Day 76: Kashmir continues to shut, protest amid curbs; 57 more held

Srinagar: A complete shutdown amid curfew and restrictions was observed across Kashmir Valley on 76th day of the ongoing mass uprising while clashes erupted at multiple places in downtown here and in other areas of the Valley.

According to GNS, the three police station areas of Srinagar’s Old City continued to reel under curfew with hundreds of police and paramilitary personnel deployed across length and breadth on streets since early morning. But the other areas of the Old City were also under forces’ siege. There was however light civilian movement without any disruption.

In the day, violent stone-throwing clashes erupted at Habba Kadal and Fateh Kadal areas of Old Srinagar during which forces used teargas and pepper shells against the youth protesters. At Khankah-e-Moulla locality of downtown, the youths enforcing shutdown were checking identity cards of suspected persons.

In Civil Lines and uptown area of the Srinagar, moderate movement of private transport and pedestrians was seen since early morning but all the shops, commercial establishments, educational institutes and banks were closed. The forces were deployed at sensitive areas in strength.

In the evening, stone-pelting clashes erupted at Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal, Zaldagar, Gojwara and few other areas of Old City. Reports said the clashes erupted after forces contingents were withdrawn from the downtown areas. Police fired teargas shells and also used pepper grenades against the protesters.

Reports said that a complete shutdown was also observed in other parts of the Valley including in south and north Kashmir districts. All kinds of business and educational activities remained completely halted in these districts while clashes erupted at Gugloosa and Trehgam villages of Kupwara district, Balsoo village of Kulgam district and in Shopian Town. At Pulwama villages, the protesters enforcing shutdown resorted to stone-pelting on private vehicles.

The violent stone-throwing clashes also erupted at Khanpora in Baramulla district after police arrested one Fayaz Kumar from the area. Police responded by firing teargas shells towards the rock-throwing protesters. The clashes continued for several hours but no one was reported to have sustained injuries.

According to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, the overall situation remained under control across the valley. “There was no curfew in the valley except in town Anantnag and the areas falling under three police stations of Srinagar city,” the statement said. It said 57 individuals found involved in creating disruption in traffic movement, opening of shops as also damaging public/private property were arrested. (GNS)