Posted Sat, 07/31/2010 – 00:20
Baba Umar / Hakeem Irfan/Rising Kashmir
Srinagar, July 30: Eyewitnesses of Sopore firing who also accompanied victims to SMHS hospital Friday said the two of the victims who were declared brought dead could have survived “had police and paramilitary CRPF not stopped them multiple times en route”.
“We were stopped at many check points on way to SMHS,” said Ghulam Muhammad of Amargarh, Sopore whose brother Farooq Ahmad Ganai, 36, was allegedly shot on the left side of abdomen.
Although Ganai’s condition is stable, his brother said the victims who were brought to hospital and declared “brought dead” by hospital administration could have survived “had the ambulances reached the institute without being frequently stopped by troops on the 55-km long route to Srinagar”.
This was also admitted by medicos at SMHS who tried to save Showkat Choupan, 20, son of Abdul Majeed Choupan and Muhammad Asim, 55, son of Abdul Aziz Ganie of Amargarh but declared the victims “brought dead” at 4:45 pm.
“Asim died of bullet injuries on right side of the chest but Choupan died of blood loss. He was hit on the thighs. They were brought dead to the hospital at 4:45 pm,” said an official at the Casualty section.
Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Ganai of Amargarh, who was offering prayers at Jamia Masjid and was one of the eyewitnesses of the firing episode, said around 300 worshippers were fired at by the personnel of STF, CRPF and Railway Police when “we were offering the second Rakah of Friday prayers”.
“We were offering Friday prayers when we heard gunshots from outside and suddenly everything turned black for us,” said Ganai.
He said when the frightened worshipers abandoned Nimaz and tried to rush out of the Masjid “it was locked by police from outside”.
Ganai, who is also the president of Mustafa Masjid and had come to offer Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid Amargadh said: “We were rescued by youngsters who protested from outside.”
Ganai also alleged that personnel of STF, CRPF and Railway Police molested womenfolk in the area.
He said scores of youth had received injuries on legs that could not be brought to Srinagar immediately.
“The area has turned into a war zone where I feel nobody is safe,” said Ganai.