Day 77: Youth killed; protests, clashes leave dozens wounded

Srinagar: A youth was killed after government forces opened fire in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday, taking the toll in the ongoing uprising to 90 including two cops.

Reports said that 22-year-old Waseem Ahmad Lone, son of Nazir Ahmad Lone, resident of Nadihal Rafiabad, was rushed to District Hospital Baramulla where he succumbed to his injuries. Witnesses said that the youth was hit by a bullet during clashes between protesters and forces. Police sources told news agency CNS that an Army vehicle on way from Handwara to Baramulla was attacked by protesters with stones. The Army retaliated with bullets resulting in the death of the youth.

Meanwhile, Kashmir remained shut for the 77th consecutive day on Friday as authorities imposed severe restrictions in Srinagar city to prevent a protest march called by resistance leadership.

“Restrictions had been placed in three police station areas in Srinagar, parts of Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam,”said a police official. Eyewitnesses told news agency CNS that strict restrictions were in place in major parts of Srinagar city including areas in Old Srinagar city, Batamaloo, Dalgate, Maisuma, city centre Lal Chowk, Hyderpora and other areas of the capital.

In Srinagar’s Batamaloo area, locals said that severe restrictions had been imposed and people were not being allowed to move out of their homes. Residents of Dalgate area of Srinagar on Friday accused the paramilitary forces of thrashing pedestrians and imposing severe restrictions on their movement.They said that barricades have been placed at Badyari Chowk to enforce curfew.

“Nobody was allowed to move on the road. Several pedestrians were thrashed at around 7 am when they went out to buy bread and milk,” said a local.

Earlier the area witnessed night protests after an Imam of a local Masjid Molvi Ajaz Ahmed was picked up the police during a raid. Reports said that the people staged massive protest in Dalgate throughout night demanding immediate release of the Imam.

Due to the officially imposed restrictions and protest shutdown called by the pro-freedom leadership, all educational institutions, main markets, public transport and other businesses have remained suspended.

J&K Government disallowed mandatory Friday prayers in historic Jamia Masjid Srinagar for consecutive eleventh Friday today.

Last time on July 8, hundreds of people offered Namaz-e-Jinazah in the premises of the centuries old grand Masjid and since then it is close for the Friday prayers.
Valley’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq leads the Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid. He however is under arrest since July 8 evening.

Authorities made huge deployment of CRPF and police men here to stop people from defying curfew.
Reports said that after Friday prayers from interior local masjids were completed, people from Kawdoora, Wantpora held protests.

Reports said that shortly after the culmination of Friday prayers, a pro-freedom rally was taken out in Barzulla area of Srinagar city. However, forces including CPRF and police men resorted to tear gas shelling. “Forces fired scores of tear gas shells to disperse off the protests,” witnesses said. They said that scores of women also joined the protests rally who raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.

Amid clashes protest marches were also carried out in Rambagh, Natipora, Chanapora, Zainakadal, Khatidarwaza, Batamaloo areas of the city. At Khatidarwaza, locals alleged that CRPF personnel from Pokhribal camp went on rampage and caused massive damage to private property. Reports from Srinagar’s Batamaloo said that scores of women took out a pro-freedom rally after Friday prayers. “The women held pro-freedom protests in Danderkhah but CRPF and police men stopped them from marching further,” a local said.

At least seven youths were injured in clashes between youth and government forces in Charar-e-Sharief town of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Friday. Earlier, forces had sealed the entire Charar-e-Sharief town following a call by the separatists asking people of the district to march towards the historic town. Reports and witnesses said the clashes broke out between protestors and forces in Gulshan Abad locality in which two youth received injuries. Both the youths have been injured and are stable, said a doctor at the local hospital. Police and CRPF had erected barricades and laid concertina wires at all entry points around the town to prevent people from marching in.

Protest marches were carried out in Manigam, Beehama and Safapora areas of Ganderbal district. In Kangan two persons were incident after a stone-pelting incident.
Reports from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district said that a group of youth emerged on the road in Prichoo area and pelted stones on plying vehicles. Witnesses told CNS over a dozen of private vehicles were damaged while some of the drivers were also thrashed. Later on police and Para-military troopers were deployed in the area in strength.

Protests were held in Pampore and adjacent areas on Friday against the arrest of three youths. Witnesses said that people took to streets after announcements were made through public address systems of the mosques asking people out. They said three youths were picked up during a night raid by the forces in the area.

A pro freedom rally was organized in Nowpora Pulwama that was attended by thousands of people. The rally was led by senior separatist leader Abdul Samad Inqalabi. Amid pro-freedom slogans the peaceful protesters demanded solution of Kashmir. Protesters offered funeral prayers in absentia for the slain youth that lost their lives since July 8. Similar kind of protest march was taken out from Tahab and Naira villages of Pulwama.

Several persons were injured during the clashes between protesters and CRPF at Newa Pulwama. Witnesses said that protesters attacked CRPF 183 Battalion with stones who retaliated with tear-smoke shells causing injuries to several protesters. A peaceful protest was staged in Samboora Pulwama after Friday prayers.

Police foiled Devsar and Kokarnag chalo calls and imposed strict restrictions in these areas. Witnesses said that the movement of the people was restricted and nobody was allowed to march either to Devsar Kulgam and Kokarnag Anantnag.

However, a massive protest was staged by people in Sofshali Kokarnag area of Anantnag district after the government forces caused massive damage to private property. Locals alleged that CRPF, Army and Police jointly barged into the houses and besides thrashing inmates ransacked the houses and damaged property. The protesters shouted anti-India slogans. Witnesses said that more 20 protesters suffered pellet injuries while one of the protesters was hit by a tear-gas shell. Witnesses added that due to fear from getting arrested, injured didn’t move to the hospital.

Reports from South Kashmir’s Kulgam district said that peaceful pro-freedom protest marches were carried out from dozens of areas of the district including Okai, Koimouh, Kulgam, Khudwani, Yaripora, Sindhu, Bogam, Muhammadpora, Nehama and Manzgam. Government Forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse stone-pelters at Koimouh while Station House Officer Kulgam Irshad Ahmed was wounded after a stone hit his head at Kulgam market that witnessed massive clashes between protesters and government forces. Three students were roughed up by CRPF after they were on way to their home from tuition centre. “In order to foil Devsar March CRPF men were deployed in large numbers at Soput village. On seeing us they pounced upon us and thrashed us,” said a wounded student to CNS. Clashes also broke out at Shodagali and Kurigam in Qazigund in which several persons were injured. A peaceful protest was taken out at Vessu Qazigund. The protesters carrying placards and banners sought the resolution of Kashmir issue. They also demanded the immediate release of the youth from different police stations.

Clashes broke out in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district after government forces stopped a peaceful protest march near Cement Bridge. Reports said that after the Friday prayers large number of people stated a pro-freedom march that was stopped by police in the middle of the Cement Bridge. Police intervention irked protesters who pelted stones of the Forces, triggering clashes. Witnesses said that government forces used tear-smoke shells and pellets to disperse the protesters.

The border town of Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district remained shut while all the shops, business establishments, educational institutions remained closed and traffic was off the roads.

The reports of clashes and protest marches came in from different parts of Bandipora district including Gulshan Chowk, Ajar, Kaloosa, Hajin and Ajas.

Forces dispersed pro-freedom rally in Gulshan Chowk and used tear-smoke shells. Reports said that hundreds of people participated in the pro-freedom rally who raised anti-India slogans. Police also used tear-gas shelling at Kaloosa and Ajar to foil the protest marches. A massive pro-freedom protest was reported from Hajin while thousands of people offered Friday prayers at Eidgah at Ajas Bandipora. People at Hajin carried out a protest rally in the town against the detention of Hurriyat (G) General Secretary leader Muhammad Yousuf Sofi and demanded his immediate release. Sofi, a resident of Brar village, was arrested while he was coming out from Jamia Masjid Hajin after offering congregational Friday prayers, they said. Locals from Madar Bandipora alleged that forces personnel barged into their houses and damaged private property while beating inmates. They said that shortly after a stone-pelting incident, Forces went on rampage, damaged property and thrashed people.

Clashes also broke out in Palhalan and Singhpora areas of Pattan town. Protesters resorted to stone-pelting while police fire tear-smoke shells to disperse them.

Meanwhile to protest against the civilian killings in Kashmir Valley in the last 77 days, the Banihal town of district Ramban observed complete shutdown for the 3rd consecutive day Friday. The shutdown was called by the Beopar Mandal Banihal and Imam Jaima Markazi Masjid. Effect of shutdown was visible on transport movement and all government and private educational institutions, business houses and some government departments. Heavy deployment of government forces including CRPF, SSB and police personnel was witnessed in Banihal as a “preventive measure”.

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