- 3 Schools set ablaze by unknown persons in 24 hours
- Sinha-led group meets geelani at Hyderpora, also calls on Shabir Shah, Prof Bhat
- Police says situation normal
Normal life remained paralyzed in Kashmir for the 109th straight day on Tuesday in the wake of ongoing uprising, even as three school buildings were set ablaze by unknown persons in the past 24 hours, reports and witnesses said.
Business establishments in Srinagar and elsewhere re-opened after 5 pm on the ‘relaxation’ given by Kashmir’s resistance leadership in its weekly protest calendar against civilian killings and arrests. Public transport however continues to remain off the roads.
Reports said five youth were picked up by police in Bagh-e-Mehtab area of Srinagar during a nocturnal raid. Two of them were, however, released later. The youths, according to locals, have been lodged at Police Station Raj Bagh.
Reports said two masked gunmen on Government forces on Tuesday morning launched a crackdown and conducted house-to-house searches in several villages of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Reports said police and army laid a siege in Danter and Chidhama villages and launched house-to-house searches apparently to apprehend youth allegedly involved in street protests.
In Shopian district, police and army cordoned-off Malik Mohalla at Bungam area soon after morning prayers. House-to-house searches were conducted but no one was arrested, locals said
An all-women freedom rally was held in Arwani village of Bijbehara in Anantnag district. Reports said hundreds of women participated in the rally led by Dukhtaran-e-Millat outfit.
Another freedom rally by DeM activists was held in Zadoora village of Pulwama. Clashes were also reported in Sugan village of Shopian.
Police arrested five Tehreek-e-Hurriyat activists wanted in connection with the ongoing uprising from a residence in New Housing Colony Bijbehara during a nocturnal raid on Monday.
The arrested persons were identified as Bashir Ahmad Saleh, Bashir Ahmad Sofi, Abdul Khaliq Regu, Abdul Rehman Tantray and Farooq Ahmad Saleh.
The arrested persons, according to police sources, were leading the ongoing uprising in Old Town Baramulla and were on the run.
According to sources, a police party raided the area at around 11 pm on Monday and arrested the Hurriyat activists.
Massive protests by women were held after Zuhr prayers in Jamia Masjid Sopore and other adjoining areas like Botingoo, Bomai. The protest rallies were led by DeM and concluded peacefully.
According reports, clashes broke out after forces ransacked public property in Kehnoosa village of Bandipora. Forces detained two brothers, Danish Ahmad and Nisar Ahmad, sons of Gulbaz Ahmad last night, apart from 18-year-old Rameez Ahmad Lone son of Abdus Samad from Kehnoosa Bandipora.
Reports said during the forces’ raid, more than 50 residential houses and dozens of private vehicles were damaged. Locals said several people including women and children were ruthlessly beaten by forces, triggering protests.
Reports said three school buildings were set ablaze by unknown persons in Kashmir over the past 24 hours.
Police said a government school was set ablaze by unknown persons in the wee hours of Tuesday in Noorbagh area of Srinagar but the blaze was put out by fire tenders. They said the school building suffered damage in the fire.
Reports said unknown persons also tried to burn down Government Higher Secondary School at Aishmuqam in Anantnag district. However, it was saved by the timely intervention of fire brigade personnel.
Reports said last night, fire broke out in a building of Government Middle School in Sadrakote Bala of Bandipora district. The fire tenders were rushed in and the blaze was put out.
Amid complete shutdown, the Chaharum of Javaid Ahmaid Mir was observed at his home town Nasrallahpora Budgam. Reports said thousands of people participated in the congregational prayers of the youth who reportedly died of cardiac arrest after being allegedly chased by forces on October 21 in Nasrallahpora.
Four youth identified as Shabir Ahmad Bhat, Muhammad Khalid Mir, Mukhtar Ahmad Teli and Abid Ahmad Wani were arrested from different localities in Kangan area allegedly for stone-pelting.
Meanwhile, a five-member delegation, led by former union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha, which arrived here on Tuesday, met the Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani amid ongoing uprising in Kashmir which entered its 109th straight day. The meeting is seen as a fresh effort by New Delhi to pave way for talks with the resistance camp in Kashmir.
Soon after its arrival here, the delegation straightaway drove to the residence of Geelani at Hyderpora here for a meeting with the veteran leader who continues to be under house arrest.
“We had a good discussion (with Geelani) and it took place in a cordial atmosphere. We had come with an aim to hold talks and we succeeded in it,” Sinha, the former External Affairs Minister of India, told reporters soon after the meeting that lasted for more than an hour. “We are a few people who have come with goodwill to share the pain of Kashmiri people,” Sinha said.
The other members of the group, which is on three-day visit to Kashmir, are former Chief Information Commissioner of India Wajahat Habibullah, Ex-Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, Executive Director of Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation, Shushoba Bharve, and veteran journalist Bharat Bhushan.
In a statement issued to media, the Geelani-led Hurriyat said the delegation was told that “the onus of peace in the region particularly in Jammu and Kashmir lies with those holding power, military might and other resources.”
The statement said the meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere and Geelani reminded the delegation about the “historical perspective of Kashmir issue, pending for its final resolution since 1947.” He also told it that people have given enormous sacrifices for settlement of the long-standing dispute.
According to the statement, Geelani also sought release of people and leaders and withdrawal of cases against youth “so that after consultation, a common and collective point of view can be put forward.”
During the ongoing uprising in Kashmir triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mijahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 this year, at least 94 civilians have been killed and over 13,000 injured, and over 1000 of them blinded in action by security forces. Besides, police have also arrested over 9000 people, mostly youth, and slapped Public Safety Act on over 400 persons in a bid to quell the uprising. Most of the arrested persons have been however released on bail.
The meeting comes more than a month after Geelani and other resistance leaders refused to meet CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury and other non-BJP MPs who were part of an all-party delegation that visited Kashmir on September 4.
“We came here for humanity… I hope the state of unrest will be resolved soon,” IANS quoted Sinha as saying.
As the delegation was leaving Geelani’s residence a group of youth shouted anti-government and pro-freedom slogans.
Calls On Prof. Bhat
Later in the day, the Sinha-led delegation met Muslim Conference Chairman Prof Abdul Gani Bhat. During the meeting, a statement said, Prof Bhat highlighted the role of Indian intellectual class for early resolution of Kashmir dispute. “The need of the hour is to resolve Kashmir issue by devising a mechanism for a fruitful and result-oriented dialogue process among the three stakeholders to the Kashmir dispute—India, Pakistan and people of Kashmir,” said the statement. “It was further said that until Kashmir issue is not resolved as per wishes and aspirations of people of Kashmir peace can’t prevail in South Asia.”
“Due to the lingering Kashmir issue, there is always a chance of nuclear war which can not only bring destruction in South Asia, but is also a threat to the world peace,” said the statement.
Meets Shabir Shah In Jail
In the evening, the delegation visited police station Rajbagh here to meet the Chairman of Democratic Freedom Party Shabir Shah, who is under arrest there.
“He (Shah) told the delegation that talks can’t be held when forces continue to kill civilians in Kashmir,” said a party spokesman. “At the same time Shah Sahab made it clear to the delegation that India can’t sideline Pakistan for resolution of Kashmir which is a core issue and has to be resolved as per aspirations of people.”
The spokesman said Shah cautioned the group that the day wasn’t far when “Kashmiri youth will be forced to pick up guns if Kashmir issue isn’t resolved”.
Referring to Jat agitation in Rajasthan and Patel agitation in Gujarat, the spokesman said Shah told the delegation that no pellet guns were used against the protestors in the two states despite damage to huge property.
“The civilians are being killed and property damaged and students left blind due to use of pellet guns in Kashmir,” Shah told the group.
The delegation would also meet chief minister Mehbooba Mufti during its stay in Kashmir.
Situation Remained Normal Today : Police
According to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, the situation remained normal across the valley with considerable increase in vehicles and pedestrian movement in Srinagar and other main towns today. “The shops were seen open and busy in their business in many parts of the valley. In Chowks and on busy streets large number of vendors remained busy in their routine job,” it said.
According to the statement during the day, no untoward incident was reported from any part of the valley.
According to the statement, on Tuesday morning some unknown miscreants set on fire Higher Secondary School Building Ashmuqam in the jurisdiction of Police Station Ashmuqam, Anantnag, resulting in some damage to the building. “The fire was brought under control by fire tenders with the assistance of Police and locals. Anantnag police has registered a case in this regard,” it said.
According to the statement the main accused in the burning of two sumo vehicles in Parimpora on 17th October 2016 namely Mehraj-ud-din Ganai alias Raju alias Zaid son of Muhammad Sikander Ganai resident of Parimpora was arrested by Srinagar police today.