Day 132: 65-yr old man hit by teargas shell succumbs; shutdown continues amid evening clashes

  • State, Published on: Thursday 17th November 16 - 8:57pm

Srinagar, November 17: A 65-year old man hit by teargas shell three weeks ago succumbed on Thursday morning as shutdown in Valley entered day 132 amid clashes in several areas of Old City in the evening.

A police official said Ghulam Muhammad Khan, resident of Ellahi Bagh, was hit by a teargas shell on November 2 during clashes at Soura and was shifted to SKIMS Soura where he was put on ventilator. After battling for life for three weeks, he succumbed today morning, triggering protests in the area.

The protests intensified in Ellahi Bagh and adjoining areas after slain’s body reached there. Hundreds of people including men, women and children came out of their houses and staged anti-India and pro-freedom protests. The slain was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard amid sobs and tears.

In the meanwhile, most of the shops, commercial establishments, educational institutes and other offices were closed across the Srinagar. Heavy movement of private vehicles, auto-rickshaws, mini-buses and passenger cabs’ as well pedestrians was seen in civil line and uptown areas of the city.

Hundreds of vendors had set up their stalls in Lal Chowk area and large numbers of shoppers were also seen buying winter garments. In Old City, hundreds of forces men were deployed in five police station areas of Srinagar’s Old City – MR Gunj, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Rainwari and Khanyar – since early morning.

In Old City, there was however civilian movement without any disruption in all these areas.  Private vehicles could also be seen plying in good numbers but the vendors were invisible. Some passenger cabs’ were seen from Rainwari and Khanyar areas.

Stone-throwing clashes erupted at Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal, Kawdara, Noorbagh and Safa Kadal areas of Old City in the evening after withdrawal of forces. Police resorted to teargas shelling and chased away the youths. There was no however injury to no one. Several private vehicles were also damaged in the stone-pelting.

Meanwhile, reports of shutdown were also received from other districts of the Valley. Reports said private transport was plying in all other districts of the Valley while some passenger cabs’ and few buses were also seen plying on inter-district roads without any disruption. Police said the situation remained peaceful throughout the day barring a stone-pelting incident at Bandipora.

The police said that miscreants set ablaze Government middle school Busarbug Alesteng in Ganderbal district during night hours. The school was gutted partially. In another incident of arson, a wild life quarter was torched by unknown people, resulting in complete damage to the structure.

Amid crackdown against protesters, police booked one Abbas Malla son of Ghulam Qadir resident of Maldair Shopian under Public Safety Act and shifted him to Kathua jail.