Srinagar: At least 40 people were injured in clashes at several places in Kashmir Friday despite curfew being reimposed in many parts of the valley where normal life remained paralysed for 63rd consecutive day due to separatist-sponsored strike.
Clashes were reported from several places in Baramulla, Bandipora, Shopian and Ganderbal districts of the valley while peaceful protests were held at many others places, a police official said.
He said at least 40 people including some security force personnel were hurt in the clashes that began soon after Friday prayers at most of the affected places.
The clashes took place even as curfew was again imposed in many parts of unrest hit valley yesterday.
Curfew was imposed in 14 police station areas of Srinagarand towns of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Pampore, Awantipora, Tral, Baramulla, Pattan and Palhallan as a precautionary measure in view of apprehensions of violent protests after Friday prayers, the official said.
There were also restrictions on the movement and assembly of people in rest of the Valley, he said.
Thousands of forces personnel were deployed in Srinagar areas including in downtown since early morning who restricted movement of people by erecting barricades and barbed wires.
The authorities for the 9th consecutive week disallowed Friday prayers at historic Jama Masjid in Nowhatta area of downtown Srinagar. According to locals, the force personnel deployed at Nowhatta and in adjoining areas showed sticks to all those who tried to come out of their houses for offering prayers. Residents, particularly youth, of several downtown areas alleged that forces didn’t allow them to move towards mosques for offering Friday prayers.
Meanwhile, protests and violent clashes erupted at multiple places in Srinagar and on its outskirts after Friday prayers. Hundreds of people took out a rally from Dargah Hazratbal Shrine after Friday prayers but police swung into action and used force against the protesters by lobbing teargas shells. The protesters retaliated by pelting stones, resulting in clashes between the two sides.
The clashes also erupted at Anchar area of Soura where seven persons were injured. Scores of locals took to streets in the area and tagged anti-India and pro-freedom protests. The protesters later pelted stones on forces and who in return fired teargas shells. The clashes also erupted in Shaheed Gunj area of Srinagar while evening clashes occurred at Safa Kadal, Fateh Kadal, Bhori Kadal and Nawab Bazar.
The central Kashmir’s Ganderbal and Budgam districts also witnessed post-Friday protests. In Ganderbal, heavy protests rocked Beehama, Manigam, Safapora, Preng and Batwina areas, reports said here. In Budgam, clashes erupted at Ompora, Magam and Mirgund areas between forces and protesters.
According to official sources, clashes between youths and forces erupted at Tahab, Tral, Kakpora, Newa and Lethapora areas of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. At Kakpora, protesters attacked local police post with stones, resulting in outbreak of clashes that continued for over two hours and during which police used teargas shells and pellets. Several people sustained injuries during clashes while a trucker hailing from Kathua was hit by a stone at Lethpora.
The stone-throwing clashes between police and protesters also erupted at Shopian district after Friday congregational prayers. According to sources, the clashes erupted at Vihil and near Hospital in Main Town. In Kulgam district, the clashes occurred in Main Town and in Qaimoh areas. Police lobbed teargas shells towards protesters.
The north Kashmir districts also witnessed massive protests and clashes after Friday prayers. According to local sources, the clashes between forces and protesters erupted at Azad Gunj in Old Town Baramulla and in Sheeri. The police used teargas against the protesters and the clashes continued for several hours. At Rafiabad, the protesters attacked SDPO office with stones while clashes also erupted at Kalsari in Nihalpora village of Pattan in the district.
Massive protests and clashes also erupted at Sopore area of Baramulla district. According to sources, massive protests were held after Friday prayers outside Jamia Masjid Sopore while clashes erupted in Warpora, Main Chowk Sopore, Batapora and Arampora. The protesters pelted stones on Sopore Police Station. Police responded by lobbing teargas shells.
The clashes also raged at Bandipora and Kupwara districts. According to reports, clashes erupted at Papchan, Hajin, Sumbal and in Main Town of Bandipora between protesters and forces. The forces responded by lobbing teargas and pepper shells. In Kupwara, massive clashes erupted at Aloosa and at Hatmulla. Several persons sustained injuries in these clashes.
According to a police official, the situation in Valley remained under control on Friday. “However, there were stone-pelting incidents and protest rallies in all the 10 districts,” he said.
Normal life remained crippled due to curfew and the shutdown call by separatists groups against the killing of civilians in security forces' action over the past two months.
The separatists, who are spearheading the ongoing stir, have extended the shutdown programme till September 16.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions in the Valley continued to remain closed.
The attendance in government offices and banks, which had improved significantly over the past four days, dipped today owing to curfew and apprehensions of violence.
The roads and streets, which had witnessed increased movement of private vehicles in recent days, wore a deserted look, Public transport continued to be off the roads.
The deadly violence, in the wake of killing of HIzbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir on July 8, has left over 80 people, including two cops, dead and several thousand others injured.
‘Beaten’ by Forces, Driver succumbs
SRINAGAR: A contractual driver was allegedly beaten to death by the government forces in Srinagar on Friday.
Reports said that Abdul Qayoom Wangnoo, 47, who worked as contractual driver with CA&PD department, succumbed at SKIMS Soura late Friday.
His family members alleged that he was beaten by the CRPF men when he went to market at 8:30 am in Gooripora Hyderpora where he was visiting his in-laws for a marriage function.
Wangnoo, father-of-three, was a resident of Aali Kadal area of Srinagar.
A CRPF official, however, denied that Wangnoo was beaten by their personnel