Srinagar: For the 35th consecutive day, authorities on Friday imposed curfew and restrictions across Kashmir to prevent pro-Azadi demonstrations.
Police said restrictions and curfew remained in force in all the 10 district headquarters of the Valley in addition to Handwara, Kupwara, Sopore, Trehgam and Qaimoh.
"These precautionary measures had been taken to maintain law and order in the Valley", a senior police officer said here.
On Thursday night, cellphone services were snapped across Kashmir once again in past one month. Earlier, the service was suspended after massive protests erupted against the killing of popular militant commander Burhan Wani on July 08.
Confirming the development an official said that authorities suspended calling facilities on all mobile phones except post paid mobile phones provided by the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Internet facilities on all mobile phones are already suspended. He added that the services were suspended to stop trouble mongers from disrupting peace in the Valley. All senior separatist leaders continue to remain under preventive detention in Srinagar for the last 35 days.
At least 50 people, including a mother-son duo, suffered injuries after armed forces personnel stormed Arhama-Manigam hamlet in Ganderbal district Friday and used force to ‘punish’ residents for playing Azadi songs from local mosque.
Fourteen residents have been shifted to SKIMS, Srinagar in injured condition.
According to reports, army personnel led by Commanding Officer 5 Rashtriya Riffles got infuriated by Azadi songs which were blaring from loud speakers of Arhama mosque when they passed by.
“RR personnel cordoned off the area and some of them entered the mosque, tore down loudspeaker system, broke window panes and dragged us out'', said a local youth.
He said Army men beat us to pulp before some elders came out to rescue us. However force personnel barged into several houses and thrashed any one who came their way. The men, woman and children were ruthlessly beaten to pulp.
At least 40 people, including a 60-year old woman Mukhti Begum along with her young son Riyaz sustained injuries.
Most of the injured were treated at PHC Manigam while Mukhti along with fourteen others were referred to SKIMS Soura.
Witnesses said that Army personnel beat up people with iron rods and sticks. “They went on rampage and thrashed people irrespective of age and gender. They treated us like cattle and hit us with iron rods,” said an eyewitness to CNS.
They added that people were saved from the wrath of the Army only after the intervention of police personnel from police station Lar Ganderbal.
Meanwhile, Army CO reached PHC Manigam and threatened medicos and para team not to attend to the injured.
In the other parts of the district, violent protests broke out after Friday prayers in which an SHO along with seven police cops and 5 CRPF men were injured.
In Kujar Fatehpora, people in large number fought stone battles with police and clashes at Saloora, Gangerhama, Khann Harran, Giraj, and Beehama resulted in the injuries to many.
People in large numbers at Tulamulla took out a peaceful procession and shouted slogans favouring freedom of Kashmir.
The Govt forces foiled the attempts of protests after Friday prayers at many places in the district. Hundreds of people after Friday prayers hit the streets and staged massive anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
People mostly youth, took out major protest rallies from Regipora, Bohipora, Bumhama Drugmulla and Halmatpora Hyhama area of Kupwara, but Police foiled them with full forces, resorting to massive teargas shelling in which at least 4 persons sustained minor injuries.
They were intercepted by large contingents of police and CRPF. The forces burst tear smoke shells and cane-charged the protestors. The latter in turn pelted stones on the forces triggering clashes in which many persons were injured; they were shifted to CHC Kupwara.
Meanwhile, late night candlelight protests were taken out after Magrib Prayers.
Residents of several localities of Kupwara including Jamia Qadeem, Chana Mohalla, Coloney and other areas alleged that government forces ransacked residential houses and damaged the windowpanes.
The congregational Friday prayers were not offered for the fifth consecutive week at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar due to curfew imposed by the authorities. All roads leading to the grand mosque in Nowhatta area of Srinagar were sealed by the forces.
Reports said residents of three city areas, including Chota Bazar, Guru Bazar and Shaheed Gunj had planned to march towards Lal Chowk. “As soon as the Friday congregational prayers ended in the nearby mosque’s, thousands of people amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans tried to march towards Lal Chowk. However, forces intercepted them and didn’t allow them to march,” local sources said.
Locals said that peaceful protests were also held in Habba Kadal’s Chinkral Mohalla and Kral Khud area.
“The protesters who assembled outside the Masjid’s after Friday congregational prayers were raising pro-freedom slogans and later dispersed peacefully,” witnesses said.
According to a correspondent, as soon as the Friday congregational prayers ended in Iqra Masjid Sarai Bala, the people assembled outside the Masjid and held pro-freedom protest. “The protesters raised slogans against the India and later dispersed peacefully,” witnesses said.
Locals from Pamposh Colony Palapora Eidgah area of Srinagar city alleged that para-military forces and Jammu Kashmir Police caused damage to residential houses and shops after people staged a peaceful protest in the area. “They beat up women and girls, smashed windowpanes, damaged shops and looted goods from them. Not a single house was spared here,” a local from the Pamposh colony locality said.
Reports from Central Kashmir district said that hundreds of people defied curfew in Beerwah area and started raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. Reports said that already deployed police and CRPF personnel resorted to tear smoke shelling on the protesters. Witnesses said that intense clashes between protesters and government forces left many people injured.
More than 15 protesters were injured in different areas of Pattan town in North Kashmir. Police used tear-smoking shells to disperse protestes at Palhalan and Pattan. Large number of people organized protest marches from Kalsari, Gohiwa, Sherpora, Zangam, Buran, Trikolobal, Nillah and Palapora areas and tried to proceed towards Pattan town.
Protests were also reported from Mirgund Pattan.
Clashes and protests erupted in various townships of Bandipora district on Friday after the congregational prayers. In many areas forces resorted to tear smoke shelling to disperse the protesters. Stone throwing and protests were witnessed in Hajin soon after the congregational prayers. Protests were also held in Ajas and Sumbal areas. In Ajas police resorted to heavy tear smoke shelling when protesting youth tried to attack a CRPF camp, however forces intercepted youth before reaching near the camp.
More than 25 persons were injured while some of them received pellets in different areas of South Kashmir in different protests. Violent protests occurred at Kulgam, Qazigund, Koimouh and Dooru area of the Kulgam district.
People organized peaceful protests at Dayalgam, Sarnal, Mattan and Anchidora area of Anantnag district. Reports said that army and Para-military troopers were deployed in strength to prevent protests in Anantnag. Reports said that peaceful pro-freedom protests were organized in almost every village of Kulgam district.
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