Srinagar: On the 116th of mass uprising, a complete shutdown continued across Kashmir during which massive clashes erupted at Rohmoo area of Pulwama district, leaving 25 civilians injured including several women.
According to GNS, hundreds of forces men were deployed in five police station areas of Srinagar’s Old City – MR Gunj, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Rainwari and Khanyar – since early morning. There was however civilian movement without any disruption in all these areas. The areas like Habba Kadal and Maisuma were also under thick security blanket but it didn’t affect movement of civilians.
In Civil Lines and uptown area of the Srinagar, extra-ordinary movement of private transport and pedestrians was once again seen since early morning but all the shops, commercial establishments and educational institutes were closed. Besides, the vendors had set up their stalls at Batamaloo, Lal Chowk, Dalgate, Sonwar, Jehangir Chowk, Exhibition crossing and Jawahar Nagar. The forces were deployed at sensitive areas in strength.
Despite shutdown, scenes of traffic jam were witnessed at several areas of city including Budshah Chowk, Batmaloo, Bemina and Jahangir Chowk. Reports said that a group of masked youth appeared at Maharaja Bazar in Srinagar and pelted stones at street vendors for defying shutdown. Later, additional personnel of forces were deployed in the area.
In Rohmoo area of Pulwama, massive clashes erupted since morning between youths and government forces including army. According to locals, army arrived in Malwani village of Rohmoo in morning to conduct search operation. The locals said that during the search operation, the army started to tore and bring down banners of militants. “The act invited flak from the locals and they came out of their houses protesting against the army,” said a local.
Reports said that the locals pelted stones on army and subsequently army called police, SOG and CRPF. As the massive clashes ensued in the area, more forces were called in and police lobbed dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protesters. Reports further said that several residents including a retired DySP Ghulam Muhammad Rather as well as his family were thrashed by forces personnel.
Reports further said during massive clashes, army also resorted to aerial firing. Amid clashes, protesters vandalized the wall of a local army camp. At least 25 persons including several women were injured in the clashes as police used pellets and teargas against them. Eight protesters were shifted to SMHS Hospital Srinagar. The shifted include two girls with pellet injuries on their face and eyes.
A police spokesman said: “Security forces cordoned off Rohomu village in Pulwama this morning. Some miscreants assembled and pelted stones on the forces. Later on a huge mob assembled and pelted stones on the security forces camp. The reinforcement was sent to the spot. In this incident some persons, police / CRPF personnel including three officers were injured. Most of the injured were discharged after first aid.”
Meanwhile, the shutdown in other parts of the Valley was also reported. Police sources said that youths at Pulwama Town and Boneh Bazar in Shopian ransacked vehicles defying strike. At Sopore in Baramulla district, a petrol bomb was hurled towards street vendors. At Watroosa in Anantnag, a migrant house was gutted mysteriously while house of an SPO was set ablaze at Verinag. In Parimpora Srinagar, a Horticulture building was gutted in a mysterious fire.
Detailing the situation, a police spokesman said: “The situation across the valley remained largely peaceful and under control today. Vehicles in huge numbers were seen plying on the roads of the city as well as on the roads connecting different towns and villages of the valley. People in large numbers were busy in their shopping from the shops and vendors in the markets of valley.”
He said: “In Sopore some miscreants hurled a petrol bomb near Sub District Hospital Sopore. Police has taken cognizance of the incident and started manhunt for the miscreant involved in it. Police continued with adequate deployment at vulnerable points in Srinagar city, as also in main towns as also on the roads, lanes and by-lanes connecting different places.” (GNS)