Kashmiris get day long breather
Govt Lifts Curfew, People Throng Markets
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Aug 8: Normalcy returned to Kashmir Valley on Sunday as Hurriyat Conference (G), spearheading the ongoing “Quit Jammu and Kashmir movement,” called off the strike for a day, while authorities also lifted the curfew from all the ten districts after eight consecutive days. However, in the afternoon, protests broke out at several places following which traffic went off the roads and shopkeepers downed their shutters.
In summer capital and in the districts, including Varmul, Bandipora, Kuwpara, Shopian and Pulwama, shops, businesses, private schools, private offices and some banks opened for the first time since July 27. Public and private transport also plied normally.
People flocked markets, especially grocery stores, fuel stations, and ration depots to stock up essentials. A large number of people thronged banks especially the JK Bank branches, which were closed, much to the disappointment of the customers. Serpentine queues of people were seen outside the ATMs across the city.
Massive traffic jams were witnessed across the city mainly in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk and Batmaloo.
In the afternoon, protests erupted in several uptown and downtown localities including Maisuma, Nowhatta, Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal and Rainawari with youth coming out on streets and staging protests. Protests resulted in the shutdown with shopkeepers downing their shutters and vehicular transport getting disrupted.
Reports from north Kashmir’s Varmul district said that protests erupted at several places in the afternoon including main Town, Azad Gunj Bridge, Kanispora, Tehsil Road, and Khawaja Bagh.
Youth staged protests and enforced a shutdown in the town. They also clashed with police at several places. In main town, three youths were injured when police fired rubber bullets to quell the protests.
At Khawaja Bagh, several vehicles of armed forces came under stone pelting following which they fired several rounds triggering panic in the area. Protests also broke out in Pattan and Palhalan areas of the district where youth staged protests following which a shutdown was observed.
KHALID GUL REPORTS FROM SOUTH KASHMIR
Amid massive pro-freedom demonstrations a complete shutdown was observed in most south Kashmir towns while in others the situation turned hostile in the second half following the clashes between police and youth.
Though the authorities lifted the curfew after nine consecutive days, but the life remained crippled following the protests and clashes.
In Pulwama town and its adjoining areas amid massive protests a complete shutdown was observed. All the shops remained closed while traffic was off the roads. Early in the morning youth took to the streets and staged pro-freedom demonstrations.
In many areas youth fought pitched battles with police and CRPF who retaliated by lobbing tear gas canisters and resorting to aerial firing.
Later, thousands of people from Pulwama and its adjoining areas in the form of processions marched towards Lonepora, Newa to pay tributes to the slain youth Shabir Ahmad Malik killed in the police firing 3-days ago near Degree College Pulwama.
Reports of protests and shutdown were also received from Kakpora, Samboora, Pampore and other peripheries of town.
In Kulgam normal life turned out to be short lived as hundreds of youth took to roads and staged pro-freedom protests and marched towards the residence of the slain youth killed in police and CRPF firing in the area recently.
Announcements were made from loudspeakers of Masjids asking people to join the protests following which the shopkeepers downed their shutters and joined them.
In Shopian also violent clashes broke out between police and protesters in the afternoon. Eyewitnesses said that police used force by lobbing tear gas shells forcing the shopkeepers to close their shops.
Meanwhile, in Islamabad town life remained normal for a couple of hours as youth took to streets at Lal Chowk and staged pro-freedom demonstrations in the afternoon.
Later, the shopkeepers downed their shutters and traffic also went off the roads from the entire town. Youth fought pitched battles with police and CRPF following which huge contingent of police and CRPF men were deployed in the entire town. “ Later in the evening youth in many areas of the town including Lal Chowk, Cheeni Chowk, Reeshi Bazar, Dangerpora, Mattan Chow, Khanabal and certain areas of K.P road pelted stones on police and CRPF men who retaliated by heavy tear gas shelling,” eyewitnesses said. In Bijbehara town clashes also broke out between youth and police in the afternoon which led to the shutdown.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 7 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 7 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 8 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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