A civilian was killed and over 20 injured as protests broke out following Eid prayers at several places in Kashmir on Saturday. While police said 18-year-old Sheeraz Ahmad was killed in Anantnag town when a grenade he was carrying exploded in his hand, doctors at the hospital where he was brought said he had been hit by pellets in the neck.
Hundreds of youths hit the streets after Eid prayers at Ashajipora in Anantnag, clashing with police and paramilitary forces and throwing stones at them. Ahmad was a resident of Brakpora in Anantnag.
In a statement, police said, “Preliminary investigation reveals that a hand grenade exploded resulting in the death of Sheeraz Ahmad due to splinter injuries. His right hand got fully damaged. Further details are being ascertained.”
But doctors at the Anantnag district hospital said Ahmad had been killed because of pellet injuries. Medical Superintendent (MS) of District Hospital, Anantnag, Dr Majeed Mehrab told The Indian Express, “He had pellets in the neck and chest.”
He said 23 other youths had been brought to the hospital, apart from some injured policemen. “Most of the youths had pellet injuries,” Dr Mehrab said.
In Shopian, seven protesters were injured when police and paramilitary fired pellets and teargas shells to control stone-pelting. Protests and clashes were also seen in Pulwama.
In Srinagar, violent clashes broke out between protesters and police and paramilitary forces at Eidgah and Nowhatta. The biggest Eid congregation in the city was seen at the historic Eidgah, where separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq addressed a gathering. Mirwaiz was allowed for the first time in eight years to offer prayers at Eidgah.
As people took to the streets after the prayers and clashed with police and paramilitary forces, the security forces used teargas to disperse them.
Protests and clashes were also reported from North Kashmir’s Sopore town after the Eid prayers at its Grand Mosque. The protesters pelted stones at police and paramilitary forces at the main chowk.
In Bandipore, the protesters raised azadi slogans at the ‘martyrs’ cemetery’ in the main town. Clashes were also reported from Papchan village of the town.
Dr Saleem Tak, Medical Superintendent (MS), SMHS Hospital, Srinagar, said, “We received 12 injured from different parts of the Valley today. All of them have been hit by pellets. Seven of them have been hit in their eyes.”