Video By Abid Salaam | Text By Shafat Mir | 21 March 2016
Some six people were killed and 100 injured when police fired into a crowd in Srinagar protesting the transfer of forest land to the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) in the Sonamarg area of Kashmir valley to set up temporary shelters and facilities for Hindu pilgrims in the summer of 2008. This caused a controversy, with demonstrations from the valley against the land transfer and protests from the Jammu region supporting it. After these deaths, the youths of Kashmir were compelled to take to the violent means of expressing their dissent. These deaths during peaceful protests followed a forceful wave of stone pelting in the valley as the youths felt they were being pushed to the wall when the police and other paramilitary forces cracked down on them for coming out on the streets to make their voices heard. Many such boys lost their lives since then as the police and CRPF fired live bullets directly on the protesters number of times. It resulted in the form of a growing cycle where despite all repressive means by the state forces, thousands of youth became stone pelters. This one such story is of a youth from Baramula, who started indulging in stone pelting since 2008 when his friend was shot dead by the CRPF in unprovoked firing.