SRINAGAR: The death of an 18-year-old boy, who succumbed to pellet wounds here on Wednesday, cast a shadow on Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s arrival in Kashmir to take stock of the situation in the restive Valley. Amir Gul Mir was killed and dozens injured when security forces fired pellets and teargas shells to disperse protesters at Pinglina village in South Kashmir. Amir had sustained pellet injuries in chest and other parts of the body. The teenager’s death sparked clashes and raised the overall death toll in the ongoing unrest to 69.
Official sources said security officials briefed Rajnath about measures taken to maintain law and order, restore peace and prevent people from staging protests after he landed in Kashmir. Before leaving for Kashmir, he had tweeted that he will interact with civil society groups, political parties and other stakeholders. “I will be staying at Nehru Guest House (in Srinagar). Those who believe in Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat are welcome (to meet me),” he said.
Delegations from the National Conference and the Congress held separate meetings with the Home Minister. Both groups called for an end to the use of pellet guns by security forces and stressed the need to hold talks with all stakeholders.
Meanwhile, at least 17 police and paramilitary men, including four officials, were injured when militants attacked their deployment in Pulwama district. A police spokesperson said that during stone pelting near Degree College Pulwama, militants hiding in a mob fired and hurled two grenades on the deployment. “In the attack, 17 police and CRPF personnel were injured. Civilians were also injured,” he said. The spokesperson said among the security men injured were Commanding Officer of 183 Bn CRPF, Assistant Superintendent of Pulwama (ASP) Pulwama, DySP Pulwama and SHO Pulwama.