Reyaz Ahmed, NAK,
Baramulla : Two persons were killed and scores other injured, six of them critically, when police and CRPF allegedly opened fire at an anti-election rally in Khanpora and old town Baramulla areas in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Official sources said that trouble erupted when hundreds of youth took out an anti election protest rally in Khanpora and resorted to stone pelting on national highway. Meanwhile, some army vehicles followed by motor cavalcade of the Congress candidate for Baramulla constituency was stoned by the protestors near Khanpore bus stand prompting police guards to open fire.
A bullet hit a tenth class student, Manzoor Ahmed Kumar son of Ali Mohmmed Kumar of Khanpora, in his chest. He died on the spot.
Eyewitness Imtiyaz Ahmed Lone said, “A bullet hit Manzoor Ahmed in his chest when security guards of Mir Mushtaq Nowsheri, Congress candidate for Baramulla assembly segment, opened fire on stone pelting youth who attacked his cavalcade near Kanpore bus stand on national highway”,
Kumar was rushed to district hospital Baramulla where he was declared brought dead, he added.
However, local residents alleged that Kumar was shot dead by the Personal Security Officer (PSO) of the Congress candidate from point blank range. However, officials neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.
As soon as the news of death of Kumar spread, protests intensified in the town. Thousands of people from old town and Khanpora came out to the streets, eyewitness said adding that police paramilitary trooper opened fire to disperse the protestors in old town in which another youth, Tanveer Ahmed Sheikh son of Ghulam Din Sheikh of Kakarhamam old town Baramulla was killed.
Seven persons with bullet injuries were shifted to the district hospital. Two critically injured were later referred to Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment, said Medical Superintendent of Baramulla District hospital Dr Mohammed Shafi.
He added that two health employees, a driver of Ambulance Javid Ahmed Sheikh son of Habibiulha Sheikh of Kowajabagh and an orderly Manzoor Ahmed Lone son of Ghulam Mohmmed Lone of Ushkura were beaten to pulp by CRPF troopers when they were carrying a body of deceased youth.
Sources said that police fired dozens of tear smoke shells and several rounds of bullet to chase away the protestors in old town Baramulla but in vain. At least 12 persons were injured in clashes between protestors and CRPF and cops.
Following the deaths, angry youths poured onto the streets of Baramulla chanting pro-freedom slogans as they carried the body of the slain student to the local graveyard for last rites.
Police sources identified the injured as Rafiq Ahmed Najar son of Abdul Rehman Najar of Banglowbagh, Bilal Ahmed Gojri of Jalalshab,Ishfaq Ahmed Kumar son Abdul Majid Kumar of Khanpora, Tanveer Ahmed Bhat, Mehraj-ud-din, Nasreen Akhter, Abdul Rashid Ahanger of old town Baramulla. Mohmmed Rafiq Bhat son of Abdul Aziz of Syedkarim and Mohmmed Reyaz Ahmed Mir of Mirshab have been referred to Srinagar.
Meanwhile protestors attacked Sumo vehicle of National Panthers Party (NPP) Candidate from Hundwara consistency Shafeeqa Mir at main chowk Baramulla and smashed window panes and glasses of the Sumo.
The situation in Baramulla town remained tense with clashes on till this report was being filed.
Meanwhile, Section 144 has been imposed in Baramulla town to bring the situation under control, officials said.