- Admin closes all educational institutes in district today
- Traumatized mother says Salik died in her lap on way to hospital
A 20-year-old youth was killed and another injured in army firing at Trehgam in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Wednesday evening.
Sources said a group of youth pelted stones on army patrol party in Trehgam village in the evening.
They said the army men fired directly on the youth, causing injuries to two youngsters.
The injured were shifted to District Hospital Kupwara, where 20-year-old Khalid Gafar son of Abdul Gafar Malik was declared brought dead by doctors.
He had sustained bullet injuries in the neck, doctors said.
Khalid was a shopkeeper by profession.
Block Medical Officer Kupwara, Fareed Ahmad confirmed Khalid’s killing.
“He was brought dead to the hospital,” he said.
Soon after the killing of youth, people including men and women thronged roads at Trehgam and staged massive protests against the killings. Chanting pro-freedom, anti-army and anti-India slogans, the protestors were demanding end to civilian killings by forces and action against the force personnel involved in such killings.
A police officer confirmed the death of youth.
He said investigation would reveal as to how and under what circumstances the incident took place.
After the killing of youth, district administration Kupwara decided to suspend the classwork tomorrow in all schools and colleges of the border district tomorrow.
Meanwhile an Army spokesman said: “A mob of 30-40 youth resorted to heavy stone pelting at the Army’s highway domination patrol located at Trehgam on Wednesday at around 8 pm as an Army convoy was passing through the area. The patrol verbally cautioned the stone pelters and thereafter fired two blank rounds in air to disperse the violent crowd. However, the mob didn’t relent and stone pelting intensified endangering the safety of patrol. During the stone pelting , five soldiers sustained injuries. The patrol, finally, resorted to controlled fire at the aggressive mob in self defence and continued with their task. Even earlier in the day, stone pelters had resorted to stone pelting at military vehicles at Trehgam and Kralpora.”
Meanwhile, the killing of her minor son, SalikIqbal Sheikh, has sent Ruksana into a deep state of trauma.
As she wails, she keeps recalling scenes how Saliq along with his two cousins and two friends, all minors, were ripped apart by an explosion in Menander village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Wednesday.
“They were playing with a mobile phone and I was looking at them sitting on a veranda,” Ruksana says. “They made a video call to their cousin, who had purchased a new phone.”
She said Salik was talking to his cousin on the video call while he was surrounded by his two cousins, Tahir and Raziya and two friends, Arsalan and Suhaib.
“Suddenly there was a loud bang and I found them on the ground, withering in pain,” Ruksana says. “The explosion ripped their hands apart.”
Seeing her son, nephew, niece and two neighbouring kids in a pool of blood, she started making frenetic calls for help.
With a heavy heart, the mother rushed to the spot from the veranda and picked up her son and one more injured kid and ferried them to the hospital.
“He died in my lap, I couldn’t make it to the hospital,” she says wailing.
Ruksana thinks the explosive was hurled over them.
She has been traumatized after watching her son dead and her brother’s kids, Tahir and Raziya severely wounded.
“I can’t forget the horrific scene when the explosion tossed these innocent kids up in the air and ripped their body parts apart,” Ruksana says. “I saw amputated arm of my son and I saw the mobile phone Salik was talking on by the side of his amputated arm.”
Locals believe that the explosive substance was thrown toward the kids while they were playing in their courtyard.
Five children, all minors, were injured in the mysterious blast.
The injured were shifted to District Hospital Shopian where doctors declared Salik brought dead while three of the four injured were shifted to SMHS Hospital, Srinagar in critical condition and the fourth to Bone and Joint Hospital, Srinagar.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Shopian, Sandeep Chaudhry told Kashmir Post that Wednesday afternoon few children were injured in a mysterious explosion at Memander village of Shopian.
“The children were fiddling with an explosive substance, and one child lost his life while four others were injured,” he said.
Police said the explosion occurred in the courtyard of the house of Khursheed Ahmad Sheikh, son of Abdul Gani of Sheikh Nag in Memandar, Shopian.