A Srinagar youth has succumbed to injuries he received during clashes in Jammu and Kashmir over the Narendra Modi government’s decision to scrap the special status of the state and divide it into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh.
CNN-News18’s senior correspondent in Srinagar, Mufti Islah, reported that the boy, a Class XI student, was injured in pellet gun firing after a procession was taken out in Soura area on August 6, immediately after the Parliament passed the repeal of special status.
The pellet, according to sources, hit the boy identified as 18-year-old Asrar Ahmed Khan in the eye and he was taken to the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, where he remained over the last month before succumbing to his injuries on Tuesday night. His body was taken back to his house in Ilahi Bagh area in downtown Srinagar and he was buried.
The Army, however, denied that the boy succumbed to pellet injuries. During a press briefing on Wednesday, Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, GOC, said the boy died during stone pelting.
“The person who died recently did not die because of pellet injuries... he died due to stone pelting... it is for you to decide who is trying to kill whom,” he said. Dhillon added, “Five people have died over the last 30 days but we have not been responsible for a single one. Some died in stone pelting and some during ceasefire violation... This is the longest period of peace that J&K has experienced in a long time.”
The Valley faced an unprecedented lockdown after the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh.
At least 80 civilians have sustained pellet injuries in the Valley, the Indian Express had reported quoting official sources.
On August 14, Jammu and Kashmir police had said some people sustained pellet injuries during “stray” protests in Srinagar when restrictions imposed in the wake of repeal of Article 370 were relaxed.
Additional Director General of Police Munir Khan had, however, said the law and order situation has been "totally under control".
"There have been localised incidents in various parts of Srinagar and other areas, which have been contained, dealt with locally. There has been no major injury to anyone. There have been a few pellet injuries, who were treated and sent back."