Curfew, Strike Paralyses Kashmir, Chenab Belt

Situation Largely Peaceful; Restrictions Likely To Continue
SRINAGAR: Authorities on Friday imposed curfew in Srinagar, Anantnag, Kulgam, Ramban and Sopore towns to prevent people from staging sit-ins and protest demonstrations on the call of Hurriyat Conference (G) and other separatist organizations against the blood bath in Sangaldan area of Ramban.

At different places of Kashmir Valley, including Jamia Mosque Srinagar, people were not allowed to offer Friday prayers.

At least 30 persons, including 7 policemen, were wounded in day long clashes at various places while life continued to remain paralysed by a complete shutdown.

Anticipating massive protests on the call of Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani against the Ramban blood bath curfew was imposed in Srinagar city by deploying hundreds of additional cops and paramilitary CRPF troopers at different places.

The pedestrian and vehicular movement was blocked by laying spools of concertina wires and barricades in the city, however in uptown people were allowed to move from one place to another without any restrictions.

In civil lines area of city, police was also deployed in Batmaloo, Tengpora, Qamarwari, Maisuma, Magarmal Bagh, Rambagh, Hyderpora and other areas. Stone pelting incidents were reported from Saraibala, Khanyar, Soura, S.D. Colony Batmaloo and Rainawari. Two CRPF personnel were injured during the clashes in Khanyar who were shifted to Rainawari Hospital.

Heavy stone pelting was reported from Ompara Budgam,  Rangreth, Manigam Ganderbal, Gagran Shopian, Batagund Tral, Naidkhai, Sumbal Sonawari, Papachan Bandipore, Qazigund and other parts of the Valley. One civilian was critically injured in police action at Naidkhai Sumbal. He was hit by a shell and was shifted to SKIMS Soura.

In Soura, the security guard of Station House Officer was critically injured when a stone hit him. The injured policeman was immediately rushed to nearby hospital.

PATTAN: Amid violent clashes massive protests were reported from North Kashmir’s Pattan area. At least three thousand people blocked the Srinagar-Baramulla highway and raised anti India slogans. Agitated protestors clashed with police and para-military forces. Several people including four cops were injured in the ensuing clashes. Clashes continued for hours in different parts of the town.

Curfew was also officially clamped in Anantnag, Baramulla, Kulgam and Sopore towns and announcements were made through loudspeakers about curfew imposition in these areas. The entry and exit points of these towns were completely sealed while the three bridges in Baramulla town including Cement Bridge, Azad Gunj Bridge and RTC Bridge were sealed to thwart protests.

GANDERBAL: Violent protests broke out in Ganderbal town after hundreds of youth clashed with policemen deployed on roads at Kurhama, Barsu and Dadurhama hospital road. At least six persons including 2 cops were wounded in fierce clashes.

Reports said that hundreds of youth came on roads at Kurhama, Dadharhama and Barsu in Ganderbal district and raised anti-India slogans. Youth burnt tyres on the roads and pelted stones on the cops. Youth took out a procession which soon swelled with people at different places joining it. Police resorted to aerial firing and teargas shelling which created panic in the area. Agitated youth resorted to heavy stone pelting which left at least six cops injured. During the clashes two persons namely Mohammad Yousf Hajam and Zahoor Ahmed Bhat were injured who were shifted to nearby hospital.

One report said the protests were sparked by beating of a taxi driver by police.

A security guard of SHO, Ganderbal allegedly beat a taxi driver Aijaz Ahmed to pulp when he was ferrying a patient to hospital, locals said. People resented the police action and pelted stones on the deployed personnel.

SOUTH: Amid restrictions and curfew in south Kashmir, protests also broke out in area of Anantnag and Kulgam districts. Clashes erupt between protestors and police at Dooru, Verinag, Khudwani, Raidwani, Qaimou and

Lazibal areas. Processions were taken out in different parts of South Kashmir and agitated youth pelted stones on police and para-military forces who were deployed in strength on roads. Police resorted to teargas shelling and lathicharge to disperse the protestors. Several protestors were arrested by Qaimou police during the protests.

At Lazbal area of Islamabad locals accused paramilitary CRPF personnel of beating up pedestrians without any provocation. “After the clashes the CRPF men went berserk and thrashed the civilians who came in their way,” residents said.

Agitated protestors tried to storm the CRPF 130 Battalion Camp located in Qazigund, however police foiled the bid and used tear gas shelling to disperse the protestors. Angry protestors entered into the Emergency Hospital and uprooted all the signboards carrying the photographs of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

In south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, youth resorted to stone pelting at different places. Authorities barred people from offering Friday prayers at Markazi Jamia Masjid Pulwama. People alleged that despite repeated requests police did not allow them to offer prayers. At Kakapora, several policemen were injured after Friday prayers when people resorted to heavy stone pelting.

In Central Budgam district, protestors attacked police station at Pakharpora and during the clashes, several people were injured.

Director General of Police Ashok Prasad said that overall situation in the state remained peaceful on Friday. “There were protests in Shopian, Baramulla and Ganderbal but they were of lesser intensity. We are going to impose restrictions for at least three days till Sunday,” Prasad said.

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