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September 23, 2019

Teen dies after torture by Indian troops in Pulwama

Top Story

September 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: A teenage boy lost his life after being tortured by Indian troops at an army camp in the Pulwama district of Indian-occupied Kashmir as the strict military clampdown in the disputed territory continued for the 49th day on Sunday.

According to the Kashmir Media Service, Yawar Ahmed Butt, 15, a resident of the Chandgam locality of Pulwama, was shifted to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital in a severely injured condition where he succumbed to his wounds.

His family said the boy was detained and beaten during the day by the Indian army and was asked to report to a camp the next day. “He told me that he was beaten by the Army and his identity card was also taken,” Yawar’s elder sister told media. “He was asked to report to the Army camp.”

The family added that Yawar had confined himself to a room for the whole day. He did not sleep in his parents’ room, as he would normally do. “Around 11.00pm, we saw him vomiting. He complained of a headache, after which we took him to hospital in Pulwama,” a family member said.

His cousin Rayees Ahmad said Yawar was asked to report to the army camp in the Tahab area the next day. Locals in the area said there was a grenade attack in the area on Monday night and the next day, the army men in the area snatched the cards of several youths and they were asked to report to the camp.

Meanwhile, resistance leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and thousands of other Hurriyat leaders, activists and youths remain under house arrest or in prison since India revoked the disputed territory’s semi-autonomous status. A strict lockdown is in place, though New Delhi insists it is gradually easing restrictions.

However, all efforts by the Hindu nationalist government and authorities in held Kashmir to restore normalcy have hit roadblocks, the Kashmir Media Service reports. Even after Governor Satya Pal Malik introduced a “market intervention scheme” for apple growers, stagnant sales have not improved.

Healthcare has been the biggest casualty in the Kashmir Valley and hundreds of patients have been suffering due to the ongoing curfew and communications blackout imposed by the occupying force.

Ambulances cannot be contacted as no telephone service is available and a number of patients, who need chemotherapy and other medical interventions, face difficulties to reach hospitals due to a lack of public transport.

In some cases, patients are forced to walk, along with their attendants, to reach hospitals. With no mobile connectivity and internet service available, hundreds of students have moved out of Kashmir to prepare for different examinations.

Although the authorities earlier claimed that schools have reopened in Kashmir, students were not going to the schools. Similarly, colleges and other higher education institutions have not resumed regular classes.

While private schools of Kashmir have provided assignments and video tutorials to the students for home study, government schools have no such arrangements in place for students. A number of private coaching institutions have shifted Kashmiri students, after consultations with their parents, to Himachal Pradesh.

Authorities were lifting and re-imposing restrictions in sensitive areas of Kashmir. Transporters have claimed that their vehicles were taken by police in the days leading up to August 5 and since then, their vehicles have been with them.A senior officer in the district administration of Srinagar confirmed that most Road Transport Corporation vehicles have been taken by the police and paramilitary forces.

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