Protests Unabated in Bandipore

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Curbs Eased Elsewhere, Normal Life Resumes in Srinagar

SRINAGAR: Protests continued for the third consecutive day Monday in curfew bound areas of north Kashmir which are on boil following  the killing of a teenage boy on Friday evening in police firing. Restrictions were lifted from parts of Srinagar and Baramulla where day passed off peacefully.

Pro-independence protests broke out in the parts of Bandipore on Friday evening after Indian Reserve Police fired upon protesters in Naidkhai town in which three persons were injured while one of the injured protesters, 17 year old Farhat Ahmad, succumbed later in the Pattan Hospital.

Normal life resumed in capital Srinagar Monday with the people resuming their routine work after authorities lifted restrictions imposed three days back.

Reports from Bandipore said clashes erupted at main town square despite curfew when protesters in defiance came out and hurled stones on the paramilitary forces in the area Monday morning. They in turn resorted to teargas shelling ensuing in ding dong clashes which continued for most part of the day.

In neighbouring areas of Hajan, Naidkhai and Sumbal heavy deployment of police and paramilitary kept a lid on the situation. A strict curfew remained in force and in some areas  army’s Rashtriya Rifles contingents were also seen deployed. 

Groups of youth pelted stones at government forces from the bylanes of the Naidkhai and Hajan and raised pro-freedom slogans. 

Some residents in Hajan and Naidkhai areas accused that CRPF chased the youth into their homes and ransacked a number of  houses. 

Residents of Tengpora, Mir Mohalla, Bangar Mohalla and Dangar Mohalla in Hajin alleged that men in uniform let loose a reign of terror in these areas. “Security forces entered in different houses,  smashed window panes and thrashed even females,” CNS quoted a residents saying.

According to a correspondent, people in large numbers took out a protest march at Sadarkoot and Chak Sadarkoot towards Hajan but they were stopped by police.  This resulted in sporadic clashes. 

The reports coming from North Kashmir said that the clashes between youth and Govt forces erupted at Palhallan when a police vehicle was attacked by protesters. 

Police used tear gas shells to disperse the mob. The situation remained tense throughout the day there. 

In Srinagar, the restrictions in Old City were lifted and life returned to normal after two days of strike and restrictions. 

Meanwhile, police detained Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik during wee hours and detained him in Police Station Khotibagh. 

Malik had called for protests against the killing of Naidkhai youth in lal Chowk. However, scores of JKLF supporters staged demonstration at Maisuma and condemned the killing of Farhat Ahmed Dar. 

Heavy contingents of police and CRPF were deployed in Maisuma to thwart the JKLF protest. 

Reports said that police swung into action when protestors tried to march towards Lal Chowk and detained dozens of people, including JKLF leaders Bashir Ahmed Bhat, Noor Muhammad Kalwal, Showkat Ahmed Bakshi, Shiekh Abdul Rashid besides others.

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