Day 33: Pro freedom Protests, clashes continue in curfew bound Kashmir

Srinagar:  Restrictions and curfew continued in parts of Kashmir including Srinagar city for the 33rd consecutive day on Wednesday. Reports said that curfew remained in force in Anantnag town while restrictions continued in Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama towns. Restrictions also continued in old city and uptown Batmaloo area of Srinagar city. “Similar restrictions remained in force in Sopore, Kupwara, Handwara and Baramulla towns.”

Curfew, restrictions and shutdown began in the valley on July 9, a day after Hizbul commander, Burhan Wani, was killed in a gunfight with the government forces. All educational institutions, shops, public transport and other business establishments have remained closed for the last 33 days in Kashmir, although interior markets in cities and towns have been functioning briefly in the evenings.

The separatist leadership had asked people to stage sit-in protests from Zuhar to Asr with black flags. They had also appealed people to organize Mashal protest from Magrib to Isha prayers.

Despite restrictions and curfew people in Batamaloo area of Srinagar city staged a protest demanding action against accused police officer allegedly responsible for the killing of a local youth Shabir Ahmed Mir. Large number of women was also part of the protest. Stone-pelting incidents and protest was reported from Zanpakadal Srinagar.

Reports said that the arrest of a local youth from Fatehpora, in Ganderbal district allegedly involved in stone pelting, triggered massive protests. Men, women and youth took to road and staged demos against police. They alleged that the youth arrested by police was innocent.

Reports said that locals from Kehnusa area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora staged a protest against alleged excesses by the army on Wednesday. The protestors blocked Bandipora-Sopore highway, demanding action against the “erring” army officials. “These Army men entered into our houses, thrashed and harassed us without any reason. This is lawlessness and these unbridled Army men need to be taken to task who even beat up girls and women inside the houses. We are not feeling secure and if such atrocities continue, we will then devise a mechanism to deal with these lawless men,” the agitated protesters said.

“We were sleeping when Army’s 27 unit E company situated at Sangri top Watlab barged into our homes at around 3 am and started beating the inmates ruthlessly,” one of a resident alleged. “They didn’t even spare women and children. They also broke window panes of our homes,” the protestors said. An Army official said that the locals had pelted stones on a Navy vehicle. He said troopers ‘exercised maximum restraint.’

According to reports scores of youth from Hanjiwera Pattan while staging a protest against the civilian killings blocked Srinagar Muzafarabad Highway on Wednesday. Police intervened and dispersed them. Police sources informed CNS that scores of youth have been arrested from Pattan town for their alleged involvement in stone-pelting incidents.

Reports from South Kashmir’s Kulgam district said that a massive peaceful pro-freedom rally was organized by ‘Itihad-ul-Muslimeen’ a conglomerate of organizations of all sects at Koimouh. The district had witnessed night clashes at Pahloo village over the detention of two youth.

Reports said that amid pro-freedom slogans the speakers urged upon people to be organize peaceful rallies and protest. They exhorted upon the assembled people who were present in thousands to refrain from violence. The participants were addressed by Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani through phone. Geelani in his address reiterated that protest marches, shutdown and rallies will continue till freedom struggle is taken to its logical conclusion. He also urged upon people to remain peaceful and abhor from violence. Geelani appealed youth not to harass commuters and common people on the raods.

Reports from Dadsara Tral said that despite restrictions and curfew thousands of people organized a pro-freedom rally in the area. Thousands of people defying curfew arrived Dadsara from different hamlets of Tral including Chandrigam, Lardiyar, Aaligund, Amirabad, Noorpora, Sharifabad and other areas. Syed Ali Geelani addressed people through telephone and urged upon them to be steadfast and extend full support towards ongoing freedom struggle. He appealed people to remain peaceful. Eyewitnesses told CNS that the participants waved green flags and chanted pro-freedom slogans. Scores of people were seen waving posters and colorful banners carrying the photographs of slain militants and civilians killed during the ongoing protests.  Similar types of rallies were organized at Aarihal and Dangarpora Pulwama. A number of leaders from Muslim League including Muhamamd Yousuf Mir, Muhammad Rafiq Ganaie participated in these pro-freedom rallies.

A peaceful protest was held in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district where Zuhar prayers were offered on road that was led by senior Hurriyat leader Aga Syed Hasan Almosvi Alsafvi.

Reports from frontier district Kupwara said 8 persons sustained injuries after police and forces used force on protesters in Lolab area. One critically injured has been shifted to Srinagar for specialized treatment, sources said. They said that he has received a tear smoke shell in his abdomen.Local doctors who shifted him to Srinagar said that the shell has resulted in rupturing his spleen critically. Seven others having received pellets in the clashes at Lalpora have been evacuated to hospital.

A police handout said that barring few incidents of stone pelting by miscreants, the overall situation in the valley remained normal and under control. Although restrictions under section 144/CrPC remained in force in the Valley, curfew was imposed in some parts of Srinagar and Anantnag town only.

“About 300 miscreants assembled near Sangrama in the jurisdiction of Police Station Tarzoo, Sopore and started pelting stones on the police party. Later on they were chased away by using mild force.”

The handout added that miscreants about 50 assembled near Lassipora area of Sogam, Kupwara and tried to block the Kupwara-Sogam road by pelting stones on the civilian vehicles. In order to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic, the Police/Security forces chased the miscreants away. One person Shabir Ahmad Lone resident of Lassipora was injured. He was shifted to District Hospital Kupwara for treatment. His condition is stated to be stable.

About 500 miscreants assembled near village Qaimoh, Kulgam and started pelting stones on the deployment.

In Srinagar a group of miscreants pelted stones on security force deployments near Tatoo ground and Noor Bagh and tried to disrupt the flow of civilian traffic. They were chased away.” (CNS)

 

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