18-yr-old boy critical, dozen injured

Vendors gather with their boats laden with vegetables at the floating market on the interiors of Dal lake in Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel
Vendors gather with their boats laden with vegetables at the floating market on the interiors of Dal lake in Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Attendance in schools improving: Govt

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Aug 21: An 18-year old boy who was last night injured critically in pellet firing in Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar is battling for life at Sher-e-Kashmir Medical Sciences (SKMIS) hospital in Soura while around a dozen persons were injured in clashes last night in Teilbal area of Srinagar.
The attendance in schools across Kashmir valley was very thin and in Srinagar the school buses of various private schools plied for the first time since August 5 but returned empty with not even a single student on board.

Last night at around 9:15 pm an 18-year-old boy, Haris Ahmad Batoo son of Abdul Rahim Batoo of Syed Ali Akbar Fateh Kadal was critically injured when police fired pellet at him. The eyewitnesses said that a gypsy passed through the area and police fired pellets on a group of boys from close range. They said that full cartage of pellets hits Haris on right side of his neck, leaving him in a pool of blood.
Haris was immediately removed to nearby SMHS hospital where from he was shifted to SKIMS for specialised treatment. Doctors attending him said that he is critical and has been put on ventilator.
There were clashes in Tailbal area of Srinagar till late last night between stone throwing protesters and police and para-military forces. Security forces fired tear gas and pellets to disperse the protesters in which at least a dozen persons were injured.
Srinagar city and majority of the areas remained relatively peaceful today but the life was out of gear due to restrictions on the movement which were, however, eased. People preferred to stay indoors with troops deployed at sensitive places across Srinagar.
In old city there were barricades at several places but the troops were some times allowing the movement of the vehicles and at times they sealed several city areas including Nowhatta, Gojwara, Hawal, Khanyar, Nowpora and other areas.
Shops and educational institutions remained closed even as Government today opened some schools across Kashmir up to to middle classes. In Srinagar, some private schools operated buses on several routes but they returned without students on board. In Burn Hall school, one student reported at the school. The boy lives near the school and his parent is working in the same school. However, he later went home.
In some areas of Srinagar, posters of the Joint Resistance Leadership, which represents all major separatist groups, appeared which asked people to join a peaceful march to United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) at Sonwar on August 23.
“Every person, young and old, men and women, should march after Friday prayers,” one poster said, asking local clerics to warn people that the government was attempting to change the demography of the State.
Director Information Syed Sehrish Asgar this evening told a news conference that with the opening of middle schools today, the teachers’ attendance was recorded at 60-80 percent and Government offices also witnessed 90 per cent attendance. “The attendance of students also improved over the past two days”, she said.
She said the Government had decided to re-open the middle schools in the areas where primary schools were re-opened on Monday adding the attendance of staff is increasing from past two days at primary schools.
She said that the private schools have also started their primary classes while as all the primary and middle level schools opened in Jammu division.
Asgar said that DC offices are recording 80-90 per cent attendance of staff while the other Government offices witnessed 70-90 percent presence of staff.
She said that hospitals and banks are functioning normally, besides ATMs, transport, and other services are adequately operating across the State.
She said review meetings are being held at district and divisional levels for harvesting and to transport horticulture produce to other places. “Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam himself reviewed the transport facilities and establishment of mandies across the Valley. There was no shortfall of transport facilities, the officials informed. The Government urges people not to believe in rumours in this regard”, she said.
DIG (CKR) VK Birdi said that there was no law and order incident reported from any area in Jammu and no major law and order incident from Kashmir was reported. He said that there were some stray incidents which were dealt locally.
Director School Education Kashmir, Mohammad Younis Malik said that attendance of the teachers and students is gradually improving.