Day 96: Police Foil Azadi Marches in South Kashmir

Srinagar:  Life was paralyzed on Wednesday for the 96th consecutive day across Kashmir Valley as authorities put curbs in place in wake of Ashura and freedom march call given by 'joint resistance leadership'. 

Protests and clashes were reported from many parts of Kashmir even authorities as usual had deployed large contingent of government forces personnel across the length and breadth of Valley. 

Police used tear-smoke shells to disperse protesters who were protesting against the arrest spree of youth in Rambagh area of Srinagar city. During the clashes police bundled a local youth into the vehicle, however the stiff resistance showed by women in the area forced police to release the said youth, who according to locals was not a part of protest. 

Locals at Chanapora also blocked the road against the nocturnal raids. They alleged that police picked up innocent youth during night raid in the area. 

Protests erupted in Aloosa village of Bandipora in north Kashmir on Wednesday after government forces allegedly went berserk.Reports and witnesses said that forces damaged residential houses, smashed windowpanes and beat up inmates without any provocation in the village. To protest the action, hundreds of men and women took to streets and raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. Earlier, huge contingents of forces were deployed in and around the village to foil a march called by the separatist leadership. In their last weekly protest calendar, the leadership had asked people of Bandipora to march towards Aloosa village on Wednesday.

At least 8 people were injured after government forces in a bid to foil ‘Frisal March’ fired tear-smoke shells and pellets on Wednesday. Locals had called for Frisal freedom march on Wednesday; however, authorities imposed strict curfew and restriction in the adjoining villages of Kulgam. Witnesses told news agency CNS that a large number of people tried to defy curfew and started marching towards the venue, however, at Bugam village, they were stopped by Forces. The agitated protesters pelted stones while in retaliation, tear-smoke shells and pellets were fired upon them, resulting in the injuries of 8 people. Reports said that police arrested two youth during the melee and lodged them in police station Kulgam. Locals alleged that government forces damaged at least 30 residential houses, 2 power transformers and 2 shops after they went on the rampage. “The Forces fired pellets and tear-smoke shells continuously to scare people,” they said. 

Government Forces also foiled ‘Dadsar freedom march’ in Tral town where a large contingent of Army, CRPF and Police cordoned off the area and restricted the movement of the people. Locals alleged that government forces caused damage to private property at Mirpora, Ratherpora, Batapora and Chandrigam as well. The locals according to reports resorted to stone-pelting shortly after government forces started damaging the houses and vehicles. 

A police handout said that in view of the sensitivity of certain areas curfew was imposed  in some Police Stations of the old city. “However, there was no curfew elsewhere across the valley. The situation remained largely peaceful although a couple of stone pelting incidents were reported.”

The spokesperson said that a number of processions were taken out across Kashmir in which thousands of people participated. Many of these processions culminated peacefully,”

“Increased flow of traffic and movement of people continued in most areas of Srinagar and other parts of valley. Vendors and shopkeepers were seen doing their usual business in the markets and towns of the valley. Keeping continued pressure on the trouble mongers and miscreants, 37 persons involved in crimes of disruption of peace and movement of people have been arrested by police across Kashmir.” (CNS)


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