Srinagar: Government forces Friday used indiscriminate force on protesters at Rajpora area of south Kashmir’s restive Pulwama district resulting in the death of young boy as authorities foil ‘Eidgah chalo’ call by imposing strict curfew across Srinagar and in all major towns of Valley.
Scores of persons were injured as clashes erupt after Friday prayers across the Valley.
With no let up in civilian killings, a youth namely Shakeel Ahmad Ganai of Chandpora Rajpora was killed when forces resorted to pellet firing in Nikas Aarbal area of Rajpora on protesters after Friday prayers.
Reports said that the youth sustained grave injuries and he was shifted to Pulwama Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, taking the death toll in ongoing unrest of civilians to 73.
Reports said that soon after the news spread about the death of youth, hundreds of people took to streets in Rajpora villages and staged massive protests. The protesters were chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans and resorted to heavy stone-pelting on forces who responded by firing teargas shells and pellets. The fresh clashes resulted in injuries to eight persons.
With Kashmir continuing to be on boil, authorities Friday detained Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani when he tried to lead a march towards martyr’s graveyard Eidgah.
Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was also arrested and taken to Nigeen police station when he tried to come out of his residence to head towards the Eidgah.
Geelani was taken to the Humhama Police Station after being detained from outside his residence at New Airport Road here.
The Hurriyat leaders had asked the people to march towards Beerwah where four civilians were killed by the forces.
The authorities had imposed curfew across the city to prevent a separatists’ protest march.
The police said strict curfew will remain in Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts while restrictions will continue in parts of Srinagar, Kupwara, Sopore and Baramulla.
According to reports, all senior separatist leaders including Yasin Malik, Nayeem Khan and Shabir Shah, have been either placed under house arrest or taken into preventive custody by the authorities ever since the ongoing unrest started in the Valley since July 9. The separatists have extended their protest shutdown call till August 25.
Strict curfew remained in forces in Old Srinagar city while authorities once again barred people from offering mandatory Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid Srinagar.
Curfew continued to be in force in five police station areas of downtown city and Batamaloo and Maisuma areas in uptown, a police official said.
Reports from Srinagar said that amid curfew and rain, protest marches were taken out from different areas of the city. Large number of people took out a protest march in Chinkral Mohalla Habbakadal that culminated peacefully. Amid pro-freedom slogans the youth denounced the recent civilian killings. The protesters were stopped by police when they tried to march towards Eidgah. A pro-freedom procession was also taken out at Chotta Bazar Srinagar while in Dalgate area people also took out a peaceful march.
In south Kashmir, curfew was imposed in Pulwama district, while it continued in Anantnag, Kulgam districts as well on Friday. Curfew and restrictions also remained in force in North Kashmir’s restive area’s including Sopore, Pattan, Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara.
Clashes between protesters and government forces erupted in Bandipora and Kaloosa in north Kashmir after Friday prayers, reports said. Local sources said that a massive rally was held at Bandipora which was tear gased by government forces resulting in the clashes.
Similar rallies were held at Kaloosa which met the same fate at the hands of government forces. However, peaceful rallies were held at Papechan, Saderkote, Ajas and Naidkhai areas of the district. Several persons were injured in clashes that erupted in Hygam area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The clashes erupted after government forces intercepted a rally of hundreds of people from Hygam and its adjoining villages heading towards the highway. Clashes also erupted at Warpora Sopore.
Over a dozen protesters were injured after government resorted to tear-smoke shelling in Pattan town of Baramulla district.
According to the eyewitnesses, thousands of people from
Ussan and Goshbugh offered Friday prayers and held a pro-freedom rally after the prayers. Locals alleged that police resorted to unprovoked pellet firing injuring many youth. Reports added that hundreds of people held a protest march at Tappar Bala and blocked Srinagar-Muzafarabad highway. Protest march was also carried out in Hanjiwera Pattan. Reports said that at least three youth were shifted to SMHS Hospital Srinagar after they were hit by pellets in eyes in Palhalan area of Pattan town.
Reports said that clashes between protesters and government forces erupted in different parts of Handwara town including Kulangam, Hargam, Hospital road and Talri Bridge. Government forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters. In Azad Ganj Baramulla youth hoisted green flags amid pro-freedom slogans.
Amid curfew and restrictions, protests and clashes erupted in various parts of South Kashmir. Army reportedly resorted to aerial firing to disperse the protesters who attacked their camp at Chowdhary Gund area of the district. Witnesses said that at least five persons were injured during the clashes. In Pulwama, clashes broke out in Rohmu, Nehama, Newa and other areas. The effigy of Chief Minister Mehbooba was set on fire in Rohmu Pulwama.
Security Forces resorted to aerial firing to disperse gathering at Noorpora Tral who pelted stones on them when the Forces cordoned off the area to flush out ‘hiding’ militants. Eyewitnesses said that Security Forces after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in Noorpora cordoned off the area. However, reports said that a large number of people including women hit to road and attacked security forces with stones, forcing the later to fire some shots in air. Protesters reportedly took out a procession while eyewitnesses said that forces left the area without conducting the searches in the area.
Stone pelting incidents were also reported from Khudwani and Ziyarat Road Kulgam.
A police official said that some stone-pelting incidents occurred in some parts of Valley. He said that the situation remained relatively peaceful across Kashmir.
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