Day 28: Kashmir continues to witness protests, pellets, bullets and curfew

Srinagar: Government on Friday imposed strict curfew to foil ‘Dargah Chalo’ call forwarded by Resistance leadership in Kashmir Valley. Authorities imposed curfew and restrictions under section 144 CrPc (Criminal Procedure Code) in Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama, Anantnag, Baramulla and Srinagar.

At least one protestor died and another injured in the fierce clashes between the police and the crowds across Kashmir as hundreds are reportedly injured.

Police sources said that in Lolipora Nagam, falling in Chadoora, one person Muhammad Yaqub Wagay received a grievous head injury and was killed. Police had opened fire to quell the protesting crowds, police sources said. The killing of the man sparked violent protests in the area while according to eyewitnesses pitched battles were fought on the roads in Chadoora town.

The city roads wore a deserted look while people in number of areas were seen burning tyres on roads to register their protest against the civilian killings. Reports said that curfew and protest shutdown continued across Kashmir on Friday for the 28th consecutive day. Earlier during nocturnal protests, scores of people including women suffered pellets injuries and tear-gas shelling in clashes on Thursday.

Reports from various areas said that a strict curfew was imposed to foil a proposed march to Hazratbal Shrine by pro-freedom leadership.

Reports said that in wake of Geelani’s appeal to reach Dargah in Shikara’s police and Para-military troopers had been deployed in strength in and around Dal lake. Witnesses said that Dargah had been sealed as police had put up concertina wires at the entrances of the shrine. “There was escalated deployment of forces around the shrine and roads leading to it,” said an eyewitness.

Congregational Friday prayers were not held at Dargah Hazratbal as people couldn’t reach the revered shrine due to a strict curfew imposed by the authorities to prevent a march called by the pro-freedom leadership. Last time it was in 2010 when authorities sealed the shrine barring people to offer Nimaz there in wake of the separatist call for Dargah march that year.

Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was arrested after he tried to march towards Hazratbal. “Police had blocked the entrance of the lane leading to office-cum-residence of Mirwaiz,” said a spokesman. He said that the Mirwaiz started the march from his residence at 2 pm but was arrested shortly after he tried to break the police cordon. Reports said that Mirwaiz Dr Molvi Muhammad Umar Farooq was taken to SP Office Hazratbal.

Reports said that amid strict curfew hundreds of people on Friday staged a pro-freedom protest at Khanqah-e-Sokhta Nawa Kadal after government forces foiled their attempt to march towards Dargah Hazratbal. Hurriyat (M) leader Masroor Abbas Ansari, who was leading the march, was detained by the forces. A massive protest was also reported from Safakadal area where large number of women participated in the march.

Reports from Ikhrajpora and Gangbou areas of Amirakadal constituency said that Police had to use force to quell protesters shortly after the culmination of Friday congregational prayers.

A large number of people from Gangbou area hit to Bypass and held a massive anti-India protest. Forces according to witnesses lobbed tear-smoke shells resulting in the injuries of many protesters including some women. Local reports said that as soon as congregational Friday prayers ended, intense pro-freedom protests erupted in Ikhraj Pora area of summer capital. The youth in the area had painted pro-freedom and anti-India graffiti. “There was a peaceful protest going on in the area when police reached the spot and chased away the protestors,” an eye witness said. “Youth resorted to intense stone pelting and reinforcements were called disperse them.”

Reports from HMT Srinagar said that forces personnel retreated from the area after a large number of people attacked them with stones. Despite heavy tear-gas shelling the protesters didn’t budge and continued to attack the forces personnel. Witnesses told CNS that intense stone-pelting took place in Usmanabad, Shalateng and HMT Malorra road. Eyewitnesses said that many protesters received pellet injuries during the intense clashes. A long procession was also taken out from Natipora Srinagar. People took out pro-freedom processions in different areas of Srinagar city including Chota Bazaar, Guru Bazar, Aripora, Pantha Chowk. Reports said that more than 35 people including 4 cops were injured in violent clashes between protesters and forces personnel in Narbal and Sozeet area.

Reports from Central Kashmir’s Budgam district said that police had sealed all the entry and exit points to prevent people from marching towards Srinagar. The Central Imam Bara according to witness was completely sealed by police while senior Hurriyat leader and President Anjuman Shari Shia Aga Syed Hasan Almosvi Alsafvi along with his party activists was arrested while he tried to come out from his Budgam residence.

A major protest rally was organized by people that started from Jawalapora and ended at district headquarter Budgam where agitated protesters damaged police barricades and removed barbed wire laid by government forces to restrict the movement of the people. At least four persons from Shunglipora Budgam were injured when protesters at Khag area clashed with police. An eyewitness told CNS that after 26 years, he saw such a huge procession in the area. Some protesters attacked Police Station Khag with stones while forces personnel retaliated with tear-smoke shelling. Protest marches were also reported from Makhama Beerwah, Razwein and other areas of the Budgam district. Police used tear-gas shelling to disperse protesters in Chadoora and Makhama Beerwah. Police sources said that at least 25 protesters were injured during the clashes in Chadoora. Reports from Khan Sahab said that a huge procession after prayers attacked the house of MLA Khan Sahab Hakim Yasin and damaged it. They also attacked the office of a police officer and the local hospital. Police said they have damaged six ambulances.

Multiple protests were held and procession taken out in different areas of Ganderbal district including Nunar, Chek Fathepora, Bhadargund, Reshipora, Ganderbal Garage. Defying curfew, the protesters crossed police station and when it reached SP office Ganderbal, the SP Imtiyaz Ismayil Parrey requested them to be peaceful. The protesters giving heed to the request of the police officer dispersed peacefully after registering anti-India protest. Thousands of people also took out a march in Barsoo Ganderbal. The protest march according to eyewitnesses remained peaceful. Intense clashes erupted between protesters and forces personnel in Kangan. Reports said that large number of people from different hamlets of Kangan including Wusan, Kijipara, Kashnabal, Chatargul and Preng organized a procession and headed towards main town Kangan. After police intervention the situation turned ugly when protesters pelted stones on the forces personnel who retaliated with tear-smoke shelling. Witnesses added that due to clashes several people as well as few cops were wounded.

A protest march was led by senior leader Ghulam Muhammad Hubbi in Charar-e-Sharif who urged upon people to follow the Hurriyat program in letter and spirit. The protest march culminated peacefully.

Reports from South Kashmir’s Shopian district said that two peaceful pro-freedom processions were taken out by people including women shortly after the culmination of Friday congregational prayers. Witnesses said thousands of people participated in these processions which culminated at Meemanadar Shopian. Reports said that as the people turned back to reach their destination, CRPF personnel resorted to tear-smoke shelling while agitated people pelted stones on them. The intense clashes ended after forces personnel fired volley of bullets in air creating panic in the area. A youth according to eyewitnesses said that a youth received critical pellet injuries at Shamsipora Shopian. Witnesses added that youth was immediately shifted to SKIMS Srinagar for advanced treatment. A police official identified the injured youth as Muhammad Shahid Dar son of Muhammad Shafi a resident of Shamsipora Shopian. He was injured at Narwa village where intense clashes were reported between forces and protesters.

CNS Reporter from Kulgam informed that pro-freedom marches were organized in almost every village of the district. “Processions were everywhere. People in thousands participated in them chanting pro-freedom, anti-India slogans,” he said and added that tear-smoke shelling was used to disperse protesters.

Reports from Tral town of Pulwama district said that besides a bikers rally, two separate processions were taken out while youth clashed with police after Friday congregational prayers. Witnesses said that a huge bike rally was organized by youth from Noorpora that ended in Tral town. Dukhtaran-e-Milat activists organized a rally in Bijbehara town of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. After Friday prayers, a procession was taken out in the same area while in Larnoo Kokarnag thousands of people participated in a pro-freedom march. In Fateh Pora area of the district, people took out a protest march via Ka’aba Marg up to main chowk Larki Pora. “They burnt down an effigy of CM Ms Mehbooba Mufti,” local sources said. Fateh Pora is last village of Islamabad constituency.

Strict curfew was in place across Kashmir to thwart any civilian movement towards Dargah Hazratbal. In Eidgah Ashaji Pora area in the nearby town of Islamabad, people held a rally where massive pro-freedom demonstration was held. On the other end, another rally was held in Dialgam in which people from adjoining areas participated.

Reports from North Kashmir’s Kupwara said that Police and army from Trehgam moved to Kunan-Poshpora villages to prevent people from marching towards Trehgam. On previous Fridays, the men and women of the twin villages had marched towards Trehgam in protests against the continuous curfew. Strict curfew and restrictions remain imposed in Trehgam, Kupwara, Lalpora, Kralpora, Handwara since the start of current uprising on July 9. Reports said that amid heavy presence of Army, processions were taken out and protests were held in different parts of the district including Thregam, Dragmulla, Muqam Shah-e-Wali, Arampora, Natoosa and Reidbogh.

Eyewitnesses from Sumbal town informed CNS that authorities had called out Army to stop people from marching towards Dargah Hazratbal. “For the first time these days we observed Army along with CRPF patrolling on the roads,” they said.

Despite heavy deployed of forces personnel, people from Chandargeer, Hakbara, Sadarkoot, Sodanara and Shahgund areas arrived in Hajin Chowk in the form of procession. When protesters chanted anti-India slogans, forces personnel lobbed tear-gas shelling thus sparking intense clashes between the two. During the clashes at least 12 persons were injured. The clashes according eyewitness continued for hours in the town.

At least six persons suffered pellet injuries when a huge procession from Shadipora was on way towards Sumbal when they were stopped by police. However the protesters attacked the forces with stones. In retaliation forces fired tear-smoke shells and pellets resulting in the injuries of many people. Reports said that six protesters were injured when forces fired pellets and tear-smoke shells near Asham Sumbal. A procession from different areas of Sumbal including Khomina, Markundal, Rakh Asham was on way to Safapora when near Asham police stopped it resulting in the clashes. Reports said that many people suffered pellet injuries.

Massive pro-freedom processions were taken out from different areas of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district. Witnesses said that people from Kalosa, Nasu, Ajas, Ajar took out processions and assembled at main chowk Bandipora. The forces personnel used tear-smoke shells, however, the protesters showed stiff resistance and clahed with government forces. Tear-smoke shells were also lobbed at protesters at Ajar Bandipora where people organized a pro-freedom march after the culmination of Friday congregational prayers. Several people were injured after Army alleged opened fire on protesters in Kaloosa Bandipora. Reports said that a pro-freedom procession was on way to Bandipora from Watapora. “The protesters pelted stones on the Army camp in Kalosa who retaliated with firing. Several persons were injured in Army action.”

Protests and processions were also reported from Sopore, Handwara, Baramullah, Palhalan, Pattan, and other parts of Kashmir Valley. Around 20 persons were injured after government forces used teargas shelling and pellets to disperse protesters in Chanakhan area of Sopore town. A report from Sopore said that there were protests going on in every nook and corner of the town. The clashes left more than 38 people injured. In Sopore, reports said a young man identified as Masood has received a serious chest injury. “He is critical in SMHS but not dead,” police said. According to reports at least twenty persons were injured during the clashes between protesters and police Pattan town of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. In a bid to disperse protesters, police allegedly resorted to aerial firing near Pattan and Pattan mode. Witnesses said that thousands of people from different areas of Pattan including, Palhallan, Chekesari, Nihalpora, Palpora, Zangam, Sherpora, Ussan, Goshbugh, and Rengee tried to march towards Pattan town after Friday paryers. Tahreek Huriyat Block President Tanveer Ahmed jeelani was also Injured during clashes.

Besides two policemen, 52 civilians have been killed in the present unrest in the Valley following the killing of Hizbul commander, Burhan Wani in a gunfight on July 8. (CNS)

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