Pellet victims allege unprovoked attack by securitymen in Kashmir Valley

If relatives and family members of other pellet victims are to be believed, most of them fell victim due to “unprovoked” action by security personnel. 

Published: 19th August 2019 05:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2019 08:58 AM   |  A+A-

Security personnel stand guard at a check point during restrictions after Centre abrogated Article 370 and divided Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories in Srinagar Sunday August 18 2019. | PTI

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Asrar Ahmed, 16, has been in ICU at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) since August 6 after security personnel fired several rounds of pellets, injuring him on the head, shoulders and face. 

“He just went to pick up a ball outside the gate when security men standing across the road first fired tear gas and then shot him on the head and eyes,” alleged Firdousa Mehraj, Asrar’s aunt. 

If relatives and family members of other pellet victims are to be believed, most of them fell victim due to “unprovoked” action by security personnel. 

In ward 1A is Burhan Nazir, a Class X student from downtown’s SafaKadal area. He has already gone through two surgeries.

“My uncle gave me `20 to buy some snacks when suddenly the army rushed in. While my friends ran, somebody kept a gun on my shoulder and hit me. I fell,” Nazir said. 

Shakeela, his mother, said every day the CRPF and other paramilitary personnel patrol their area. She said the children had gone out for a stroll when the incident took place. 

“I was coming out of a masjid when someone shouted that my son was lying dead on the street,” said Nazir Ahmed, Burhan’s father.

In one of the beds of the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital (SMHS), another government hospital in downtown lies five-year-old Munifa Nazir with a bandaged right eye. She was hit by a marble ball, allegedly fired by “personnel of the BSF” by a slingshot at SafaKadal.

Her family members said every year during Eid-ul-Adha, the children join their elders to distribute the meat of sacrificed sheep to relatives, neighbours and destitute in the area. 

“Munifa went with her uncle and was sitting in front of his Scooty. He stopped to ask passersby about security presence in the area when suddenly Munifa screamed, holding her eye. He saw a man in a security vehicle aiming a gulel (sling shot),” Munifa’s father Nazir Ahmed Wani said. 

Wani said the doctor have said it’s a serious injury and once the cuts are healed, they would decide on surgery.

Wani alleged that the police were coming to the hospital and directing the staff to discharge the injured at the earliest because they “fear the cases will be reported by the media.”

In the same ward is Suhail Ahmed from Rainawari. 

“We were coming out after praying at a masjid on Friday. Things were calm when suddenly, armed forces started shooting pellet guns. At least six children were injured. My right eye is blurry since then,” he added. 

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