The Controversial Deaths in Kashmir، Told by Kashmiri People

"Does Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi feel my pain? Has he said sorry for this? Has he condemned it?' victim's father asked

There have been conflicting accounts of the number of deaths in Indian-administered Kashmir, and how they were caused, since the region was stripped of its autonomy six weeks ago.

Seventeen-year-old Asrar Ahmad Khan was on the street outside his home on 6 August when he received an injury that led to his death in hospital four weeks later. The circumstances surrounding his death have become one of the latest points of dispute in the restive region.

His father, Firdous Ahmad Khan, alleges that Asrar was playing cricket with his friends when he was struck on the head by a teargas canister and lead pellets.

Asrar’s medical report also  states he died of injuries caused by pellets, and the blast of a teargas shell.

Asrar’s medical report states he died of injuries caused by pellets

But India’s top army commander in Kashmir, Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, called the hospital’s report ambiguous, adding that Asrar was hit by a stone, ostensibly thrown by Kashmiri protesters at armed forces.

Another victim,  a shopkeeper, 60-year-old Ghulam Mohammad, was reportedly sitting inside his shop with his wife on the evening of 29 August when he was shot dead by three people, who then escaped on a motorcycle.

There has been speculation that he was killed because he did not heed warnings by militant groups against opening his shop. Kashmir’s Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh has said that pamphlets warning people against opening shops, banks and petrol stations are being distributed by militant groups.

Among these victims  is Rafiq Shagoo, who told he was having tea with his wife Fehmeeda Bano in their two-storey house in the Bemina area of Srinagar on 9 August when clashes between protesters and security forces broke out in the neighbourhood.

Tear gas, commonly used by security forces to dispel protests, filled their home and Fehmeeda, 34, began to choke, he said.  Though he rushed her to the hospital and doctors tried hard but she she couldn’t be saved.

Ms Bano’s medical report states she died of toxic gas inhalation. Her husband is now planning to file a petition in court to ask for an investigation into his wife’s death.

The circumstances surrounding the death of 60-year-old Mohammad Ayub Khan in the Safakadal area of Srinagar are very similar to that of Ms Bano.

Mr Khan’s friend Fayaz Ahmad Khan said he was passing by the area on 17 August when clashes broke out.

He told the BBC that he saw two tear gas canisters land near Mr Khan’s feet. His friend was rushed to a hospital, but doctors said he was already dead. No medical report has been given to the family.

Despite the lockdown in the region for 43 days, and the frequent imposition of curfew-like conditions, protests against the government and security forces have occurred and have often turned violent.

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