Youths killed in forces action laid to rest; protests continue in Valley

Srinagar: Thousands of mourners on Saturday attended the last rites of two youths killed by government forces at Khansahab in Budgam district and Wagoora in Baramulla district amid protests even as curfew and shutdown continued on 29th day across Kashmir Valley.

Reports informed that thousands turned up at Khansahab in Budgam to attend the last rites of Sameer Ahmad who was killed yesterday by forces. Amid pro-Islam, pro-freedom and anti-India sloganeering, the youth was laid to rest in presence of thousands. Soon after the burial, violent protests raged in the area and adjoining localities.

In Wagoora area of Baramulla district also, thousands of people turned up to attend the last rites of another youth, Danish Rasool, who was also killed by forces yesterday after Friday prayers during protests. Witnesses said that the youth was laid to rest after thousands offered his multiple funerals amid anti-India protests. The funeral was followed by violent protests during which protesters set ablaze an abandoned police post at Wagoora.

Authorities imposed curfew in Pattan area of Baramulla district after clashes erupted between protesters and forces that left four injured. Reports said that four persons sustained pellet injuries during clashes and they were subsequently hospitalized. The protests also erupted at Sheeri area of Baramulla district after forces including CRPF and SOG allegedly thrashed locals and ransacked houses in Shalteng Sheeri and Zoogyar Sheeri localities. The protesters demanded an end to what they called ‘continued atrocities’

The curfew and shutdown across Kashmir Valley for the 29th day during which protests and rallies were staged at several areas while forces action left nearly 50 persons injured. A strict curfew was imposed in Old City, Maisuma and Batamaloo areas of city here to thwart possible protests while rest of the city observed a complete shutdown. Reports said that though the situation remained peaceful across the Srinagar but clashes erupted between youths and retreating government forces men in the evening.

Nearly 42 persons were injured when forces used teargas and pellets at Chee village of Anantnag district of south Kashmir to foil a scheduled pro-freedom rally this morning. Reports said that police and army barged in the village at 7 AM and disrupted the arrangements being made for the rally-cum-conference. Some of the injured were rushed to Anantnag district hospital while rest were treated at Mattan Hospital.

In a similar action, a large tent installed in Chandgam village of Pulwama district was destroyed by government forces to foil a ‘Jalsa’ this morning. Locals said that the forces arrived in the morning hours and started ransacking the tent and other minor tents to foil the rally. “Thousands of people were scheduled to attend the rally,” said the locals, adding: “but the forces came and started ransacking”.

Several reports suggested that over five motorcycles were set ablaze allegedly by forces while they also damaged tractors that were used to ferry people to venue. “Some of the autos were also damaged,” the reports added. Despite police action, the rally was held at Chee by locals and was attended by large number of people.

According to a statement of Hurriyat (G), the octogenarian leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani addressed three pro-freedom rallies on Saturday. “Present uprising is very crucial and detrimental for the freedom struggle and utmost discipline and obedience to the common programme by joint leadership is the need of the hour,” Geelani stated while addressing telephonically to large gatherings at Kulgam, Wanpora and Chee in south Kashmir.

“He cautioned people about the nefarious designs of India and its stooges here who are hell bent upon misleading and sabotaging our freedom struggle, but awakening and zest of our people especially youth will surely give them tough time,” added the statement. (GNS)

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