Shopian Shut Down For 2nd Day Over Arrests

SRINAGAR: Markets remained closed in the Shopian town for the second day on Monday over the arrest of two local youth, even as the area witnessed clashes between protestors and forces personnel.

Several persons, including a girl, were injured when, according to residents, paramilitary personnel  burst into homes and beat up inmates while chasing violent mobs.

The town went on a strike on Sunday after one Zubair Ahmad Turray was picked up by the police during an overnight raid.

Authorities said that Turray was taken into custody on charges of stone-pelting.

“He had been arrested earlier as well for the same reason, but was let off with a warning,” the police said.

“Not only did he not mend his ways, but he would incite others as well on stone-pelting,” it said.

Two persons more were picked up on Sunday night after the town witnessed several spells of brick-batting, reports said.

Though one of them was later released, a youth hailing from the Maimindar quarter of the town, Zaheem Ahmad Ganai, was kept in custody.

According to reports, groups of youth tool to the streets in the Gagran, Hospital Road and Bona Bazaar areas of the town today, and began pelting stones at police and paramilitary deployments.

The forces responded with case charges, leading to intermitted clashes between the two sides.

Fierce streets battles broke out in the afternoon when a mob attacked the local police station with stones.

Cops stationed in the premises were reported to have rushed out to break up the violent groups, only to be drawn in prolonged clashes.

The police made heavy use of tear gas shelling while chasing the youth away.

Local residents said that paramilitary troopers had smashed doors and windows during battles, and beaten up people inside homes.

One girl, identified as Urfi Jan, daughter of Abdul Qayoom Malik, was hospitalised for injuries sustained in the CRPF rampage.

The police said that it was looking for several more youth involved in stone-pelting.

Meanwhile, a Tehreek-e-Hurriyat functionary, Shakir Ahmad Mir, was taken into custody by the police in the Zainpora area on Sunday evening.

Mir was said to be the district president of the party.   

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