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Pellet guns: Indian forces kill youth in Pulwama, IOK


News Analysis |

A youth died of a bullet wound to the head and another suffered “severe nerve injury” due to pellets after Indian forces opened fire on protestors in Pulwama district of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) 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, a 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.

The funeral prayers were held amid anti-India, pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans. Pakistan flags were also waved at the funeral ground. The region of Kashmir is a flashpoint between the two nuclear-armed powers of South Asia.

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.

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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.

Thousands of bullet-ridden bodies are buried in mass graves. 940 unidentified graves were discovered in Uri alone. In order to hide its brutal dirty war, India has laid out a smokescreen of falsehood and has tried to divert attention by claiming the freedom movement of Kashmiri people as terrorism aided and abetted by Pakistan.

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. The region of Kashmir is a flashpoint between the two nuclear-armed powers of South Asia. The dispute began when during the partition of the British occupied subcontinent, the refusal of the area’s hereditary ruler Hari Singh to comply with his people’s wishes led to a rebellion.

Faced with losing his fiefdom to a people’s army aided by tribesman from across the border, the ruler acquiesced to India in return for military aid. This led to a war between newly found India and Pakistan and later on the division of Kashmir into Azad Kashmir and IOK. However, Indian militarization was unable to break the will of the Kashmiri populace desiring self-determination. Despite agreeing to an UN-ordered plebiscite, India has not fulfilled its promise, instead, it turned Kashmir into the most militarized zone on Earth.

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Since its occupation, IOK has faced wave after wave of unrest caused by the local campaign for self-determination to which New Delhi has largely responded with more and more brutality. The latest wave, which ignited after the death of a local popular rebel, Burhan Wani, in 2016, has captured the attention of a global audience.

Burhan Wani’s death has seen an increase in intolerable human right abuses by the occupying Indian forces. The whole Northern Command of the Indian Army is deployed in the valley. Data from Kashmir’s hospitals show over 6,000 people – including children as young as four and teenage girls – had suffered pellet injuries, with over 1,100 hit in the eyes.

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Extra-judicial killings, fake encounters, arbitrary and unlawful detentions without trials, torture and deaths of detainees, sexual harassment, rape and night raids have become a part of the norm. There are tens of hundreds of unknown and unmarked mass graves. Thousands of bullet-ridden bodies are buried in mass graves. 940 unidentified graves were discovered in Uri alone. In order to hide its brutal dirty war, India has laid out a smokescreen of falsehood and has tried to divert attention by claiming the freedom movement of Kashmiri people as terrorism aided and abetted by Pakistan.