Srinagar: A fifteen year old teenager was killed on Wednesday as forces opened fire on protesters at Ladoora village of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district while dozens of persons were injured in clashes across Valley. The authorities lifted curfew from Old City areas here but massive protests erupted at many places.
According to GNS, massive protests erupted at Ladoora after army allegedly thrashed some traders at Fruit Mandi Sopore for not resuming their work in day hours. Reports said that the army personnel went inside Sopore Fruit Mandi and asked the traders to resume their trade but soon a verbal brawl erupted between the two sides and the locals staged protests against the army.
The protests soon turned into violent clashes and as the news spread about the clash, scores of people staged protests at Ladoora – as good number of traders at Sopore Mandi hail from Ladoora – against the alleged highhandedness of army. Reports said that as the protest was underway, a contingent of army and BSF entered the Ladoora, resulting in clash between the two sides.
During the clashes, the forces personnel opened fire on protesters, resulting in injuries to six persons, out of which one identified as Danish Manzoor of Nadihal Baramulla succumbed to his injuries while two others identified as Idrees Altaf Malik and Ishaaq Bashir Lone are critical and are admitted at SKIMS in Soura.
As soon as the news of death of youth spread, hundreds of people took to streets at Old Town Baramulla, Sopore and Bandipora and staged massive anti-India protests. The protesters at several places including at Kaloosa in Bandipora clashed with forces who responded by firing teargas shells and pellets.
In Srinagar, the authorities today lifted curfew from entire Old City but forces personnel were deployed in some sensitive areas to prevent protests. However, thousands of youths assembled at Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta and took out a massive procession towards Lal Chowk but it was intercepted at Khanyar by police and CRPF. The forces fired teargas and pepper gas shells and managed to break the procession. Reports said that the protests later also erupted in some other areas of Old City and continued till evening.
In south Kashmir, the authorities today foiled ‘Aishmuqam Chalo’ and around 17 persons were injured as clashes erupted between forces and protesters. The police used pellets and teargas against the pro-Azadi protesters. The authorities in Kulgam district also foiled ‘Katroosa Chalo’ and raided the venue of rally. The forces men including SOG of police seized public address system and other equipment and also arrested one Irshad Ahmad of Jogipora.
Amid police restrictions, the ‘Trenz Chalo’ in Shopian was made a success by people. In Pulwama, three youths were injured as locals foiled forces’ attempt to occupy a local building in wake of the ongoing unrest. The locals clashed with forces and managed to foil their attempt to station in a local building.
Reports from north Kashmir’s Natnoosa village of Kupwara district said that massive clashes erupted between locals and CRPF personnel when the latter went berserk and started damaging houses and beating households. The locals, infuriated by CPRF action, took to streets and chased away the CRPF personnel.
Reports said that the CRPF men took shelter behind a migrant camp and during clashes; the camp also came under stone-pelting. The clashes in the area continued for several hours and later police arrived at the spot to pacify protesters. Meanwhile, hundreds of people took part in ‘Sogam Chalo’ in Lolab and staged pro-Azadi protests.
According to GNS, a complete shutdown was observed all across the Valley and all commercial activities came to halt on 54thday of mass uprising. In a statement issued here, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan said: “Curfew was today lifted from Nowhatta and Maharjgunj areas of Srinagar. With this curfew has now been lifted from entire Kashmir valley as no area in any district of valley is under restrictions.
He said increased movement of vehicular traffic and public was today witnessed in almost all towns, major areas and Srinagar city as well. “Barring stray stone pelting incidents the situation remained peaceful across the valley,” he said.
The Divisional Commissioner said that, as per a report from the police, a mob of more than 900 people attacked an army convoy at Ladoora, Rafiabad and amidst stone pelting some fires were shot on the army convoy on way to Kupwara.
“The Army fired some rounds in air to disperse the mob. In the incident 4 persons were injured and one of the injured identified as Danish Manzoor Lone S/O Manzoor Ahmed Lone R/O Nadihal Sopore succumbed to injuries. Police have initiated investigation in the matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, the arrest spree continue in Kashmir and in fresh cases, four people have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA). According to police sources, police slapped PSA on Hurriyat (G) senior activist, Ghulam Muhammad Hubbi of Chrar-e-Shareef, Tehreek Hurriyat activist Tariq Ganai of Shopian, Irshad Ahmad Malla of Sangran Shopian and Bilal War of Heerpora Shopian. Police have also detained Jamaat-e-Islami spokesman Advocate Zahid Ali in Batamaloo police station.
Meanwhile, in view of the shutdown relaxation call, the shops and other commercial establishments opened in Lal Chowk and many other areas of Srinagar after 6 pm today. The rush of private vehicles also increased and there was no report of any untoward incident from civil line areas of Srinagar at the time of filing this report. (GNS)