Srinagar: A 23-year-old youth identified as Javid Ahmad Bhat of Balpora village was killed when the army opened fire on protesters in Ganowpora village of Shopian on Saturday afternoon. Police in Srinagar said another young man has also died.
According to locals, they (army) fired directly on stone-pelters for over half-an-hour, injuring three youngsters critically. The injured have been identified as Javed Ahmad Bhat, Suhail Ahmad Bhat, and Rayees Ahmad. There is an unconfirmed report about a fourth youth getting injured as well.
According to locals, personnel of 44 RR came to the village in the morning and tore down posters hailing Firdous Ahmad Lone, a local Hizb militant who was killed in a gunfight at Chaigund village along with another militant Sameer Ahmad on Wednesday.
At around 3:30 pm, when a convoy of 12 Sector RR stationed at nearby Balpora village passed through the Ganopora, some youth started pelting stones resulting in clashes. “They fired directly at the boys,” said a local over the phone from Shopian.
The injured have been rushed to the hospital in a critical state. Further details are awaited.
A police officer in Srinagar told Kashmir Life that Javed Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Rashid Bhat is 22 years old and breathed his last in the district hospital Pulwama. Sahail Javed Lone son of Javed Ahmad is around 5 and died in the Primary Health Centre at Rajpora. The third person Rayeess Ahmad Ganai has been hit in his head and is fairly critical. He has been rushed to SKIMS from Pulwama, the officer said.
Locals said fourth person Aadil Ahmad is also injured and is in the hospital.
There are two Ganowpora’s in Shopian. The one where the firing was reported is near Balpora where the army has a huge garrison for last many decades.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising three separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have called for a day-long strike on Sunday against the killings.