Bloody Friday

This Friday started with mourning in Kashmir. As the dawn fell, two young men were sent in coffins to their home in Ashtangoo village of Bandipora. The first one was Naseer Ahmad Sheikh, 21, who was hit by a bullet in his chest after forces fired upon protesters in Rangreth area of Srinagar on Thursday evening.

Naseer was shifted to hospital where he batting between life and death for hours before succumbing to his injuries. But before Ashtangoo could cope up with Naseer’s death, suspected militants attacked a police party in Hyderpora leaving a constable dead. The dead constable Shahzad Dilawar was tragically from same village.

While Naseer was married seven months back, Shahzad is survived by one-year-old of twins.

Before they could be laid to rest in the local ‘martyrs’ graveyard at Ashtango, a gun battle raged in Arwani village of Islamabad. After a few shots were fired, hundreds of youngsters rushed towards the encounter site to help militants escape the cordon. In no time the entire Arwani village resembled a war zone with bullets, tear-gas shells, and pellets flying in all directions.

By afternoon locals confirmed at a youth named Mohammad Ashraf was hit in the chest by a bullet. Ashraf succumbed on way to the hospital.

Ashraf’s killing led to another round of protests and clashes which forces tried to break by using pellets and bullets. This time around a dozen civilians got injured. They were referred to the district hospital in Islamabad and a few serious ones to the hospitals in Srinagar.

As the encounter elongated for day and the civilian injuries started to mount, another death was reported from the area. This time the slain was a teenager named Ahsan from Shamsipora. He was just 14.

There were conflicting reports about the militant killings. After three houses were razed to the ground CRPF officials confirmed killing of two Lashker militants. However, before the officials could give further details, there was a major militant attack in Achabal area of Islamabad. The attack left six policemen including station house officer of Achabal dead.

The slain SHO was identified as Farooz Ahmad Dar, a resident of Dogripora village in Awantipora.

In a span of less than 24 hours twelve people have been killed, turning the vale bloody.

 – Aakash Hassan

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