Kulgam man dies of cardiac arrest ‘due to shell sound’ as shutdown, protests continue

Srinagar: An elderly man died of cardiac arrest in Kulgam during clashes while as scores of protesters were injured in protests and clashes as shutdown continue across Kashmir Valley on Wednesday.

According to reports received here, Abdul Gani Wani (70) died at Chuwalgam in Kulgam when massive teargas shelling rattled the area during clashes. Reports said that a shell landed near Wani and exploded with a huge bang, resulting in his death due to cardiac arrest. The death triggered more protests in the area.

Earlier, a large pro-freedom rally was intercepted by government forces at Mirhama-Matargam village in the district Kulgam lobbing teargas shells and firing pellets. The forces action resulted in injuries to nearly 20 persons while the protesters retaliated by resorting to stone-pelting. The clashes in the area continued for several hours an also spread to nearby areas.

A school, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, was gutted after a teargas shell landed inside the school at Mirhama village of the Kulgam district. Reports said that the incident occurred during clashes while a school ambulance also caught fire. Police however said that the school was set ablaze by ‘miscreants’.

Here in summer capital, restrictions continued to be in place in downtown areas falling under five police station areas including MR Gunj, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Khanyar and Safa Kadal. No restrictions were imposed in rest of city but heavy deployments of government forces were seen in all sensitive areas. There was increased movement of private traffic vehicles and pedestrians in civil lines areas but all the shops and commercial establishments remained closed till 6 am according to protest calendar.

Reports of clashes were received from several areas of Old City and Batamaloo this evening. Police responded by lobbing teargas shells and stun grenades. In the day, massive protests at Padshahi Bagh area of Srinagar against arrest of six youth during nocturnal raid by forces and ransacking of houses. The protesters raised anti-India slogans and sought release of all detained boys.

A major protest was staged by people at Burzahama on city outskirts in favour of Islam and Azadi, reports said here. Three women were injured when clashes between locals and government forces erupted in Fatehpora area of Ganderbal district in central Kashmir. The women have been hospitalized where they are being treated upon by doctors.

At Pulwama, nearly 120 persons were injured as forces tried to foil a rally at Murran area of the district. According to locals, the forces used pellets, teargas shells and pepper shells to disrupt the programme. “However, despite the use of massive force, the rally was made a success,” they said, adding that five injured were shifted to Srinagar for specialized treatment.

Dozens of protesters were injured when government forces intercepted a rally at Bewora village of Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag. Reports said the forces lobbed teargas shells towards the protesters, resulting in outbreak of clashes between the two sides that continued for several hours.

Reports of rallies and protests were also received from north Kashmir districts of Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora. At Azad Gunj in Baramulla, people offered Zuhar prayers on streets and staged pro-freedom protests. Meanwhile, a police spokesman said that the overall situation remained under control, barring some stray stone pelting incidents in Valley.

“Four incidents of stone pelting were reported from Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Kupwara,” said the spokesman, adding at these places, miscreants assembled on the roads and attempted to disturb the normal traffic and movement of people by pelting stones on vehicles, police and security force deployments.

He said in Kulgam about miscreants 300 assembled at Mirhama and pelted stones on police and security force deployments and set ablaze Jawahar Navodaya Vidyala School which suffered damages.

“Miscreants also hurled a petrol bomb on State Rest House, Chawalgam which resulted in fire and partial damages to the rest house,” he said and added that the miscreants also pelted stones on the police and security forces at this place. (GNS)

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