Injured youth becomes third casualty; Thousands join funeral, clashes in Shopian, Pulwama
Srinagar, Jan 31: A youth who was injured in army firing in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS Soura making him the third casualty of the incident. Rayees Ahmad Ganie son of Mohd Yousf Ganie, 19, of Narpora, Shopian succumbed to injuries in the wee hours on Wednesday after battling for life for the last five days at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura. Relatives said Rayees was operated upon by doctors at SKIMS soon he was admitted there. “After conducting surgery in his head, he was continuously kept on ventilator and probably had died late Saturday night”. However, a doctor who operated upon Rayees confirmed to GNS that he succumbed during the intervening night of Jan 30/31. “His brain was critically damaged as he was hit on head,” the doctor said. “He could not sustain the head injury and succumbed.” Reports said that thousands of people from Narpora and its adjoining villages took part in the funeral of the slain youth amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. The youth was finally laid to rest amid sobs and tears, they added. A spontaneous strike was observed in Shopian district on 7th straight day on Wednesday while as the neighbouring Pulwama had returned to normal on Tuesday after remaining shut for five days. The district however observed shutdown again on Wednesday after Rayees’s death. All shops and commercial establishments were closed in the twin districts while as transport was off the roads. While from last four days, shutdown is against the killings of three civilian teenagers; for previous three days, it was against the killing of a 17-year-old Shakir Mir and injuring of scores of others including two teenage girls near the encounter site at Chaigund Audoo village in Shopian. Soon after the funeral was over, clashes erupted between youths and government forces at Shopian, Pulwama, Muran Chowk and Rajpora Chowk. Police used teargas canisters to disperse the protesters. Internet continues to remain blocked in the twin districts on 8th consecutive day on Wednesday. On Saturday, two youth Javed Ahmad Bhat, 20, of Balpora and Suhail Javed Lone, 24, of Rawalpora Shopian died while several others were injured in army firing at Ganapora area of Shopian. Police has booked an army unit on murder and ‘attempt to murder’ charges over the shooting of civilians while as government has ordered a magisterial probe into the killings. Army has claimed they opened fire in “self-defence” after a “mob tried to lynch an officer” during protests.