August 20, 2010


 [Breaking her long silence, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday expressed anguish over the happening in Kashmir and described the prevailing situation as a “call to our collective conscience”.
She also said that the need of the hour was to reach out to the people of Kashmir by addressing their “anger and pain” through dialogue and mutual understanding.]

Srinagar:  Kashmir’s blood-soaked annals turned several shades darker on Thursday after an eight-year-old victim of forces firing succumbed to his injuries in hospital, taking the civilian toll in fatal police and paramilitary action on protestors since June 11 to 60.

At least 25 others were injured, three of them critically, in fresh forces’ firing  on demonstrators in Soura and Sopore, while paramilitary men were reported to have gone on a rampage in the old city and outlying districts amid strict curfew and curbs on top of an ongoing shutdown by the Hurriyat (G).


Eight-year old  Milad Ahmad,  a student of class 3 from Wampora, Kulgam, who had been injured in forces firing on Saturday last week, breathed his last today after battling for life at the SKIMS for the past five days.

The child’s native village erupted in grief and outrage as his body arrived home, with the entire area turning out chanting pro-freedom slogans and vowing to forge a revolution out of his blood.

Though a heavy deployment of the police and the paramilitary forces had been made in Kulgam since morning, a large number of people from  Kemwah, Ghat, Redwani, Dankipora ,Wanpora and adjoining areas headed for the grief-stricken village and carried the child’s body in a procession, holding demonstrations against the forces.

Chants in favour of freedom and revolution rent the air as the multitude carried the child for his untimely last rites. Sobs and wails wracked the gathering as another budding life, cut short cruelly, was consigned to the dust.

According to locals, the eight-year-old child had been heading for his maternal grandparents’ house in Harnag last Saturday when the forces opened heavy unprovoked fire on him on the way.

Milad had received a bullet in his head, and had been referred to the SKIMS in Srinagar because of his critical condition.

According to locals, the child had not been a part of any protest or march, but the forces had opened unprovoked fire on him when he was on his way.

Many south Kashmir areas including Anantnag, Bijbehara, Kokernag, Mattan and Verinag had been sealed off with barbed wire and blockades and residents confined indoors, but crowds took to the streets in  various  localities shouting pro-freedom and Islamic slogans, and were promptly dispersed by the authorities who enforces strict curfew and curbs.

Nearly half-a-dozen youth were picked up in Achabal in raids in the dead of the night after crowds staged nocturnal protests in the area on Wednesday night.
The forces were also reported to have ransacked the office of the SCN Media Network in the main square.


The entire summer capital of Kashmir had been put under strict curfew and curbs since morning with  large numbers of police and paramilitary forces deployed even in lanes and by-lanes, but thousands of people held outraged protests in the Soura area after the CRPF opened fire on a family.

According  to reports, CRPF personnel opened unprovoked fire on one Habibullah Champlu in the Jenab Sahib area of Soura, leaving him in a pool of blood, and shot his daughter, Sammera, when she tried to rescue her father, showering bullets on her aunt, Fatima, as well.

The CRPF men also left several other persons, some of them  identified as Muhammad Shafi Malla, Merajuddin Malla,  Shabir Ahmad Waddu, and a woman, Mahbooba, severely injured in a merciless physical assault.

The bullet victims were rushed to the nearby SKIMS, where Sameera was said to be in a critical condition due to gunshot wounds in the chest.

According to the locals, the victims had been shot when the CPF burst into homes during a morning rampage after having been repulsed by vehement demonstrations last night  in their bid to enter the Jenab Sahib shrine while pursuing youth who had been holding pro-freedom protests.

The locals said that the CRPF men ran amok in the locality this morning, even attacking people who had queued up for supplies at the government ration depot.
The news of half-a-dozen  residents being injured in CRPF firing triggered off fresh massive protests, with thousands of people from Jenab Sahib and surrounding localities trying to march to the main square.

The police and the paramilitary forces broke up the procession with cane-charges and heavy tear gassing, leaving the area tense and seething with anger at the large number of casualties.

A bulletin from the zonal police headquarters claimed that the CRPF and the police had fired in self defence when several personnel had been injured in an attack on a bunker that had been surrounded by furiously stone-pelting crowds who could not be broken up with cane-charges and tear gas.

Massive protests broke out in the Rainawari area as well after an early morning rampage by the forces during which the burst into homes, beating up people, ransacking household goods and smashing vehicles parked on the roads.
The protestors who marched from Jogilankar alleged that there were no checks on the forces who routinely attacked civilians en masse and violated the privacy of their homes.

They threatened to flee from the localities if the government did not put its forces on a leash.

Large contingents of the police and the paramilitary forces were later moved into the area to enforce curfew and confine people indoors.

The Nishat quarters on the banks of the Dal lake had also been put under undeclared curfew, with locals alleging that the forces had beaten up vegetable vendors in the Brein locality, and sealed off the Jamia Masjid, forcibly preventing people from offering prayers in the mosque.

The locals accused the forces of bursting into homes, beating up inmates, ransacking and looting valuables.


Five youth were injured by rubber bullets in the Selu area of Sopore where hundreds of people had taken to the streets in defiance of curfew, reports said. The marchers had refused to break up when blocked by the police and the paramilitary forces who had then used tear gas shelling to disperse the crowds. The forces action angered the protestors and they retaliated with stones, prompting the former to intensify tear gas shelling and opening fire.

Some of the protestors injured by rubber bullets were identified as  Farooq Ahmad Shosha, Tauseef Ahmad, Naveed Ahmad, Tanveer Ahmad and Tauseef Bhat, and were taken to hospital for treatment, four of them being discharged after first aid, and Shosha being referred to the Bone and Joint Hospital in Srinagar.
 New Delhi: Breaking her long silence, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday expressed anguish over the happening in Kashmir and described the prevailing situation as a “call to our collective conscience”.

She also said that the need of the hour was to reach out to the people of Kashmir by addressing their “anger and pain” through dialogue and mutual understanding.

Addressing a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party here, Ms. Gandhi underlined that Kashmir has a “special place” in the party’s polity and the people of the State are “our very own and their suffering is ours“.

Congress party, it bears mention, is the coalition partner of the National Conference led government, in the state.

”Whole generation has grown up under the shadow of brutality and conflict”, Congress president said, adding “The anger and pain that is manifesting itself, especially among the young, needs to be addressed”.

She emphasised that “dialogue and mutual understanding are the key to ending the cycle of violence and tragic killings.”

Ms Gandhi conveyed her “deep-felt condolences”  to all the bereaved families who have lost their loved ones.

The meeting was besides others attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Cabinet colleagues.KONS