Police foil Million March, Youth Killed

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SRINAGAR: Normal life was paralyzed all across Kashmir Valley on Saturday due to an undeclared curfew imposed by the authorities here to ensure peaceful rally of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to foil a parallel march which was announced by the Hurriyat factions.

Though the day passed off by and large peacefully, one youth was killed after CRPF resorted to indiscriminate teargas shelling during a protest march at Mustafa Abad HMT in the city outskirts in the evening.

Reports said CRPF personnel from 44 and 73 Battalion allegedly resorted to shelling to disperse stone-pleting youth in the area. One local youth, Gowhar Nazir Bhat was hit in the head by a teargas shell. He fell on the ground instantly, eyewitnesses said.

The 22 year old injured youth was immediately rushed by residents to SKIMS where he was pronounced dead on arrival by the doctors.

The deceased, according to reports was a college student. 

Renewed clashes broke out in the area with more ferocity soon after the body of Gowhar reached home. 

Earlier during the day roads wore a deserted look and most of the Valley residents remained confined to their homes. 

In a bid to foil ‘Million March’, authorities had imposed an undeclared curfew and had sealed TRC Grounds, the venue for the separatist rally and the roads leading to SK Stadium where Modi addressed a rally.

Despite severe restrictions and curfew like situation, number of  people from different separatist organizations tried to proceed towards TRC Ground however, police foiled their attempts and detained them in different police stations.

Eyewitnesses said that police detained and lodged Syed Ali Geelani in police station Humhama after he tried to break police cordon thrown around his residence in Hyderpora. Reports said that Geelani who was under house detention came out from his residence early Saturday morning, however police personnel posted outside his house stopped and detained him in police station Humhama.

Police arrested at least 21 activists of Duktaran-e-Milat including party General Secretary Nahida Nasreen at Gojwara Srinagar when they tried to break the police cordon to march towards TRC. All these activists were lodged in Police Station Nowhatta.

A small group of Salvation Movement women’s wing activists staged a protest in Press Enclave Srinagar prompting police to arrest the protesters.

Kashmir Tehreek Khwateen president Zamrooda Habid was arrested by police when she along with her supporters emerged in Press Enclave to register protest against Modi’s visit. 

Reports said that defying restrictions large number of people took to streets in Dadsara Tral while youth took out a march in vehicles from Dadsara to Awantipora, raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.

At Khandaypora Anantnag several people were arrested for staging an anti-India protest. The protesters came on roads and castigated government for foiling Geelani sponsored Million March. 

Clashes broke out in Hajin area of Bandipora district after government forces tried to remove Pakistani flags that had been unfurled by local youth atop buildings and electric polls. Youth attacked police with stones, however, police did not retaliate.

Eyewitnesses said that number of vehicles carrying PDP workers to Modi rally were attacked at Narbal, Ajas Bandipora, Dangarpora Sumbal and Sadarkot Bala. Police resorted to teargas shelling to disperse youth who caused damage to number of vehicles at Sadarkot Bala Sumbal in which many PDP workers were injured.   

A police spokesman said in the evening that barring few minor incidents of stone-pelting situation in Valley remained peaceful and no major untoward incident was reported from any part of Kashmir. 

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