Protests and clashes took place between agitating youth and security personnel at various places in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley after the Friday prayers over the alleged use of force against students recently.
The police lobbed teargas shells to dispel the protesters in the Nowhatta area of Srinagar, where youths took to the streets after the congregational Friday prayers, prompting a shutdown in the area.
Even as the separatists had given no shutdown call today, spontaneous protest demonstrations were witnessed in various parts of the Valley. There were reports of protests and clashes from Pulwama in south Kashmir and Sopore and Bandipora in north Kashmir.
In Sopore town, the police lobbed teargas shells to disperse the protesters who were agitating after the Friday prayers.
Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who delivers the Friday sermon every week at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, continued to be under house arrest for the seventh consecutive Friday, a spokesman said. He said Mirwaiz had expressed concern over the use of force against students of Government Degree College, Pulwama, on April 15 and the subsequent harassment of the protesting students in other parts of the Valley.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan today directed the principals of all colleges to adopt a proactive approach in dealing with any untoward incident on the campuses and focus on ensuring a peaceful atmosphere in the institutions. He also asked them not to allow any outsiders on the premises of their institutions.
Hr Sec institutes to remain closed today
Students took to streets again to protest against the police action at Pulwama degree college in which over 50 students were injured even as the colleges across the valley remained closed for third consecutive day Thursday.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan said teaching work in all the higher secondary institutions of Kashmir Division will remain suspended on April 21 (Friday) as a precautionary measure. The separatists had called for protests after Friday prayers.
Clashes erupted between students and government forces in Kaloosa area of Bandipora after students held protest demonstrations against the forces’ action at Pulwama college. One women sustained injuries when she was hit by a stone during the clashes.
Eyewitnesses told Kashmir Post that clashes erupted between forces and students of NM Higher Secondary Kaloosa. “CRPF and policemen entered school premises and fired several tear smoke shells when we were peacefully protesting,” a group of students told Kashmir Post.
Students hurled stones at SSP office Bandipora located in close proximity of the school. The clashes continued till afternoon.
Many students also boycotted classes. The protesting students tried to take out rally, but were stopped by police, leading to clashes.
Meanwhile, the protesting students from Ajas Higher Secondary School blocked Srinagar-Bandipora road. They were protesting against the high-handedness of government forces at Pulwama college. They also demanded release of students arrested by police following the incident.
Clashes also erupted between students and forces in Safakadal area of Srinagar, Kangan area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, Goshbug Pattan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district after forces disallowed protesting students to carry out their solidarity protest.
Forces tried to disperse the protesting students by using tear gas canisters. Scores of students including some cops were injured during the ensuing clashes.
In a related development, Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU) has called on student community to resume their classes after a successful display of resistance, unity and valor.
A statement issued by the KUSU said the student reaction to Pulwama raids were exemplary.
“The protests in solidarity with the students assaulted by forces at Pulwama Degree College was not only exemplary but a historic message put across the globe that the struggle of right to self-determination is deep rooted in the conscience of every man, woman and youth of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said adding, “It should be kept in mind that while resuming class work, the students should make resistance against India a way of life and raise voice against the oppression whenever needed or necessary”.
Turkish forces have killed 18 Daesh terrorists during operations in northern Syria over the past 24 hours.
According to a statement released by the Turkish army on Sunday, some 130 terrorist targets, including hideouts, defense positions, headquarters, weapons and vehicles were also shelled in the operations.
Turkish fighter planes also carried out raids against various terrorist-held positions in al-Bab, destroying ammunition depots, checkpoints, tunnels and nine buildings.
Earlier in the month, Russia announced that Turkish jets had joined the anti-Daesh operations in Syria’s al-Bab.
The statement noted that the US-led coalition also engaged in airstrikes in the region, destroying terrorist infrastructure.
The holy city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran has been officially introduced as the “cultural capital of the Muslim world” for the Asia region for 2017.
In 2011, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), which is associated with the Organization of Islamic Conference, launched the initiative for three cities to be named each year as such capitals throughout the countries in Asia, the Arab region, and the African region, which house considerable Muslim populations.
On Tuesday, Mashhad was awarded the title by Deputy Director General of the ISESCO Amina al-Hajri at a ceremony attended by ranking Iranian officials and 250 cultural and political figures from 51 world countries.
The other cities bearing the title this year are the Jordanian capital of Amman for the Arab region and the Ugandan capital of Kampala for Africa.
“This is an important day for Mashhad, Islamic Iran, and the world of Islam,” Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi Amiri said, addressing the event. “Mashhad can be the focal point for attracting scholars and thinkers and artists.”
Muslims, he said, believed in the same theoretical basics, had one Holy Book, and one Prophet (PBUH).
“We have common enemies inside the world of Islam. They have their own reactionary understanding and perception of this holy religion. They want to portray the religion as a violent one,” the Iranian minister said. “And at the same time, we have external foes, namely the Zionist entity (Israel), which plays a key role in creating disunity in the world of Islam.”
The official concluded by urging unity and convergence toward successfully confronting the sources of enmity to the Islamic world.
After 79 days of curfew, restrictions and shutdown, the markets opened across the Valley on Sunday afternoon in response to the relaxation in shutdown announced by the separatist leaders.
At 2 pm, the shopkeepers and business establishments in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley opened their shops and establishments.
The Sunday market, which has remained closed since July 8, also opened today.
It was for the first time in last 79 days that markets in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley opened in the day in response to the relaxation in shutdown announced by the separatists.
Earlier, the shops and business establishments used to open during the evening in the evening hours relaxation in shutdown given by the separatists, who are spearheading the ongoing agitation and extended the strike upto September 29.
At least 88 people have been killed and over 11,000 injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley triggered by killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.
During the relaxation period in shutdown today, markets remained abuzz with activities. People thronged the markets to purchase essentials and other items.
The traffic police had a tough time in regulating the jams in Srinagar and other places. There was a total gridlock in the city and it took hours for people to reach city centre Lal Chowk.
“We were preparing to reopen the shops from the morning. Due to curfew, restrictions and shutdown we couldn’t even open the shops on eve of Eid. The relaxation call gave a brief relief to shopkeepers and vendors,” said Wahid, a vendor from Batamaloo.
A shopkeeper in Lal Chowk Javed Ahmad said, “There was great rush of people in the markets. It was a great relief after the markets opened today.”
Rouf Ahmad Shiekh, who works as a salesman in a shop in Lal Chow, said, he feels that a siege has been lifted.
“During these days, we have been under siege and this relaxation has given us a temporary breather,” he said.
The traders said people thronged the markets to purchase essential commodities only.
“There was a good rush of shoppers but people were making only essential purchases. People are also judiciously spending money as they don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Situation is totally uncertain,” President Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) Mohammad Yasin Khan told Kashmir Post.
He said many people also come out to make purchases for marriages.
Khan, who is also the chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance, said the shopkeeper are selling only old stocks and are not in a position to buy new stock for winter months.
“This time shopkeepers would usually keep stock for autumn and winter months. But we have not made any new purchases as situation on the ground has not improved,” said Khan.
The flea market was also thronged by good number of people.
A police spokesman said curfew was lifted from entire Valley today.
“There was no curfew in any part of the valley today,” he said.
Meanwhile, people in downtown Srinagar took out a protest rally and clashed with police and paramilitary personnel. The cops fired tear smoke shells to disperse the protestors, who pelted stones on them.
The forces foiled an Ittehad-i-Milat conference at Qazipora village of Bandipora district by imposing strict restrictions.
Locals said heavy contingent of CRPF and police was deployed near Eidgah Qazipora, where proposed conference was to be held.
“ The forces caged us to foil pro-freedom unity rally proposed to be held in Eidgah,” said a resident of Qazipora, Bandipora.
Police and CRPF men had also erected barricades near Kaloosa and Bonwatpora to restrict the movement of people. Many religious and pro-freedom leaders were supposed to address the proposed rally in Qazipora.
The clashes between youth and cops were reported from Anantnag and Sopore.
A police spokesman said the situation across the valley remained normal.
He said miscreants attempted to create disturbances in Anantnag and Sopore. “At main Chowk Sopore and KP road Anantnag miscreants in their attempt to create disturbances pelted stones on shopkeepers when they were today opening their shops. Police and security deployments immediately reached the spots and chased away miscreants and normalized the situation”.
The spokesman said during past 24 hours, police arrested 39 more miscreants, who were wanted in the offences of harassing shops keepers, creating disruptions in traffic movement by stone pelting and by placing obstructions on roads and lanes, and also found involved in damaging public/private property.
Over half a dozen people received pellet injuries in Anantnag on Saturday even as curfew remained imposed in Handwara and some other parts of Kashmir. Kashmir observed complete shutdown while markets opened after 6 PM on the call of resistance leadership.
In last 78 days, 88 civilians have died in police, paramilitary and army firing across Kashmir while above 13,000 have been injured.
At least six people sustained pellet injuries as government forces used firearms to foil pro-freedom rally in Shangus area of Anantnag district. The forces also reportedly damaged a hotel in Verinag area of district Friday night.
A pro-freedom rally cum unity conference of various sects (Itihad-I-Milat) was proposed in Shangus which was foiled by forces resulting in clashes. “Forces lobbed tear shells and used pellet guns to quell the protesters who tried to march towards the venue – the local Jamia Masjid,” eyewitnesses said. “People in retaliation pelted stones on the forces.”
“The injured were treated at SDH Shangus and PHC Nowgam,” a health official said.
Locals said a stringent curfew was put in place in the area and barricades and spools of concertina wires were placed at various places to stop people from marching towards Shangus.
Another, pro-freedom rally proposed in DH Pora, Noorabad in Kulagm district, was also foiled by forces by imposing curfew in the area.
Reports said on Friday night a private hotel was damaged by forces in tourist resort of Verinag.
“Police and paramilitary forces without any provocation raided at around 10 PM and vandalized it,” alleged Muhamad Amin Sheikh, owner of Hotel Blue Spring.
Reports of protest demonstrations amid complete shutdown also poured in from some villages of Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian district too. The market, in all small and major towns, however opened during relaxation hours at 6 PM on the call of joint resistance leadership.
Police continues with its crackdown against youth by conducting nocturnal raids at their houses. The families of the youth are alleging that police is arresting even relatives of youth who are evading arrests.
Another leading Islamic scholar namely Maulana Bilal Qasmi from Zongalpora, Kulgam, who was arrested a fortnight ago has been booked under PSA and lodged in Kathua jail.
Reports reaching here from Baramulla said that amid pro-freedom slogans, the body of Waseem Ahmad Lone who was shot dead by security forces at Nadihal in Rafiabad on Friday evening was laid to rest at martyrs graveyard in Nadihal on Saturday morning.
According to reports, since morning thousands of people from Nadihal and its adjoining villages started visiting the area. The protesters who were thousands in number and swelling with time, were chanting pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans.
At around 10.30 AM, a huge funeral procession was taken out from the residence of slain youth and amid intense sloganeering the body was laid to rest at local martyrs graveyard, close to the grave of Danish Manzoor of Nadihal who too was killed by security forces last month.
Heart-rending scenes were witnessed as the body was taken out from his residence for last rites. The mother and two sisters of the slain boy laid over the body and people were unable to separate them for a long time. The scene turned extremely emotional when younger brother Rameez Ahmad, who is abnormal, urged the people to let the body stay for a while.
Officials said that curfew was imposed in Handwara town of Kupwara district. “Curfew was imposed in view of apprehensions of law and order problems,” an official said.
Reports reaching from Bandipora said that amid heavy deployment, entire district observed complete shutdown.
The Government foiled “Lar Chalo” program called by joint resistance leadership by imposing restrictions on the movement of people in the area.
Reports said police, paramilitary forces and Army were deployed at all the entry points of the main roads connecting Lar town with rest of Ganderbal district to thwart any protests in the area. However the day passed peacefully. Police detained three youth in Kangan identified as Bashir Ahmad Rather, Nawaz Ahmad Rather of Kangan and Abrar Ahmad Lone of Konmulla Kangan.
Shops, schools, offices and other business establishments remain closed in the entire Ganderbal district but considerable movement of private vehicles was witnessed on Sonamarag-Srinagar road. One more youth identified as Fayaz Ahmad Mir of Beehama was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) and was shifted to Central Jail Srinagar. The number of youth booked under PSA in the district has reached 15.
In Srinagar district, curfew remained imposed in jurisdiction of police stations Nowhatta, Khanyar and Mahraj Ganj. Officials said restrictions on the assembly of people under Section 144 CrPc remained in force in rest of Kashmir. “Curfew has been imposed in view of the apprehensions of law and order problems,” officials said.
Reports from Budgam said that complete shutdown continues in the district.
VAID REVIEWS LAW & ORDER SITUATION:
Special Director General, Law & Order/Coordination, S P Vaid, has said that law enforcing agencies have to work together and maintain peace and order in the State, besides safety and security of people.
Chairing a meeting of Police and CRPF officers, Vaid stressed upon the officers to exercise restraint while dealing with situation and undertake joint efforts to have result oriented crowd management, besides dealing with the elements inimical to peace.
Market Open At 6 PM:
At 6 PM, markets opened across Kashmir in response to joint resistance leadership call for resuming business activities from 6 PM onwards. Traders opened shops and there was heavy rush of people in the markets. The traders were seen waiting in Lal Chowk and Residency Road outside their shops till 6 PM. As clock struck 6, they pulled up shutters as rush of private vehicles increased on the roads.
The markets re-opened in the evening after a gap 14 days.
A 22-year-old youth was killed after forces fired at him while he was busy harvesting crops in his field in Nadihal area of Rafiabad in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday evening, witnesses and reports said. With the fresh killing, the death toll in the ongoing uprising triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani has mounted to 88 in the past 77 days. At least 100 more youth sustained injuries in forces’ action on protesters after Friday prayers across Kashmir.
The slain youth was identified as Waseem Ahmad Lone son of Nazir Ahmad of Nadihal Rafiabad. Local hospital authorities said a bullet had hit Waseem on his back and pierced through his heart, resulting in his death. “The bullet had damaged his heart, causing his instant death,” said Dr Masood, Medical Superintendent of District Hospital Baramulla.
Witnesses said the killing of Waseem occurred when men and women were busy in paddy fields in Nadihal.
“All of a sudden, forces fired from one of their vehicles. A bullet hit Waseem directly. An army convoy comprising of around three vehicles while passing through the area fired from their vehicle without any provocation,” they said. “We, along with Waseem, were working in the paddy field at the time of firing.”
Abdur Rashid of Nadihal said a bullet hit Waseem and he instantly fell down. “We took him to a hospital where he was declared as brought dead,” he said.
As the news of youth’s death spread in the area, thousands of people hit the streets and staged massive pro-freedom demonstrations. The women were seen beating their chests while youth were trying hard to console the family of the slain youth.
Describing the killing as a barbaric act, locals said it is the second death since August 30 “where army is involved.”
“First forces killed Danish Manzoor in August and now they killed Waseem. In both the cases, forces showered bullets without any provocation,” said Muhammad Shaban, a local resident. He said the tragic incident has occurred when entire population in Baramulla is busy in harvesting crops and even clothes of Waseem and people accompanying him had mud splattered on them.
Meanwhile, when contacted, DIG Baramulla Uttam Chand said: “We don’t have any information about the circumstances that led to the death of the slain youth. I don’t have any information about the incident as of now.”
‘Will Ascertain Facts’ Army
Army’s spokesman in Srinagar, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, said: “We are ascertaining the facts about how the youth was killed in (Nadihal).”
At least 15 people sustained pellet and teargas shell injuries in Sopore area, reports said. The Friday congregational prayers were held at two places only—Jamia Masjid Sopore and New Colony.
Reports said when a joint protest rally of people reached near Main Chowk, a heavy contingent of police and paramilitary CRPF came under stone-pelting. The forces fired pellets and teargas shells in which at least 15 people sustained injuries, they said. The clashes later spread to other areas including Muslim Peer, Bomai, Chanakhan, Tujjar Sharief, Tarzoo and Hathlangoo, and continued till late evening.
Reports from Bandipora district said forces resorted to teargas shelling and pellet firing to foil a proposed pro-freedom rally there. The forces fired dozens of teargas shells and pellets to disperse protesters who were preparing to take out the rally from Jamia Masjid Bandipora to Gulshan Chowk, triggering clashes. Youth clashed with police in Gulshan Chowk and Plan areas.
Meanwhile, police detained a rights activist and Hurriyat Conference (G) member from Hajin area of Bandipora, his family said. Muhammad Yousuf Sofi alias Salman Yousuf is General Secretary (Bandipora) of Hurriyat (G). Sofi, a resident of Brar village, was detained while he was coming out from Jamia Masjid Hajin after offering congregational Friday prayers, his family members. Meanwhile, people held a protest rally against the detention of Sofi and demanded his immediate release.
Residents of Ajas area offered Friday congregational prayers in Eidgah. Later, they held a protest in Ajas Chowk and shouted pro-freedom slogans. Mild clashes also erupted in Kaloosa and Ajar areas.
Reports from Kupwara district said strict restrictions were imposed there to prevent pro-freedom rallies. All entry and exit points were sealed with barbed wire amid heavy deployment of forces. However, protestors defied curbs at Trehgam, Kralpora and Langate after Friday prayers and staged peaceful protests.
While Old Srinagar areas remained under tight curfew, intense clashes broke out after Friday payers at Khanyar, Fateh Kadal, Rainawari, 90-feet Road, Soura, Bemina, Chattabal and Kaka Sarai localities. Uptown areas of Srinagar also witnessed intense clashes between youth and forces after Friday prayers.
Witnesses said people resorted to stone-pelting at Rambagh and Barzulla areas after forces detained four local youth. The clashes took an ugly turn when protestors surrounded a police official and hurled stones at him from all directions. The forces fired indiscriminately at the protestors, leaving at least 13 youth injured. The injured received pellet and tear-gas shell injuries. The clashes spilled over to Chanapora, Azad Basti, Natipora, Nowgam, Sanantnagar, Hyderpora and Peerbagh areas.
Reports said heavy deployment of forces was made in areas including Chanapora, Azad Basti and Natipora to prevent stone-pelting during evening hours. Earlier in the day, six youth had sustained mild injuries in the forces’ action in these localities.
Reports of evening clashes also poured in from Hawal, Gojwara, Nowhatta, Nawa Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Nawabazar, Eidgah, Palpora, Noorbagh, Parimpora, HMT and Lawaypora areas.
Residents of Wawoosa area of Rangreth on Srinagar outskirts alleged that forces resorted to vandalism by breaking windowpanes of at least 17 residential houses. “The forces entered into residential houses and created havoc. They hit windows with bamboo sticks and gun-butts damaging the window-frames and later targeted windowpanes as well. The houses of Mukhtar Ahmed Wani, Faisal Showkat Wani, and Liyaqat Sidiq Bhat suffered intense damage in the forces’ action,” a group of residents told Kashmir Post over phone.
‘No Friday Prayers At Jamia Masjid’
Police didn’t allow congregational Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of old Srinagar on the 11th consecutive Friday. All roads leading to the grand mosque were sealed with barbed wire while heavy deployment of forces was made at Nowhatta Chowk. While Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house arrest at his Hydepora residence, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq remains lodged in sub-jail Cheshmashahi. JKLF chief, who was arrested on July 8, was recently shifted to Joint Interrogation Centre (JIC) at Humhama. Malik was first lodged in police station Kothibagh, then in Central Jail and also in police station Humhama.
A stringent curfew was imposed in South Kashmir areas even as at least 40 people sustained injuries in protests and clashes that erupted as forces foiled marches called by Kashmir’s joint resistance leadership to different areas here. Curfew was enforced in all big and small towns—Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Tral, Awantipora, Bijbehara, Kakpora, Pampore, Kokernag, Achabal and Devsar in the wake of apprehensions of protests and marches after Friday prayers.
At least 20 people sustained injuries in the forces’ action on protesters in Soaf Shali village in Kokernag area. Locals said a pro-freedom rally was scheduled in the village after Friday congregational prayers, but army soldiers, CRPF and policemen raided the village early in the morning and went berserk. “The forces barged into several houses, vandalized property, smashed windowpanes and beat up inmates,” they said.
They said the forces’ action triggered protests in the area but forces again lobbed numerous teargas shells and used pellet gun on people.
“Ghulam Nabi Sheikh (50) was among the injured being treated at SDH Kokernag. He had sustained teargas shell injury in his face,” doctors there said.
A youth, Irshad Ahmad Gagroo, was also arrested by police, evoking protests. “The forces closed all entry points to prevent people from marching towards Kokernag,” a local resident said.
They said the forces also damaged two electricity transformers in the area.
Protests and clashes erupted in Newa village of Pulwama district in which at least 10 people sustained injuries. “The injured were treated locally,” they said.
Three people sustained injuries in clashes that erupted in Chaudhrigund village of Shopian district. Reports of protest demonstrations also poured in from Aarihal-Pulwama, Tral and Drangbal in Pampore.
“People took out a march from Drangbal to Nambalbal,” they said.
Earlier in the morning, protests were held against the arrest of three youths.
Witnesses said people took to streets after announcements were made through public address systems of mosques, asking people to come out. They said three youths were picked up during a night raid by forces.
Late evening reports said police detained 70-year-old Ghulam Hassan Sheikh of Deva Colony Janglat Mandi, Anantnag from his house after cops asked for his son who was not present there.
Reports from Ompora area of Budgam district said forces broke windowpanes of dozens of residential houses, triggering clashes. At least eight people sustained pellet and teargas shell injuries in Charar-e-Sharief area when forces tried to quell a pro-freedom protest march after congregational Friday prayers.
Witnesses said intense clashes broke out at Gulshanabad area of Charar-e-Sharief after Friday prayers as hundreds of people tried to march towards Chrar town under the ‘Char Chalo’ call given by the joint resistance leadership.
Witnesses said forces fired indiscriminately at the protestors, injuring at least 11 with pellets and tear-gas shells.
“Two of the injured youth were hit by pellets in their eyes and were shifted to Srinagar hospitals for specialized treatment,” residents said.
Witnesses said soon after the Friday prayers ended at the Charar-e-Sharief shrine, a peaceful pro-freedom protest rally was held which started from Ziyarat Chowk and ended at Gulshanabad Chowk. Mild clashes were witnessed at Khag area of the district as well.
Reports of clashes at Beerwah town and Narbal areas also poured in. Peaceful protests were held at Khag, Shunglipora, Rathsun, Khansahab, and Chadoora areas, reports said. In Ganderbal district, authorities foiled “Kangan Chalo” program called by the joint resistance camp. Forces, wearing riot-gear, were deployed at Chinar and Margund, the two ends of Srinagar-Leh highway. Witnesses said forces intensified checking and frisking at these places. Later, all main exit and entry points of Kangan market were sealed to thwart any protests. However, as the forces were withdrawn from the market, youth assembled in Jamia Market area and chanted pro-freedom and pro-Islamic slogans.
Witnesses said forces were re-deployed again in the market after a group of youth resorted to stone-pelting at Kangan Chowk. Three protestors were detained after a group of policemen-in-civvies appeared near Sumo Stand Kangan and caught hold of them. Protests rallies were also held at Kurhama, Kondbal, Safapora, Beehama and Manigam after Friday prayers. However, they all dispersed peacefully. Wussan Market also witnessed deployment of forces.
A youth Wasim Ahmad Sofi was detained from Kondbal in Manasbal area after police raided his Bakery Shop in the locality. Meanwhile, locals at Tawheed Chowk said they were first time allowed to offer Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid. However, residents of Beehama said they were not allowed to offer Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid for the 11th consecutive Friday.
Eight persons were injured after intense clashes broke out between youth and police following a police raid in old town Baramulla this evening. The injured includes Fayaz Ahmad Kumar alias Narsimha of Khanpora who sustained a pellet injury in his leg.
“Fayaz, who is wanted by police in stone-pelting cases, was bundled into a police gypsy and taken to Police Lines Baramulla. Following the incident, rumors spread in the area that the injured youth has succumbed, but it proved to be wrong,” locals said.
As these rumors spread, scores of youths hit the streets and started protesting. As the protests intensified, police lobbed scores of teargas shells and fired pellets, causing injuries to seven youths who were shifted to Primary Health Center in Old Town. Meanwhile, Baramulla police—in order to dispel the rumors called upon the family members of the injured youth and president of Auqa-I-Islamia Khanpora and allowed them to meet Fayaz.
Talking to Kashmir Post, Fayaz’s brother said he is injured but stable. “We talked to him and he is stable. He has received pellet injury in his leg,” said Abdur Rashid Kumar.
Meanwhile, the residents of Banglow Bagh, Arampora and Azad Gunj accused the police of “spreading terror in the area by ransacking dozens of residential houses and damaging scores of vehicles.” “Even an electric transformer at Bunglow Bagh was hit with bullets by police, plunging the entire area into darkness,” the residents alleged.
Reports from Sopore said amid complete shutdown, a freedom rally was held at Arampora and Batpora areas which culminated peacefully.
A youth was allegedly beaten to pulp by paramilitary forces on Thursday afternoon in Saderkoot area of Bandipora district, witnesses said. Javaid Ahmad Malik, 24, of Saderkoot Payeen was beaten to pulp by CRPF without any provocation, they said. “He was later shifted to SDH Bandipora where doctors said he has multiple injuries on his back due to beating by forces.”
Meanwhile, at least seven people were injured when clashes broke out in Aragam area of Bandipora after a gunfight was over. Witnesses said youth clashed with police and CRPF in Aragam Chowk, and the forces responded by firing teargas shells and pellets.
Reports from Kupwara district said a complete shutdown was observed there amid heavy deployment of forces in areas including Trehgam, Kralpora, Langate, Sogam and Lalpora.
Authorities foiled a march to Anantnag (Islamabad) called by Kashmir’s joint resistance leadership for people of South Kashmir on Thursday by imposing curfew in the town. The forces relentlessly continued to attack villages, damage property and beat up inmates, witnesses said.
Police and paramilitary forces, wearing riot-gear and armed with sophisticated weapons, were deployed in strength on streets of Old Town as well as Khanabal-Pahalgam road and Achajipora-Moominabad areas to thwart any attempts at protests. The forces had also sealed all entry and exit points leading to the town by erecting barricades and laying spools of concertina wire, witnesses said.
Clashes and protests, however erupted in Kulgam town where youth pelted stones on forces who responded by lobbing teargas shells and pellets. However, there were no reports of any injuries.
Locals of Sedow village in Shopian district alleged that forces conducted overnight raids there, ransacked household goods and damaged property. “The forces also beat up inmates including women and children,” they alleged.
Meanwhile, police continued with its crackdown against youth, with many being arrested during overnight raids across South Kashmir, reports said.
While old Srinagar areas remained under curfew, massive clashes broke out at Safa Kadal after police allegedly detained a local Imam, Bashir Ahmed, and lodged him in police station Khanyar. As the news of the Imam’s detention spread, scores of youth took to the streets and engaged forces in stone-pelting. The forces, in turn, retaliated with pellets and tear-gas shells in which 15 people sustained injuries. The clashes later spread to Nopora, Sekidafar, Watal Kadal, Kaka Sarai, Nawabazar, Saraf Kadal and other areas. Reports of clashes also poured in from Habba Kadal and Fateh Kadal areas. Evening clashes were reported from Rainawari, Saida Kadal, Kathidarwaza, Nowhatta, Nawa Kadal, Gojwara, Bohri Kadal, Rajouri Kadal and Kawdara areas. Reports of evening clashes and protests also poured in from Batamaloo, Nowgam, Azad Basti Natipora, Chanapora, Soiteng, Lasjan, Hyderpora and Peerbagh localities. Reports said restrictions were imposed in uptown Sanantnagar while there was a heavy deployment of forces at Jawhar Nagar, Rajbagh and Rambagh areas to scuttle a freedom march to these areas called by the joint resistance leadership.
A complete shutdown was observed in Ganderbal district for 76th consecutive day with all the business establishments and schools remaining closed. Reports said residents of Fatehpora area here staged protests against arrests of youth by police.
A report said three persons were arrested by police from Wussan area, triggering protests. The arrestees were identified as Tariq Ahmad Sheikh and Riyaz Ahmad Dar, both students, and Ghulam Mohid-ud-din Sheikh, a farmer.
Meanwhile, during the intervening night of September 21 and 22, a panchayat ghar was gutted in a mysterious fire incident at Tulmulla area in Ganderbal. An official told Kashmir Post that a case has been registered and investigations taken up.
Reports from Budgam district said that a complete shutdown was observed in all areas there.
Banihal remains shut for 2nd day
This highway town observed a complete shut-down for the second running day on Thursday to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
Shops and business establishments remained closed while traffic was off the roads.
According to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, the overall situation remained under control across the Valley on Thursday. “There was no curfew in Kashmir except in town Anantnag and areas falling under three police stations of Srinagar,” the statement said.
It said 57 individuals found involved in creating disruption in traffic movement, opening of shops as also damaging public/private property were arrested.
“Following specific information about the presence of militants in Chapran, Bandipora, Police and security forces cordoned off the area and launched search operation. The cordon and search operation turned into an encounter when the search party was fired at. In the retaliatory fire one militant was killed whose identity is being ascertained,” the statement read.
“Soon after the encounter about 150 miscreants assembled and pelted stones on Police and security forces. To chase them away the security forces used some force which caused injuries to a few miscreants,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement issued by Zonal Police Headquarters Jammu, a spokesperson said the situation across Jammu region remained normal and there was no report of any untoward incident.
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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.
At least 50 people including some women were injured when forces foiled pro-freedom rallies and beat up inmates at various places in Kashmir on Tuesday, reports and witnesses said. A 20-year-old youth was hit by a bullet in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district during clashes, they said.
30 people were wounded when forces personnel allegedly barged into houses, beat up inmates and damaged property in Kulgam, Tral and Awantipora villages during nocturnal raids, witnesses said. All-women rallies were also held across South Kashmir. Locals in Bogam village of Kulgam alleged that forces raided the area during night and mercilessly thrashed people. “Dozens sustained injuries due to beating by forces,” they said.
The forces, according to locals, also ransacked household goods and damaged property worth crores of rupees and also allegedly took along cash and jewellery.
On Tuesday evening, 12 people had sustained pellet injuries—one in eye—in forces’ action on protesters. People had organized protests against the forces’ excesses in the village.
Reports of ransacking of houses and beating of inmates by forces during night also came in from Dogripora village of Awantipora and Madoora village of Tral in Pulwama district.
“Few people were wounded due to the assault,” they said.
A report said forces personnel ransacked the house of religious cleric and head of Tehreek-I-Fikro Aitiqad, Sarjan Barkati in Reban Yaripora.
Meanwhile, all-women rallies were organized in many South Kashmir areas. Hundreds of women shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans participated in a rally in Bogam village. A similar rally was reportedly held in Gadapora village where a 13-year-old girl Khusboo Jan died of cardiac arrest during clashes yesterday. In Tral, women carrying banners and placards marched from Daru-ul-Uloom to Khankahi Faiz Pana.
Meanwhile, the police crackdown on youth allegedly involved in protests continues across South Kashmir.
Protesters on Tuesday set ablaze the house of a woman Special Police Officer (SPO) at Vehil village in Shopian district, a police spokesman said. He said a motorcycle was also allegedly torched by youths at Batamaloo locality of Srinagar during a protest.
The police had imposed strict curbs in old Srinagar areas, witnesses said.
Residents of New Theed Harwan on Srinagar outskirts continued to allege vandalism by forces. “Forces broke windowpanes of dozens of houses besides hurling abuses at the inmates. The police also detained dozens of youth and also beat them to pulp,” they alleged. They said strict curbs were imposed in the area and heavy deployment was made.
Reports from old Srinagar areas said a peaceful rally was held at Nowhatta that passed through a few areas and culminated peacefully. Reports of evening clashes came in from areas including Rainawari, Kathidarwaza, Khanyar, Sekidafar, Saraf Kadal, 90-feet Road at Soura and Hawal.
Clashes were witnessed at Lawaypora, HMT, Eidgah, Palpora, Qamarwari and Chattabal. A torch procession was taken out after Magrhib prayers at Nowgam. Reports of peaceful protests also came in from Soiteng, Lasjan, Hyderpora and Peerbagh. Reports of evening protests also came in from Baghat and Barzulla areas of Srinagar.
Reports said women took out a pro-freedom protest march from Jamia Masjid in Old Town Baramulla. However, police from fired scores of teargas shells towards the peaceful protestors, triggering panic among the protesting women. The protesters later marched through different areas and ended the march at Azad Gunj.
Meanwhile, police continued to impose restrictions on bridges connecting Old Town with Civil Lines areas.
Reports from Sopore said forces raided a godown of a Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat and sealed empty fruit bags, triggering protests in the area. Locals said the villagers also caught hold of a CRPF trooper who was giving information to police and CRPF higher ups about the protests taking place in the area.
Reports from Kupwara district said restrictions and complete shutdown was observed in entire district amid heavy deployment of forces. Residents of Panzgam said Army soldiers damaged properties by smashing windowpanes of many residential houses.
Many vehicles were also damaged by Army allegedly during the night raids, reports said.
Meanwhile, locals from Lolab Valley urged the government to “save us from the wrath of men in uniform.” They alleged that forces not only abuse and arrest common people but also harass the female folk.
“Forces arrest youth and set them free only after interrogating them. They catch everyone and torture them,” the residents alleged.
Reports from Bandipora district said a youth was hit by a bullet in forces’ firing while at least 12 protestors were injured at Hajin area of the district. The injured youth was identified as Aqib Ahmad Wani, a shopkeeper. He was hit by a bullet during clashes when he was trying to close the shutter of his shop. Aqib received bullet in his arm and was shifted to Hajin Primary Health Centre where doctors referred him to SKIMS Srinagar. Clashes between protesters and forces continued in Hajin town at New Bridge till late evening. Pertinently, huge deployment of Army has been made on the streets of Hajin.
Meanwhile, a Kashmiri journalist was injured when he was travelling from Uri area of North Kashmir. Anees Zargar, who works with Zee Media, got a fracture in his arm. “Some boys threw stones on the car in which I was travelling with few other journalists who had come from New Delhi to cover the Sunday’s Uri attack. I got injured when a stone hit my arm, while I saved my head,” Anees said. The incident took place in the HMT area of Srinagar on Srinagar-Baramulla highway, he said.
Reports from Budgam district said Army has been deployed in many areas of Chadoora. They said forces removed all barricades put in place by protesters on main roads in Aripanthan, Narbal and Beerwah towns. Ganderbal district observed a complete shutdown as shops, private and government offices and business establishments remained closed.
Police fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protestors at Fatehora area. Protests broke out in the locality after police raided the residential house of Nazir Ahmed Ganai, a local youth and detained him in the afternoon. Police sources said Ganai was wanted in a stone-pelting case.
Reports said police also raided residential houses in Saloora and Badergund areas of the district, but nobody was detained.
Chenab Valley To Observe Shutdown Today
Following the call of Kashmir’s joint resistance leadership, the Chenab Valley in Jammu region will observe a complete shutdown on Wednesday. Reports said people of Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal in consultation with Anjuman-e-Islamia Bhadarwah and with other Muslim organizations of erstwhile district Doda have appealed to the people of Chenab Valley to follow the calendar of Hurriyat and observe a complete shutdown on 21st September.
According to a spokesman of Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, situation in the Valley remained under control today. “There was no curfew in the valley except the areas under few police stations in Srinagar. Increased movement of people and vehicular traffic was observed across Kashmir during the day. During the past 24 hours, in its efforts to curb the activities of “miscreants/ hooligans”, police arrested 64 people involved in disturbing the situation by damaging civilian vehicles, stopping vehicular traffic and harassing people by placing obstructions on roads,” the spokesman said. “Two incidents of arson were reported from Srinagar and Shopian. In Vehil, Shopian a residential house was set on fire while as in Srinagar at Batamaloo a bike was set on fire by miscreants. The overall situation across Jammu region remained normal and peaceful. Following the improvement in the situation curfew was relaxed from morning till evening hours in Rajouri town during which situation remained normal.”