Day 88 : Shutdown, Protests Continue Unabated In Kashmir

Srinagar: Normal life remained affected in Kashmir for the 88th consecutive day on Tuesday due to the separatist-sponsored strike, but the signs of fatigue from the nearly three-month-long unrest were visible as more people are resuming their day-to-day activities.

Many street vendors and hand cart vendors have set up their stalls along the TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis in the city, selling fruits, vegetables, fresh juice, tea and snacks at many places and continue with their business activities throughout the day, officials said.

They said some shopkeepers have also opened their shops partially in the civil lines areas of the summer capital Srinagar and at few areas in the outskirts of the city. There has been a significant increase in the movement of private and public transport, except buses, in uptown city including in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk, the officials said. They said the authorities have not put curbs on the movement of people anywhere in the Valley.

The officials, however, said security forces have been deployed at some places, including market places, to instill a sense of security among the people so that they can carry out their day-to-day activities without fear.

Shops, educational institutions and business establishments remained shut. Movement of private vehicles was seen in some areas of Srinagar city while large number of vendors had spread their merchandize of the pavements and roadsides in different parts of city including Polo View, Batamaloo, Hari Singh High Street and Jahangir Chowk.

However, life in downtown city and other parts of the Valley, including district headquarters and towns, remained affected due to the shutdown call of the separatists.

Amid increased movement of vehicles on roads, government forces were seen frisking commuters at different inter-sections in Srinagar city. The government forces were seen stopping the vehicles at Abdullah Bridge, TRC, Dalgate, Hyderpora and other parts of the city. A police official said that it was a routine exercise, however, sources said that they had the inputs about the movement of militants in Srinagar city.

Reports said that unidentified persons set ablaze an auto-rickshaw near Saidakadal area of Srinagar city for allegedly violating the strike-call given by separatists. Another auto-rickshaw was set on fire in Babademb area of the city.

A police official said that they have registered a formal case and investigation has been taken up to arrest those responsible for the act. 

Earlier on Monday evening a 2 year old baby girl suffered head injury after unknown persons pelted stones on the car in which baby along with her mother were driving.

The baby was immediately shifted to Florence Hospital where from she was referred to SMHS hospital. The locals angered over the incident, chased away miscreants.

Locals said that the youth were enforcing shutdown and stopping bikes and private cars, when one of the youth targeted the vehicle in which baby girl was present.

Stray stone-pelting incidents were reported from Batamaloo area of Srinagar city where tow protest marches were taken out on Tuesday. Students organized a protest condemning the government action to conduct examinations later this month. Police swung into action and fired tear-smoke shells to disperse students who were raising pro-freedom slogans.

Protests were also reported from Old Barzulla town of the city where agitated youth burnt tyres on the roads and raised pro-freedom slogans.

Dozens of women carrying placard and banners seeking resolution to Kashmir issue, took out a march that culminated peacefully.

Protests were reported from different parts of Valley. Reports said that pro-freedom processions were taken out in Salaoora Ganderbal, Bijbehara Anantnag and Bogam Kulgam. The protesters amid pro-freedom slogans demanded an immediate end to the use of pellets, killings and ransacking of private property. At Saloora, police used tear-smoke shells to break-up the women’s protest.

Massive protests were reported from Rohumu village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district after police arrested a Tehreek-e-Hurriyat activist Manzoor Ahmed Baghat alias Baghat Bhaya.

According to the kin of the arrested, Manzoor Ahmed was apprehended near District Hospital Pulwama when was about to enter the hospital with her ailing child.

The news prompted a large number of people to hit the roads. The agitated people used mosque loudspeakers asking people to assemble on the road.

Police fired tear-smoke shells to disperse women protesters in Tral while a women’s protest was also staged in Dadasara area of the town.

Clashes broke out between protestors and forces in Watpora, Ashtangoo, Qazipora and Putushay villages of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.          

Witnesses and reports said that many people received injuries after men in uniform fired pellets and burst teargas shells to quell protesters. The injured were shifted to nearby health centres for treatment.

Clashes were also reported from Papchan area of Bandipora district.  Residents of Qazipora, Putushay and Warpora villagers alleged that CRPF men went berserk in their areas barged into the houses and broke the windowpanes of many houses and also fired teargas shells. A police official refuted the allegations of the locals saying that CRPF chased away only stone-pelters and no civilian was touched.

Meanwhile, according to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, situation across the valley remained by and large peaceful yesterday. “However, two incidents of arson were reported from Srinagar and a stray incident of stone pelting was reported from Bandipora,” the statement said.

“Some 57 persons were arrested during past twenty-four hours for creating disturbances in Kashmir,” the statement said. “In its drive to curb the activities of the miscreants, police during the past 24 hours arrested 57 such individuals involved in various offences of creating disturbances in different part of the valley.”


Militants Attack Kulgam Police Station

Suspected militants attacked a police station in Yaripora area of Kulgam on Tuesday.

According to initial reports, unspecified number of armed militants attacked a police station situated in Kulgam town of Jammu and Kashmir. There is no report of casualties so far. Heavy exchange of fire was reported from the area. The attack on police station in Yaripora came a day after militants attacked a ‘minor police picket’ in Samnoo village of DH Pora in Kulgam, snatched 5 rifles and escaped.


Search Ops To Recover ‘Looted’ Weapons Intensified

Srinagar: Massive search operation has been launched to recover the weapons looted by suspected militants from a police post in south Kashmir district of Kulgam, official sources said here Tuesday.

They said a group of militants entered a police post at a village Saamnu Nehama Damhal Hajnipora in Kulgam district and decamped with five automatic weapons, ten magazines and 250 rounds of ammunition after overpowering the guards.

A massive hunt has been launched to nab the militants and recover the looted weapons.

This was the third such incident since the unrest started in the Kashmir valley from July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani and two other militants were killed in an encounter in Anantnag. Later during the subsequent violence 85 persons, mostly youths, were killed in security force and police action in the valley, where life remained crippled for the past 88 days.

During the intervening night of September 6 and 7 militants snatched four AK rifles from police guards of a politician at Bogam in Kulgam  while on September 19 four weapons were looted from another the house of another politician in Anantnag.


Asiya Andrabi Held In Kashmir

Woman separatist leader Asiya Andrabi was arrested by police here Tuesday.

The chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat outfit was nabbed from Basant Bagh area of the city this afternoon, a police official said.

The law enforcing agencies were on a lookout for her since the current unrest began in Kashmir on July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces.

She had been issuing radical statements while being underground.

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