Youth killed by teargas shell in a ‘joint retaliation by police & CRPF’ in Srinagar

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Srinagar: On a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about welfare of J&K youth, a young engineering student was killed when a tear-gas shell fired by Central Reserve Police Force men hit on his head in Zainakote area on Srinagar outskirts, witnesses and a police officer said.
The youth was identified as 22-year-old Gowhar Nazir Dar son of Nazir Ahmed of Mustafabad.
Witnesses said that a group of youth was playing on the roadside when some of them threw stones at 44 battalion CRPF, triggering mild clashes. “As the clashes were on, the CRPF men who were deployed in strength in the area, resorted to heavy tear gas shelling on the protestors. They fired dozens of shells one of which hit Gohwar’s head,” Greater Kashmir reported.
Witnesses said the CRPF firing was unprovoked as clashes were not violent. “The moment shell hit Gowhar’s head, he fell down. We immediately shifted him to JVC hospital in Bemina where from he was shifted to SKIMS Soura where he succumbed,” they said.
Aqib Nabi, a close friend of slain youth, said Gowhar wanted to become an engineer. “He was studying in Sir Syed Memorial (SSM) college of Engineering. He was in second semester,” he said. “Gowhar was the second son of his father who has a small workshop at HMT.”
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar, Amit Kumar, said a CRPF party on duty was withdrawing when some youth resorted to stone pelting on them. “They fired tear gas shells to disperse the protestors. A teargas shell hit the head of a youth who later succumbed to his injuries,” the SSP said.
CRPF spokesman in Srinagar, Bhavesh Choudhary, however, said there was a “joint retaliation by police and CRPF” at HMT. “We came under heavy stone pelting at the evening, forcing us to respond with some tear gas shells. We didn’t fire any bullet. Police was part of the joint retaliation,” he said.
As the news of Gowhar’s death reached HMT, hundreds of youth took to streets to protest the killing.
Dozens of police vehicles were stoned by the youth who raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
The angry protestors were demanding stern punishment to the killers of Gowhar.
Police sources said at least eight cops were injured in the clashes at HMT and Zainakote as hundreds of youth resorted to massive stone pelting.
Earlier, police said, vehicles ferrying activists of PDP, BJP and Peoples Conference supporters to the PM rally in Srinagar were stoned at various points along Srinagar-Baramulla highway, leaving some vehicles damaged and some persons injured.
PDP legislator from Zadibal Abid Hussain Ansari demanded probe into Gowhar’s killing.
Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for strike on Sunday to protest the killing of Gowhar.
Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed deep shock over the killing of the youth and supported the strike call given by Geelani.
JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik also called for complete shutdown on Sunday.
High Court Bar Association strongly condemned the killing of youth.
Government Saturday ordered a magisterial enquiry into the killing.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Lone said he has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the killing of Gowhar Ahmad Dar. The enquiry will be conducted by Additional Deputy Commissioner M A Baba.
Meanwhile, areas falling under six police stations in old Srinagar and Maisuma area in uptown shall remain under restrictions on Sunday, a police official said.
The police stations include Rainawari, Kralkhud, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Mahraj Gunj and Khanyar. “There will also be similar restrictions in Maisuma as well,” the official said.

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