IRFAN AMIN MALIK / KHALID GUL
The government forces shot dead thirteen militants in three different gun fights in the Shopian and Anantnag districts of the south in the early morning of Sunday, setting off a wave of anger in many parts of the Kashmir valley. The forces shot dead three protestors seeking to free the militants from one of the shootout sites. One civilian was killed at another place of gun battle when the army, according to the family, forced him to go near the house where the militants were hiding. When the shooting began he was unable to run away in time and fell to the bullets. The three gun fights also led to the deaths of three army troopers.
According to eye witnesses and hospital officials more than two hundred people were wounded since early morning when the news about the militants being surrounded by the government forces at three different places, two in Shopian and one in Anantnag, spread in the southern districts.
When the bodies of the slain militants were handed over to the families, protests erupted at the funeral sites. The mourners chanted pro-freedom slogan at the funerals. When the burials were over the clashes with the government forces began in which nearly 200 protestors were wounded. Many of them had pellet injuries to their eyes. While the clashes were raging, people on the mosque loudspeakers in the area were urging others to come out and join the protests. Most of the wounded were taken to the District Hospital Shopian and District Hospital Kulgam for the treatment of injuries.
“We received 150 injured including 30 bullet injuries, 25 eye pellet injuries while 60 injured were referred to Srinagar for advanced treatment,” said doctors at sub district hospital Shopian. “Many injured persons did not visit hospital fearing police action and were treated locally.” Five protestors, two with bullet and three with pellet injuries were admitted in PHC, Zainapora while twelve protestors with injuries were admitted to PHC Harmain. In Kulgam district hospital 23 people were brought in with pellet and bullet injuries. Out of them one died later. “We received two bullet injuries and two pellet ,” medical superintendent district hospital AnnatnagDr Majid Mehrab told Greater Kashmir.