and normal life was affected by the strike called by the separatists and restrictions imposed by authorities to foil protests.
In down town areas of Srinagar, tough restrictions remained in place for the second consecutive day.
The restrictions remained imposed in areas falling under the jurisdictions of five police stations including Khanyar, Nowhata, Rainawari, Safakadal, M R Gunj while partial restrictions were enforced in Maisuma and Kralkhud areas.
Locals sources said youth defied restrictions and resorted to stone pelting on forces at Zaldagar area. The clashes between youths and forces continued for hours.
A local resident from Zaldagar informed Rising Kashmir that forces damaged several vehicles while chasing stone pelting youth.
“Several vehicles including one belonging to a private school were damaged by forces while chasing youth,” said a local resident.
Similarly, restrictions continued in Kulgam town and Kangan area in Ganderbal district. In Pulwama, heavy contingents of police and CRPF were deployed at entry points of the town, reports said.
In North Kashmir, forces were deployed in volatile Sopore and Palhallan areas to prevent protests.
In order to maintain law and order, restrictions were imposed as a precautionary measure to foil anti-India protests in view of an extended shutdown call by separatists against killing of thirteen militants and four civilians in Shopian and Anantnag districts.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir Valley. All shops, business establishments, private and government offices, schools and colleges remained shut. While roads in city and other district headquarters of Valley city wore a deserted look as public transport was completely off from roads. However, fever auto rickshaws and private cars were seen plying normally.
On Sunday, thirteen militants and four were killed in three gunfights—two in Shopian and one in Anantnag while over 200 civilians were injured in clashes with forces near gunfight sites, triggering shutdown and protests in Kashmir.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik Monday had extended the strike against killings by a day and stated that the Hurriyat leaders would move towards the Shopian on April 4.

javid@risingkashmir.com

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