Day 53:Shutdown,Clashes Continue


SRINAGAR: A complete shutdown was observed on 53rd consecutive day Tuesday in Kashmir even though the curfew was relaxed for the second consecutive day except few areas. Clashes and protests were reported throughout the day in various places during which scores of people sustained injuries. 

According to police, curfew remained in force in M R Gunj and Nowhatta areas of old city Srinagar only while following the improvement in the situation, the curfew was lifted in Pulwama as well. “Only two police station areas in Srinagar city including MR Gunj and Nowhatta are under curfew today,” a police officer said. 

Notably, curfew was relaxed in Kashmir after 51 days on Monday except Pulwama town and the areas falling under the jurisdiction of M R Gunj and Nowhatta. 

Meanwhile, clashes and protests were reported throughout the day while the youth were seen erecting temporary barricades on roads to thwart the vehicular movement. 

According to sources, clashes erupted between youth and forces in several areas of Srinagar including Batamaloo, Kak Sarai, Kani Kadal and others.

Clashes erupted in Batamaloo area of Srinagar city after government forces tried to stop a pro-freedom march of locals. The area on Monday had witnessed massive violent clashes.

Witnesses said that hundreds of people were part of a rally raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans when men in uniform fired tear smoke shells to disperse them resulting in clashes. The exchange of stones and tear-smoke shells created panic in the area while more than a dozen people were wounded in these clashes. Photojournalists covering these clashes alleged that a police driver from Shaheed Ganj police station used abusive language and even tried to manhandle them. The police driver fled from the scene after the media men registered a protest against him.

Meanwhile the locals from various areas of Batmaloo locality alleged that paramilitary CRPF personnel ransacked their houses and beat up the inmates. “CRPF men barged into our house, beat four of our family members, abused us and smashed the glasses of our windows,” said a Bunpora resident on the condition of anonymity. He said the paramilitary troopers barged into the house when they were making preparations to send food and other relief material to various city hospitals.

“There was no stone-pelting going on in the area that time and yet they abused and harassed us,” he said.

Stone-pelting incidents were also reported from Chanapora and Kaksarai areas of the city where police used tear-gas shells to disperse the protesters.

Reports said that in Eidgah, scores of youth took to streets and erected temporary barricades on roads in this morning and were not allowing any vehicle to pass through the road.

“Forces tried to disperse the youth who in return pelted stones on them,” witnesses said.

Besides clashes, a complete shutdown was observed in central Kashmir. All shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments remained closed.

Meanwhile, similar clashes and protests were reported from South Kashmir areas.

Reports quoting witnesses said that scores of people sustained injuries in clashes between forces and youth in a village in south Kashmir's Shopian district.

Witnesses said that forces vandalized the venue of a scheduled pro-freedom rally in Wathoo village of the district.

They also fired teargas shells to foil the 'Wathoo chalo' programme called by the locals triggering clashes during which scores of people including a national TV reporter identified as Aijaz Ahmad sustained injuries.

Reports said that he was immediately shifted to the hospital for treatment.

Reports said that thousands of people participated in a rally in the village despite the alleged ransacking of the rally venue by the forces.

The participants were carrying banners with messages like ‘No development, no jobs, only freedom from India’, ‘Right to Self-determination’ and ‘Hum kya chahte, Azadi’.

The youths carrying Islamic and Pakistani flags were shouting slogans in favour of Kashmir’s freedom.

Earlier, forces had raided and vandalized the venue of the rally.

Meanwhile, scores of people including an elderly woman were injured after forces ransacked houses in Dooru village of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Reports quoting witnesses and reports said that people took to streets after forces ransacked houses in Mehmoodabad village and beat up the inmates.

Forces, they said, fired pellet guns and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the protesters.

They said that scores of people, including 60-year-old Sara Bano, were injured in the forces’ action and was shifted to Sub-district hospital Dooru for treatment.

Reports said that a rally was held in Qazigund area in south Kashmir despite an earlier raid by forces which vandalized the venue.

Witnesses said that the government forces vandalized the venue and set ablaze the tents erected to hold the rally in Panzath village.

“When people resisted the move, the forces used pellets and tear gas canisters,” said a witness, adding that over a dozen people were injured.Later, the rally was held peacefully, he said.

Amid observing complete shutdown, the other areas of South Kashmir also witnessed protests and clashes as per reports.

Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in north Kashmir while the clashes and protests were reported from several areas against the civilian killings in Kashmir.

Following the call given by the separatist leaderships, scores of women took out a pro-freedom march in Botingoo area of Sopore in north Kashmir.

The women protesters were chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans and later dispersed peacefully.

Meanwhile, a peaceful protest was staged in Hathlangoo area of Sopore in north Kashmir's Baramulla district.

People, including women and elderly, took part in the demo and chanted pro-freedom slogans.

Reports said that at least ten civilians were injured during the clashes between youth and forces in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Local sources said that during clashes in the area, several civilians were injured after forces lobbed tear smoke shells and used pellets to disperse the youth.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people came out on roads in Ajas, Kaloosa, Potushai and other areas of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Reports quoting local sources said that hundreds of people including men, women and children came out on roads in Ajas area of the district and held peaceful demonstration.

The people raised pro-freedom, anti-India and anti-army slogans.

They alleged that personnel of Rashtriya Rifles had entered Ajas and adjoining Soodnoor areas thrashing and injuring locals and damaging private property worth lakhs of rupees.

The reports of clashes and protests were reported from other areas of north Kashmir as well. 

Meanwhile, according to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, curfew has been lifted from whole of the Kashmir valley except two Police Stations of Nowhatta and M R Gunj in Srinagar. “Greater movement of private, passenger vehicular traffic and people was observed in major areas of the Valley including Srinagar city today,” the statement said.

It said barring few minor stone pelting incidents, the overall situation remained peaceful and under control throughout the Valley till filing of this report.

“The stone pelting incidents were reported from Batamaloo and Bag-e-Mehtab in Srinagar, Chankipora and Main Chowk, Sopore, Mehmoodabad in Dooru and Kaloosa in Bandipora where miscreants in their attempts to disturb the situation pelted stones on police and security force deployments,” the statement said. (KNS)


Protests erupt in Maloora, Hyderpora 

People came out on roads in the outskirts of Srinagar on Tuesday evening when locals alleged that forces “raided” the area.

A local from Maloora said that protests were going on in the area since Zuhr Namaz.

“There were clashes between forces and protestors,” the local said.

“However, forces again came this evening but people resisted the attempts to arrest the youths,” the local said. “Forces damaged window panes and other private property.”

Locals said that two youths have been arrested from Shalteng area who have been identified as Musadik and Zahid.

Meanwhile, local sources said that pro-freedom protests are going on in the area.

Reports coming from Hyderpora said that people came out on Srinagar international airport road this evening demanding release of a youth.

The local sources identified the detained youth as Saqib Ahmad, s/o Mushtaq Ahmad, r/o Hyderpora, near Jamia Masjid.

“Elders of the area have visited the Police Station Sadder to seek the release of the detained youth but are yet to return,” sources said.

The people, including men and women, held protests and raised pro-freedom slogans.

“Announcement was made on Masjid loud speaker that a youth has been arrested,” the sources said.

Meanwhile, reports coming from Old Srinagar’s Sekidafar, Noor Bagh and Safakadal said that intense clashes erupted in these areas in the evening.

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