Day 33: Curfew, shutdown, protests continue across Kashmir; many injured

Srinagar: The curfew, shutdown and protests continued across Kashmir Valley on Tuesday as unrest that started with the killing of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani entered day 32. Many persons were injured in clashes that broke at many places including at Lolab area of Kupwara district.

The curfew here in Old City, Maisuma and Batamaloo areas remained in place to thwart possible protests while rest of the city observed a complete shutdown. Reports said that though the situation remained peaceful across the Srinagar but clashes erupted between youths and retreating government forces men in the evening.

Though the public transport was completely off the roads here in city, some private vehicles and auto-rickshaws were seen plying on the roads of civil lines including at Residency Road, MA Road, Dalgate, Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Batamaloo and Sonwar. For the third day, the vehicles on Srinagar-Jammu, Srinagar-Baramulla-Kupwara and Srinagar-Bandipora were also seen plying in good numbers today as heavy forces were deployed to prevent protesters from disrupting vehicular movement.

Nearly eight persons were injured when violent protests erupted between youth and government forces at Lassipora area of Sogam in Lolab area of Kupwara. Local residents said that police fired teargas and pellets towards protesters, resulting in injuries to the protesters. One youth namely Shabir Ahmad Lone was shifted to Srinagar as he was hit by a teargas canister in his abdomen. The clashes were also reported from Lalpora in Lolab.

A police spokesman said that condition of Lone is not critical. “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,” the spokesman while giving his version of the situation said.

Here in summer capital, protests erupted at Tengpora area of Batamaloo during which people also sought action against murder-accused DySP. The protesters, who also included women, raised pro-Islam, pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Reports said that violent anti-India clashes erupted at Zampa Kadal and Nowgam areas here during which police used pellets and teargas.

According to police, youth pelted stones on government forces’ deployments near Tatoo ground and Noor Bagh and “tried to disrupt the flow of civilian traffic”. “They were chased away,” the police spokesman said here. The police further said: “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.”

On the 33rd day, the people in south Kashmir parts continue to hold pro-freedom rallies. In first, a boat pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan rally was held at Pazalpora area of Bijbehera in Anantnag district. The rally participants were holding scores of Pakistani flags and placards inscribed with pro-Azadi slogans. The rally concluded peacefully.

A massive rally was held at Qaimoh area of Kulgam district that was addressed by Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Another rally was held at Padgampora in Pulwama. Thousands of people attended these rallies and vowed to “continue the ongoing movement”.

Police said “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 police spokesman added. Reports meanwhile from north Kashmir said that the government forces including army are strictly enforcing night curfew at Baramulla, Kupwara and Sopore.(GNS)

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