SRINAGAR: At least 152 people have suffered injuries from tear gas and pellets in occupied Kashmir since Indian security forces this month launched a sweeping crackdown, data from the disputed 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 New Delhi’s controversial decision to withdraw occupied Kashmir’s special status.
Still, people especially youth, have come out in the lanes of the disputed region’s key city of Srinagar, on occasions such as Friday prayers or Eidul Azha 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.
A local government official in occupied 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 the condition of anonymity, while others, with wounds treated at smaller hospitals, remain unaccounted for.