• Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:09 am

Key hospitals in Indian Kashmir treat more than 150 tear gas, pellet injuries

  • Published at 01:40 pm August 23rd, 2019
INDIA-KASHMIR/
File photo: An Indian security personnel stands guard on a deserted road during restrictions after scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, August 23, 2019 Reuters

Pakistan lays claim to Muslim-majority Kashmir and has condemned the decision to change its status

At least 152 people have suffered injuries from tear gas and pellets in disputed Kashmir since Indian security forces this month launched a sweeping crackdown, data from the Himalayan region's two main hospitals shows.

Indian authorities have deployed additional paramilitary police, banned public gatherings and cut cellular and internet links to prevent large scale protests after withdrawing the revolt-torn territory's special status on August 5.

Still, people especially youth, have come out in the lanes of the region's key city of Srinagar, on occasions such as Friday prayers or Eid this month, throwing stones, prompting retaliatory action by security forces.

Data obtained by Reuters showed 152 people reported to Srinagar's Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences and Shri Maharaj Hari Singh with injuries from pellet shots and tear gas fire between August 5 and August 21.

The government, which has not yet provided any figures of the injured in the sporadic protests, has said there have been no deaths in this month's demonstrations in a region where more than 50,000 have died since an armed revolt broke out in 1989.

India hopes that withdrawal of special privileges for Kashmir, such as exclusive rights to land, government jobs and college places and opening them up to people from the rest of the country will help to integrate the territory.

Pakistan lays claim to Muslim-majority Kashmir and has condemned the decision to change its status.

A local government official in Jammu and Kashmir, however, said the number of injured was probably higher than the figures from the two hospitals.

Many of those who were discharged within hours do not feature in their list, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, while others, with wounds treated at smaller hospitals, remain unaccounted for.