Day 45: Protests, curfew, shutdown continue; dozen injured in clashes

Srinagar: Nearly a dozen persons were injured as protests and clashes continue across Kashmir Valley amid curfew in several towns on 45th day after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Divisional Commander Burhan Muzzafar Wani.

The Srinagar’s Old City, Maisuma and Batamaloo areas continue to reel under curfew while the curfew was relaxed in Lal Chowk and other civilian areas but deployments of forces including BSF continue to remain in place. During relaxation in curfew, large numbers of private vehicles were seen plying along Residency Road and MA Road in Lal Chowk.

Reports said that the situation in City here remained peaceful today but clashes erupted in Old City areas after lifting of curfew. In order to counter pro-freedom leadership’s deal in strike after 6 pm, the authorities imposed curfew strictly in Civil Lines areas including at Lal Chowk and deployed BSF personnel.

The curfew also continued in Pulwama, Anantnag and few other townships of south Kashmir. At least 11 persons were injured when forces resorted to firing on protesters at Shopian’s Nowgam village during clashes. The clashes in the area erupted after forces were clearing Vihil and Nowgam road. The injured received bullet and pellet injuries and three of them were shifted to Srinagar for treatment.

According to reports, the violent clashes also erupted in Malangam village of Bandipora after forces reportedly brought down a Pakistani flag unfurled in the area. The forces resorted to intense teargas shelling on protesters. The clashes also erupted at Qoil and Aaloosa villages of the district.

A woman identified as Hassena was injured after she was hit by a teargas shell in her abdomen in Watpora village of Bandipora during clashes. The woman has been hospitalized. The protests were also held in Bandipora Town by locals in favour of Islam and Azadi. At Bandipora, the protesters attacked the official residence of Congress MLA and former Ikhwani, Usman Majeed with stones, but he was reportedly not present there.

Besides curfew and protests, the shutdown continued across Kashmir Valley. All the shops, commercial establishments, education institutions and most of the banks remained closed. The government offices including Civil Secretariat continue to witness low attendance of the employees

A statement issued here by police said that following improvement in situation curfew was lifted from the most areas of the Srinagar where situation remained normal. “There was increased movement of the people and the vehicular traffic in Srinagar on Tuesday,” it said.

“However, curfew remained in force in Islamabad District and five police station areas of down town city besides, Batamaloo, Maisuma and Kralkhud. Three incidents of stone pelting were reported from Shopian, Srinagar and Sopore till the filling of this report. Except for these incidents situation remained under control across the valley till the filing of this report,” added the statement.

According to several reports, the Centre is rushing additional 2500 BSF personnel to Jammu and Kashmir to quell ongoing protests. The reports came after BSF personnel were deployed in Lal Chowk for the first time since 2004 yesterday. The BSF men were also seen going inside SP College campus here in City in trucks and buses. (GNS)

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