Day 89:???????No Respite As Business, Other Activities Remain Shut In Kashmir

Srinagar: Business and other activities remained paralysed for the 89th consecutive day on Tuesday in Kashmir valley, where at least 90 people, mostly youths, were killed in security force action since July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahiden (HM) commander Burhan Wani and two other militants were killed in an encounter in Anantnag.

Meanwhile, the number of private vehicles and three wheelers plying on the roads yesterday was very less as compared to the day before, when two auto-rickshaws were set ablaze and several cars were damaged by the mobs in Srinagar.

Police used tear-gas canisters and pellets to disperse a large number of protesting youth who had blocked the Srinagar-Bandipora road during late hours at Panzinara area in the outskirts of Srinagar city. Clashes between police and protesters left many wounded.

At least three persons including a local reporter sustained injuries after the government forces fired pellets to disperse the protesters in north Kashmir’s Bandipora town on Wednesday. Clashes erupted in Gulshan Chowk area of the town after youths hurled stones at army cavalcade who resorted to aerial firing. In the mean time police reached the spot resulting in pitched battles, local sources said.

Police fired dozens of tear smoke canisters and pellets to disperse the protestors resulting in injuries to at least three persons. Eyewitnesses said that Army also resorted to aerial firing to disperse the stone-throwing youth.

Locals alleged that shortly after the clashes government forces carried out vandalism by ransacking houses and damaging property. They alleged that forces entered into many wards during the clashes and ransacked houses “without any reason.”

“They (forces) ransacked houses, damaged vehicles and looted belongings of the people,” residents alleged.

"Forces beat people, hurled abuses and smashed the windowpanes of residential houses as well,” residents of ward 3 alleged. They further alleged that the forces personnel without any provocation damaged their properties.

Several persons were injured when security forces fired in the air and pellets besides burst teargas shells to disperse demonstrators who were pelting stones at Bandipora in north Kashmir today, official sources said here today.

According to a hospital official, several youths with pellet injuries have been brought to hospital. The exact number was not immediately clear, he said.

The trouble started when demonstrators, mostly youths, raising pro freedom slogans pelted stones on an Army convoy at main Gulshan Chowk, Bandipora.

Security forces fired in the air to disperse the demonstrators, who were pelting stones, they said adding later security forces and police personnel deployed in strength in the area immediately swung into action and resorted to lathicharge to allow free movement of Army convoy.

Clashes also broke out in Nowpora area of the district where groups of youth pelted stones on the government forces.

Reports from Kupwara said that government forces fired tear gas canisters on a rally of women. Earlier, youths resorted to stone pelting who were dispersed by police using tear-smoke shells. Witnesses said that shortly after the incidents of stone-pelting, a rally of women came out from Malik Mohalla main town. “But forces resorted to tear gas shelling and did not allow them to come on main road,” locals said.

Pertinently, on late Tuesday evening, many private vehicles came under stone pelting attack in Kupwara which were partially damaged, locals said.

Around a dozen persons, including a policeman, were injured after government forces foil a protest rally in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Reports and witnesses said that clashes erupted in Arwani village of Bijbehara after forces foiled a proposed rally, allegedly vandalized houses and beat up inmates. Locals alleged that forces also set on fire paddy straws in the village. They said that government forces also damaged five power transformers. They said a policeman was also injured during the protests. Witnesses said that even after the government forces action, people held the pro-freedom rally that was led by Tehreek-e-Hurriyat district president Mir Hafizullah. The rally culminated peacefully.

Police said there was no curfew or restriction on assembly of people in any part of the valley today though heavy deployed of security forces would continue to prevent any law and order problem.

Shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads in the city and its outskirts. Work in government offices remained affected. Functioning of banks, particularly in the down town, Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) and uptown besides Batmaloo and other sensitive areas remained affected. Some banks were opening for few hours in the morning.

However, in some security zone areas banks were functioning till 2.00 PM For the past few days clearance of cheques was also taking place which remained suspended since July 9.

All educational institutions still wore a deserted look as many schools remained under the occupation of security forces and students also stayed away in response to strike call.

PDP MLA’s House Attacked

Srinagar: Suspected militants attacked the house of ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA)’s house with a hand grenade in south Kashmir district of Shopian, official sources said.

However, MLA Moahmmad Yousuf Bhat, who is Chief Whip of the PDP in the Legislative Assembly and his family had already shifted to Srinagar after the eruption of violence following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani and two other militants in an encounter in Anantnag on July 8.

Sources said a hand grenade was hurled guarded house of Mr Bhat last night. However, the grenade exploded in the compound without causing any damage.

This was the second attack on the house of Mr Bhat  as on August 7  violence pro freedom mob set on fire guard room and a vehicle parked in the compound of the vehicle.

Mr Bhat said grenade missed the intended target and exploded in the compound at a distance without causing any damage.

I and my family are living in Srinagar and only security guards are there, he said.

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