Srinagar: Curfew and protest shutdown continued for the 57th consecutive day in Kashmir on Saturday.
Police said curfew had been imposed in Baramulla, Sopore and Budgam towns in addition to areas falling under Nowhatta and M.R.Gunj in Srinagar city.
Forces have been deployed in strength while restrictions were in place in the rest of the Valley.
All educational institutions have remained closed since the ongoing uprising started on July 9 – a day after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter. Public transport, main markets and other businesses have also remained suspended.
Reports said that more than 40 people sustained injuries after clashes between protesters and government forces broke out in Rainpora Achabal area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Clashes broke out after forces tried to foil a pro-freedom rally. More than 35 people received injuries in which four pellet injured were referred to District hospital Islamabad and others were treated locally.
Abdul Ahad Dar, 65-year-old was referred to Srinagar, and according to doctors he has “received serious pellet injuries in head and mouth”. Eyewitnesses said that the pro-freedom rally was scheduled to be held at Rainpora, “but forces around 5:30 in the morning raided and started vandalizing the venue.” “They smashed window panes and started beating everyone. Even women were beaten ruthlessly,” locals said. Soon, a procession from Karigam began approaching towards rally venue. “We were approaching towards rally ground and forces fired upon us,” locals said.
At least a dozen persons were injured in clashes in south Kashmir’s Tral town. Eyewitnesses said that clashes broke out in the Gulshanpora-Batigund village of Tral when forces tried to foil a pro-freedom rally. They said, a youth, whose identity was not immediately known, was hit by a slingshot in his eye and was shifted to a nearby hospital where from he was referred to Srinagar for treatment. They said the forces smashed a public address system and vandalized the stage. Reports said that even after police action, large number of people reassembled in the area and organized the ‘Martyrs Conference’ at the proposed venue.
Over a dozen people were injured after clashes erupted in Aavura village of Kupwara in north Kashmir. Witnesses said that many people were injured during these clashes.
According to reports that thousands of people assembled in Mohalla Rahim Sahab Sopore where they held Namaz Zuhr. After Nimaz, pro-freedom protest rally was held.
Protests erupted in Tukroo village of Shopian district after people came out on roads to protest against the “suspected” movement of CRPF vehicles in the area.
“A CRPF vehicle made several rounds in the area and it unnerved us for we thought they had come to arrest the protestors here,” locals said. “CRPF resorted to indiscriminate shelling on the protesters injuring about a dozen civilians.”
“Two of the injured have received shell injuries in head and have referred to Srinagar in a critical condition,” they added. The duo have been identified as Shiraz Ahmad and Aadil Ahmad Hajam, both residents of Tengwaen Shopian.
Locals from Meemandar Shopian alleged that government forces including local police and CRPF smashed the windowpanes of more than hundreds houses. They said that after a stone-pelting incident, men in uniform went on rampage in the village and caused massive damages to residential houses. “They lobbed sound grenades that created deafening noise and barged into houses, roughed up everyone who came in their way,” the locals told CNS adding that even power transformers were damaged by these government forces. “Meemandar is a big village where PDD has installed six transformers. They fired upon on all the transformers and damaged them, thus deprived us from electricity,” the locals said.
At least 20 persons were injured in Beerwah town of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Locals said that government forces used tear smoke shells and pellet guns against stone pelting protesters at many places in the town including near BSNL exchange. They further said that one protester was hit by a police vehicle (Rakshak) and he was immediately referred to B&J hospital Srinagar. Locals said that at least 20 protesters sustained pellet injuries.
Peaceful protest rallies were organized in Toolinowpora and Gudar areas of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district. Tehreek Hurriyat senior leader Ghulam Nabi Sumjhi addressed the rally at Toolinowpora and exhorted upon people to maintain discipline and be committed towards ongoing freedom struggle. (CNS)