Anantnag: A youth died of a bullet wound to the head and another suffered “severe nerve injury” due to pellets after government forces opened fire on protestors here in Pulwama district on Monday, during a massive anti-militancy operation in which more than 18 villages were put under cordon.
The slain youth has been identified as Fayaz Ahmad Wani, son of Muhammad Ahsan Wani, resident of Chewa Kalan village in Pulwama.
Wani was a certified lab technician and worked at a private lab. He also worked at the clinic of a doctor in the evenings.
A doctor at Pulwama district hospital told Kashmir Reader that Wani was brought to the hospital with a bullet wound to his head. “He was almost dead when he reached here. We revived him to some extent and referred him to Srinagar. But he was declared dead on arrival at SMHS,” the doctor said.
He added that another youth injured by pellets had suffered severe nerve damage and was also sent to SMHS hospital.
According to local sources, a cordon and search operation (CASO) was launched at about 7:00 AM in more than 18 villages of Pulwama district.
“Soon after the CASO was launched, clashes erupted in many parts of these villages, including on the outskirts of Gusoo village,” a local source said.
The sources said that local youths blocked roads leading to Gusoo from Chewa Kalan village. “The forces disembarked from their vehicles to remove the roadblocks when they came under stone-pelting. In response, they opened fire directly at the protestors, leaving Wani critically injured,” the sources said.
In Murran Chowk area of main town Pulwama, at least two youths sustained pellet injuries, including the youth who suffered severe nerve damage.
A police spokesperson said that a youth was killed after being hit by a bullet during clashes. “He was hit by a bullet and was taken to hospital where he succumbed,” the spokesperson said. He avoided commenting on why and by whom the bullet was fired that killed Wani.
Clashes erupted in many parts of Pulwama district amid a spontaneous shutdown as soon as news of Wani’s killing started doing rounds. Nobody was reported injured during these clashes by the time this report was filed.
The CASO in the villages was called off later in the day. The operation was similar to many carried out throughout last year in Shopian district, following which many new army camps were established in the district.
Wani’s body reached his native village at about 4:00 PM and, within minutes, thousands of people reached to participate in the funeral prayers.
The funeral prayers were held amid anti-India, pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans. Pakistan flags were also waved at the funeral ground.