- No let up in protests, clashes
- 2 women among 10 injured in forces action in Anantnag
- Women stage protest rally at Hazratbal
- Police arrests 43 more in 24 hours
- Forces’ raid continues in several localities
- 3 Bla youth have narrow escape after jumping into river Jhelum
- Jamaat Leader Arrested
At least 40 more people were injured in Kashmir areas on Wednesday when forces tried to foil pro-freedom gatherings and also allegedly beat up people in various localities, reports and witnesses said. Three youth had a narrow escape after they jumped into river Jhelum at Khanpora Bridge in Baramulla district after a forces’ chase, they said.
At least 87 people including two cops have been killed and over 13000 injured—700 with pellets in their eyes—in the past 75 days of anti-India uprising triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.
At least 20 people were injured as forces continued to use excessive force to quell peaceful pro-freedom rallies in South Kashmir areas, witnesses said. Further, there seemed to be no let-up in forces attacking villages, vandalizing property and thrashing inmates, they said.
12 people were injured in Shangran village of Dooru in Anantnag (Islamabad) district after forces attacked a freedom rally-cum-unity conference of various sects. Police, paramilitary forces and army raided the village early on Wednesday morning and thrashed the people and also ransacked the venue, witnesses said.
After the forces’ action, they said, people held protest demonstrations, but forces lobbed teargas shells and fired pellets to quell them. Health officials said 12 people sustained pellet injuries and four of them, including two women, were shifted to district hospital Anantnag. However, the defiant people went on with the rally amid pro-freedom sloganeering, the witnesses said.
Eight people sustained injuries in Shangus area of Anantnag (Islamabad) district after they tried to defy curfew imposed to foil a scheduled pro-freedom rally. The injured were treated locally.
Stringent curfew remained in place in the area with forces even sealing the proposed rally venue—the local Eidgah—apart from laying siege around Jamia Masjid.
Forces conducted nocturnal raids in Mool Chitragam village of Shopian district and allegedly vandalized houses and damaged property worth lakhs of rupees. The house of Tehreek-i-Hurriyat district president, Muhammad Yousuf Falahi, was also ransacked by forces and the family members beaten up mercilessly, witnesses said. Clashes also erupted in Nagbal village in Imam-Sahib area of the district. Police used teargas shells and fired pellets to disperse the protesters. However, there were no reports of injuries to anyone. Late evening reports said that forces allegedly damaged six electric transformers in Mallu Chitragam.
Jamaat Leader Arrested
Jama’at-e-Islami strongly condemned arrest of its leaders Mujahid Shabir Falahi of Tral and others by forces and termed these arrests as “unfair and unjustified.” In a statement issued here, JeI said that police detained Falahi of Tral before noon when he was on way to his home. Another Jama’at associate Tajamul Islam Mir of Gulshan-Pora Tral was also arrested at Tral, the statement read.
Residents of Bunglow Bagh and Arampora in Old Town Baramulla alleged that police on Wednesday evening raided the area and damaged several residential houses after their attempting to arrest some youth in the area failed. According to them, a contingent of police while taking advantage of rainy weather, raided the area at around 4.30 pm, to arrest some youths. But, they said, following stiff resistance from youth, the police raid turned into clashes. Police lobbed scores of teargas shells to disperse the protesters and clashes subsided only after the cops were forced to retreat.
The residents of Bunglow Bagh and Arampora alleged that police damaged windowpanes of several residential houses without any provocation. “They broke windowpanes of houses with gun-butts without any provocation. Several residential houses suffered damage,” said Farooq Ahmad, a resident of Arampora.
Meanwhile, in a mysterious fire incident, at least five shops were gutted on Tuesday night at General Bus Stand Baramulla. According to reports, the affected shopkeepers suffered heavy losses in the blaze.
“Shops are closed for the past more than two months. We don’t understand how a fire incident can be natural under such circumstances,” said an affected shopkeeper.
Late evening reports said during a forces’ chase at Khanpora Bridge in Baramulla, three youth jumped into river Jhelum but managed to reach the banks safely.
“It was after local support that they were fished out alive,” witnesses told Kashmir Post.
Reports from Sopore said a major ‘unity rally’ was held at Jamia Masjid Sopore after Zuhr prayers. The rally later passed through many areas and ended peacefully.
Reports said peaceful protests were held at Bomai, Warpora, Hathlangoo, Batpora, Shahabad, and Muslim Peer areas.
Clashes broke out in Cherkote area of Lolab in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district against the detention of local youth. The protestors also blocked the main road and demanded immediate release of youth. Meanwhile, the family members of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat district president for Baramulla Ghulam Nabi Bhat alleged that during a night raid, forces not only thrashed them but also looted gold and cash from the house located at Krankshivan Colony Sopore. Pertinently, police have been looking for Bhat who has so far managed to evade his arrest. “The government forces barged into our house on Tuesday night. After failing to locate my husband, they went on rampage and damaged the house property. They also looted cash and gold worth Rs 2.50 lakh from the house. Besides looting the valuables, they damaged everything including electronic gadgets, refrigerator, washing machine, laptops, TV set and other items,” Ayesha Begum, the wife of Bhat, alleged.
While some old Srinagar areas continued to remain under restrictions, clashes broke out in the evening in Rainawari, Kathidarwaza, Saraf Kadal, Rajouri Kadal and Nowhatta areas. Reports said clashes and protests were witnessed in Khanyar, Chattabal, Qamarwari, Palpora, Eidgah and Sekidafar areas too. Forces fired pellets and teargas shells to disperse the protestors at several of these places, witnesses said.
Reports said intense clashes broke out at HMT and Lawaypora areas on Srinagar-Baramulla highway, with forces firing pellets and teargas shells at the protestors. Reports from New Theed Harwan said forces broke windowpanes of residential houses and hurled abuses at the inmates. Locals told Kashmir Post that over 50 residential houses were damaged by the forces while belongings were also smashed.
Similar reports poured in from 90-feet Road at Soura, Illahibag, Bachpora and Nowshehra areas.
Reports from uptown areas of Srinagar said a peaceful protest was taken out at Batamallo which was followed by clashes, while protests were held at Nowgam, Soiteng, Lasjan, Peerbagh, Hyderpora and Barzulla.
A complete shutdown was observed in entire district Ganderbal. All shops and business establishments remain closed while government and private offices wore a deserted look. Educational institutes also remained closed. Reports said late night clashes erupted in Sozeth, Narbal in Budgam where forces allegedly resorted to vandalism and ransacked residential houses. Locals alleged that forces thrashed three locals and torched paddy and grass in the village. Clashes were witnessed at Narbal crossing with forces firing dozens of teargas shells at the protestors.
According to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, there was no curfew in Kashmir except under the areas of three police stations in Srinagar. “Police arrested 43 individuals found involved in stopping/disrupting the traffic, damaging vehicles, public property and creating disruption in opening of shops,” the statement said.
It said a couple of stone pelting incidents were reported from Zainapora in Shopian and Shangran, Dooru in Anantnag “where miscreants in their attempts to disturb the situation assembled and pelted stones on police and security force deployments. Barring these incidents, the overall situation remained under control across the valley. Greater movement of people and vehicular traffic was observed across the valley including in the Srinagar city.” Meanwhile, in a separate statement issued by Zonal Police Headquarters Jammu, the overall situation throughout the Jammu zone remained normal. “Following improvement in situation, the district administration Rajouri announced relaxation in curfew today from morning 7 am till further orders,” it said.