Day 27:Protests, Clashes Continue; Scores Brought To Hospitals

SRINAGAR: Situation on the 27th day of unrest Thursday remained grim with dozens more reported wounded during mass protests and subsequent clashes between people and government forces.
Medical sources said at least 50 people, some of them with pellet wounds, were admitted in various hospitals and health centres on Thursday.

Worst violence was again witnessed in South Kashmir including in Kulgam and Anantnag districts.

Scores of protesters were wounded when Govt forces fired teargas shells and pellets to quell the protesters at Sirigufwara on Bijbehara-Pahalgam road in Anantnag district. 

Witnesses said that people organized a massive pro-freedom procession that was stopped by forces and when people defied, tear-gas canisters and pellets were used to disperse them. The intense clashes left many protesters wounded.  

Station House Officer Srigufwara Tanvir Ahmed however said that no protester was injured in police action. He said that police exercised restraint and didn’t retaliate while youth continued to attack them with stones.

Govt forces also used force to quell the pro-freedom demonstration at Seer and Aishmuqam areas, witnesses said, adding that several people were injured in the forces action. Reports said that the forces action sparked massive protest while people regrouped themselves and organized a huge pro-freedom rally.

A massive pro-freedom rally was organized by different religious bodies at Kanelwan village in Bijbehara and at Wachi Shopian also in south Kashmir in which thousands of people participated. 

The participants not only laid stress on unity but also asked people to follow Hurriyat program in letter and spirit. The religious leaders of various sects and pro-freedom leaders addressed these gatherings.

At least seven persons were injured when police raided several villages in Shopian district in the intervening night of Wednesday-Thursday.

People came out on roads in Kanipora, Alyaalpora, Pahlipora and Pahnoo villages when forces in “Rakshaks” raided to arrest youths.

The villagers alleged that men in uniform damaged window panes of houses by hurling stones during dead of the night.

“The forces had come to arrest youths but people resisted and came out on roads around 2 AM forcing them to flee,” reports said.

The villagers made announcements from Masjid loudspeakers to come out on roads and ‘resist the forces excesses’.

“As people came out of their beds to protest the raids,” reports said, “stone pelting started which ensued in to clashes with forces in which seven persons were injured.”

“The injured were locally treated as fear of arrests have gripped the whole area,” reports said.

In Kulgam district SOG and CRPF personnel targeted processions with pellets and shells at Srindu village. “Thousands of people from different hamlets of Kulgam including Bogund, Sonigam,

Frisal, Yaripora, Koimouh, Danaiu, Kolpora, Tolinopora, Panew, Laro, Dadripora had assembled at Srindu village who organized a peaceful pro-freedom sit-in. Everything was peaceful when SOG and CRPF personnel arrived and started targeting people with pellets and tear-smoke shells,” an eyewitness said. He added that the forces action agitated people who in turn attacked the armed forces with stones leaving many person injured.

Protest and pro-freedom rallies were also held at Chimer, Chumgund, Gasinara, Devsar, Tengapora Soput, Pehlu, Zangalpora, Aang Akura Mattan, Barigam, Nandimarg, Kounsarbal and Koimou areas of South Kashmir. At least six persons were wounded at Nandimarg after forces fired tear-gas shells on protesters.

Reports said that a large number of protesters held a peaceful protest at Lethpora Awantipora while motorcade rallies were organized in Kanjinag and Keigam Awantipora.

Police arrested two youth during a protest march in Kangan town of Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. Earlier, a large number of people hit to roads against the random arrests of the youth.

The locals alleged that police have been making random arrests during nocturnal raids. 

Reports from North Kashmir said at least 17 persons were injured during clashes between public and govt forces in Chotipora, Handwara in Kupwara district.

According reports, 17 persons including five girls and twelve boys were injured during the clashes in Chotipora village.

“The injured were rushed to district hospital Handwara while one among them who had sustained pellet injuries was referred to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital,” reports said.

Clashes broke out in the locality after residents including men and women took to streets to protest against the civilian killings in Kashmir.

“Forces swung into action to disperse the youth who in return pelted stone on them,” witnesses said. 

A police official in the district said that some persons were injured when protesters pelted stones on police. He said that the situation in the areas was peaceful.

Reports said that protest marches were taken out in Palhalan area while stone-pleting incidents were reported from Wailo Kralapora area of Pattan town. Clashes erupted in Druru area of

Tangmarg after youth took to roads and resorted to stone-pelting. Armed forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse them. The clashes continued for several hours.

Intense clashes erupted in Old Srinagar late Thursday evening when a rally was marching from Nowhatta.

Reports said that the rally was intercepted by forces near Khanyar Chowk and clashes erupted.

“It is chaos here,” an eye witness said, “forces have resorted to intense tear gas shelling and youths have taken refuge in local Masjids.”

The united resistance leadership had asked people to Mashaal processions from their areas.

Meanwhile, intense clashes erupted in Rajbagh area when a rally was on way to Lal Chowk and was intercepted at Zero Bridge from Rajbagh side. The protestors were raising pro-freedom slogans.

Reports of similar clashes were reported from dozens of other city localities.

Earlier people at different places across Kashmir offered Zuhar prayers on roads. Earlier responding to the call of offering prayers on roads by Hurriyat , hundreds of people offered congregational noon prayers on roads across many parts of Kashmir.

In Kaloosa area of north Kashmir's Bandipore people staged sit-in while chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans after prayers. 

Eyewitnesses said that the residents of Arqam Mohalla Fateh Kadal offered noon prayers at Baba Demb near Fire Service Station as a mark of protest.

By night fall Srinagar city reverberated with pro-Aazadi slogans.

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