(Camera: Sajad Hameed)
Budgam: Scores of civilians sustained injuries during day-long clashes in Budgam district on Sunday after people of Magam and adjoining areas took out a protest rally in the morning against the rape of a 3-year-old girl in Bandipora district.
The protest rally was called by the youth welfare society Magam and the Shalimar Sumo stand union in Magam. Protesroras held up placards that read, “Hang the culprit”, and shouted slogans demanding death to the rape accused.
The protest rally, local sources said, started from the main Sumo taxi stand. When the protestors were marching towards the main bridge, the police intercepted them.
Sources said that a verbal brawl broke out between the protestors and government forces.
Ghulam Mohammed, a senior citizen of Magam told that the police resorted to tear gas shelling to “disperse” the protestors.
In retaliation, he said, the protestors pelted stones on policemen, who then fired pellets and more teargas shells.
During the clashes, scores of people sustained injuries and were referred to the nearby SDH hospital Magam for treatment.
BMO Magam Dr Taha said that at least 20 people sustained major injuries and were referred to SKIMS Bemina.
The injured, according to hospital records, include Ishfaq Hussain Mir, Parvez Ahmad Mir, Ulfat Hussain Bhat, Ghulam Mohd Sofi, Iqbal Hussain Tantray, Mohd Shafi, Ilyas Bashir, Mohd Hussain, Nazir Ahmad Wani, Gh Mohd Dar and Mohd Ayoub.
Taha added that the number of injured was more, as many people who came to the hospital for treatment left without entering their names.
SSP Budgam Amod Ashok Nagpure told that a few police personnel also sustained injuries during the clashes.
“However, the overall situation is normal now,” he said.
Following the clashes, hundreds of vehicles including tourist vehicles came to a halt along the Srinagar-Gulmarg highway.
The clashes later came to an end after Aga Syed Hassan visited the town and addressed the restive gathering in main town magam.
Meanwhile, mobile internet was snapped in the area. (KR)