Targeting hospitals in Kashmir

August 16, 2016


Recently, Indian police and paramilitary personnel barged into a hospital in northern Kashmir and allegedly threatened the volunteer groups serving the wounded and their attendants there. The incident took place in Sopore Sub-District Hospital on the night of August 8th 2016.

The volunteers were told to vacate the premises or prepare to face the consequences. According one of the volunteers, who wished to remain anonymous, some of the volunteers had been detained and boxes of medicines had been seized. Official sources stated that the action of the forces at the north Kashmir medical facility has been ordered by the state government against all the volunteer groups which have been working at different hospitals across the Kashmir Valley where the wounded from the ongoing uprising are brought for treatment. 

After Burhan Wani, the commander of the Kashmir-based Hizbul Mujahideen was killed by Indian security forces in July 2016, a series of violent protests broke out in the Kashmir Valley in northern India, where there is a Muslim majority. To control the riots, the Jammu and Kashmir State Police and national paramilitary forces have used pellet guns, tear gas shells, rubber bullets and also live ammunition on the protesters, resulting in the death of more than 50 protesters while over 1,300 were injured.

Targeting hospitals

The incident in Sopore comes a day after the forces fired teargas shells at people outside Srinagar’s SMHS hospital, which has been overwhelmed with patients brought from the sites of clashes between civilian protesters and government forces. The firing outside SHMS Hospital was strongly condemned by the Doctors Association of Kashmir, which accused the authorities of “deliberately targeting hospitals”. “The latest string of attacks on medical facilities appears to be part of a pattern to target medics and hospitals. It appears to have become a new norm,” the association said in a statement.

Source: The Citizen Bureau, 9 Augustus 2016