Curbs Fail To Cool Tempers In Lolab

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Protests, clashes continue for second day

SRINAGAR: Sporadic clashes continued for the second day running Wednesday between paramilitary CRPF and protesters in Lolab Valley, where curfew like restrictions were imposed following violent protests on Tuesday after seven militants were gunned down by army in nearby forests.

Over a dozen people, including CRPF and police personnel  have been injured in last two days.

Residents said that the curfew like restrictions imposed by the district authorities in Dardpora and Lalpora yesterday remained in force today as there s no let up in protests. 

Hundreds of CRPF men and J&K police personnel were deployed in the twin areas to keep a lid on the situation. However, defying curbs, anti-India protests broke out in many areas from early today.

“Early morning when shops and business establishments opened in the main town, groups of youth assembled there and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations. The protesters, mostly youth pelted stones on the CRPF and police leading to the outbreak of clashes,” Muzaffar Ahmad, an eyewitness said.

He said that the outbreak of clashes triggered panic in the town forcing the traders to down their shutters and move towards the safer places. The movement of transport was also hit.

“Police and CRPF tried to chase away the youth. However, the defiant youth continued attacks on the government forces. The clashes also spread in various other areas including Mir Mohalla, Dar Mohalla, Ganai Mohalla, Bye Pass Road, Cement Bridge, Regipora and Iqbal Market,” Ahmad said.

According to the Superintendent of Police (SP), Kupwara, situation in the Kupwara town and Lalpora remained peaceful. “There were few incidents of stone pelting in the morning in Kupwara town,” he said, adding “Lalpora was calm. Section 144 is already in place to maintain law and order.”

On Tuesday, the army and police claimed to have killed seven militants in Dardpora forests of Lolab valley. However, their identities were not ascertained but yesterday the army said that they belonged to Laskhar-e-Taiba militant outfit and were foreigners. 

Pertinently, anti-India and pro-freedom protests broke out on Tuesday, a day after army claimed to have killed seven militants in Lolab forests. 

The rumours of the slain being hunters further infuriated the public, who attacked the police station Lalpora in a bid to have a glimpse of the slain men.

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