‘Atrocities Force Youth To Pelt Stones’

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Srinagar: Hilal Ahmad Rather, 22, of Jablipora Bijbehara, who received two bullets fired by paramilitary CRPF troopers on August 1 and is battling for life in the ward no.16-A of SMHS hospital here, denounces stone pelting but he believes that atrocities committed by force personnel compels youth to pelt stones. “We have lost many precious lives due to stone pelting. I am personally against it. But youth have no other option other than to pelt stones as forces are laced with arms and use all their might to quell the protesters,” Hilal told Greater Kashmir. Recalling that fateful day Hilal said, “My villagers left their homes to join the funeral of Sheikh Tariq, who was killed in police and CRPF action. The CRPF lobbed teargas shells and pushed us back to our homes,” he said. Hilal said as the word about Tariq’s killing spread in the area hundreds of people assembled in the village and tried to stage a demonstration and move towards victim’s house. “Minutes later CRPF entered into the mohalla and smashed windowpanes of every household, thrashed parked vehicles and everything which came in their way,” he said. “They even tried to desecrate the local Masjid. We took to the roads to register protest . We raised our voice against the CRPF and they retaliated with bullets. Many got injured and I was the last target. Blood started oozing out from my body and I fell down. Rest I don’t know,” he said. Hilal is yet to comprehend that he had received two bullets. “My wounds on abdomen and right arm are covered by bandage. I don’t know how many bullets have pierced through my body,” he said.  Doctors said that two bullets had hit him one in his right arm and another in abdomen.  Being a staunch follower of Geelani, Hilal wants the present uprising to continue till Kashmiri achieve their long cherished goal of freedom. “I want bright future for myself and others. I want right of self-determination,” Hilal added.   He said that he had full faith in Geelani’s leadership. “To err is human. Geelani is also human and can commit mistakes. Till Geelani supports the truth I will support him. I hope he will not let us down and will lead us to freedom.”   “We have given enough sacrifices and these will not go waste. We deserve freedom and we will achieve it. But unity among Hurriyat factions is imperative,” he said. Hilal, who has great inclination towards writing poems on Kashmir, besides wants to do doctorate in Zoology. He had written many poems on Kashmir and the recent one, “Who Will Listen” while lying on bed 18 of ward 16 A of SMHS hospital. (GKNN)

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