With one more teenager succumbing to his injuries, the death toll in Kashmir violence since June 11 has reached 64. Authorities clamped curfew in most parts of Srinagar even as protests broke out in some areas on Wednesday.
The death of Umar Bhat (17) of Soura in the S.K. Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) led to fresh protests. Medical Superintendent Syed Amin Tabish told The Hindu that Umar had developed a respiratory distress syndrome and a lung problem. Umar's uncle Mohammad Ayub alleged that the Class XII student was “beaten up ruthlessly” after he was arrested. He was banged against the shutter of a shop several times before being dragged away.” And, despite getting bail from court, the teenager was not released immediately.
“He was released only on Monday evening, and the same night blood oozed from his mouth and he complained of nausea. He was taken to the SKIMS.”
Contradicting the family's claim, the police say Umar was admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening. They said he had been arrested along with two other boys — Aamir Bashir Sheikh and Irshad Ahmad Bhat — by the Soura police last Friday under Section 107 the Criminal Procedure Code.
“All the three were bailed out on August 21 [Saturday] and handed over to their parents.”
As news of Umar's death spread in Soura, residents, defying curfew, came out to stage protests. The police resorted to firing teargas shells and shooting in the air. The police said a section of mourners had indulged in arson, threw stones at an armed police picket, and set afire a police vehicle and a private vehicle.
Yasin Malik freed
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Muhammad Yasin Malik was released by police on Wednesday after a three-monthdetention.
According to a JKLF spokesperson, Mr. Malik was released as his health had deteriorated in prison. He was arrested in June after he launched a jail bharo movement. “Mr. Malik had not been keeping good health in prison and doctors advised him to take rest.”