Sarfaraz A Lone
Srinagar: The 8th Friday of ongoing civil uprising in Kashmir was marked by protests, clashes in which more than 50 protesters were injured amid curfew and lockdown on 56th day. While thousands attended the funeral of Palpora boy who drowned yesterday, the authorities yet again disallowed Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.
The authorities today once again imposed curfew in Srinagar and other towns of south and north Kashmir including Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Baramulla. Thousands of forces personnel were deployed in Srinagar areas including in downtown since early morning who restricted movement of people by erecting barricades and pools of concertina wires.
The authorities for the 8th consecutive week disallowed Friday prayers at historic Jama Masjid in Nowhatta area of downtown Srinagar. According to locals, the force personnel deployed at Nowhatta and in adjoining areas showed sticks to all those who tried to come out of their houses for offering prayers. Residents, particularly youth, of several downtown areas alleged that forces didn’t allow them to move towards mosques for offering Friday prayers.
Meanwhile, the body of a teenager identified as Danish Ahmad Haroon who drowned yesterday in River Jhelum at Palpora in Noorbagh after being ‘chased’ by forces was fished out today. Soon after fishing out his body, thousands of people turned up at Noorbagh and took him in a procession towards martyrs’ graveyard Eidgah for burial. Though the police earlier intercepted the procession but after the intervention of elders it was allowed to proceed ahead and amid sobs and tears, the youth was laid to rest.
Meanwhile, protests and violent clashes erupted at dozens of places in Srinagar and on its outskirts after Friday prayers. According to official and local sources, the clashes erupted at HMT, Maloora, Zainakote, Noorbagh, Rambagh, Bagh-e-Mehtab, Rawalpora, Shivpora, Kak Sarai, Zampa Kadal, Sabzi Mandi Soura, Harwan, Brane, Nishat, Rainawari, Shalimar, Mehjoor Nagar, Barzulla, Galwanpora Hyderpora and Barthana in Qamarwari. Clashes were also reported from several areas of Old City after withdrawal of forces’ deployments.
In twin districts of Ganderbal and Budgam, thousands of people staged post-Friday protests at multiple places and also clashed with forces who responded by firing teargas and pellets. The clashes erupted in these districts erupted at Magam, Nagam, Narbal, Ompora, Chadoora, Beerwah, Nasrullahpora, Power House Kangan, Pandach and Gadoora in Ganderbal.
The north Kashmir’s Bandipora, Baramulla and Kupwara districts also witnessed violent protests and peaceful rallies. In Baramulla, the clashes between protesters and government forces erupted at Cement Bridge, Nadihal, Pattan, Palhallan, Tapper, Rafiabad, Delina, Sopore and Hadipora. The clashes in Bandipora erupted at Gulshan Chowk, Ajas, Papchan, Aloosa, Sumbal and Pazalpora. Reports said that police used teargas and pellets against the protesters. Police sources said that peaceful protests were also held at many places in these two districts.
At Nadihal, sources said, 64 pro-India political workers announced their resignation from their respective parties. Sources said that many among these workers are elected Panchayat representatives. Reports quoting these workers said: “We have not resigned under pressure.” The area witnessed killing of a youth in forces action only day-before yesterday.
The frontier district of Kupwara also continues to be on boil and clashes erupted between forces and protesters at multiple places after Friday prayers. Sources said that the clashes erupted at Drugmulla, Brambri, Nutnoosa, Kralgund, Kralpora, Trehgam, Langate, Lalpora Lolab and Watergam Handwara. Many people were injured in these clashes as police used force.
The southern districts also witnessed massive protests after Friday prayers. Local sources informed that clashes erupted at Haal, Tahab, Newa, Wushbug, Newa, Rajpora, Tral and Kakpora areas of Pulwama district while peaceful rallies were taken out from Rohmoo, Litter, Murran and Mitrigam. During clashes, police used teargas and pellets against the protesters.
In Anantnag district, clashes between forces and youths erupted at Khanabal, Jablipora Bijbehera, Goriwan Bijbehera, Achabal and Kapran. The Qaimoh and Khudwani areas of Kulgam also witnessed violent protests after Friday prayers. The Shopian district also saw clashes between forces and protesters at Gagran, Chowdhary Gund and Crossing Shopian.
According to Zonal Police Headquarters, Kashmir, curfew was imposed in Srinagar, towns of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Baramulla today. In a statement issued here, a spokesman of the Zonal Police Headquarters said that 35 stone pelting incidents were reported from Srinagar, Sopore, Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kulgam and Kupwara till the filing of this report. (GNS)