Batamaloo Chalo Foiled; No Prayers In Jamia Masjid On 3rd Consecutive Friday
Srinagar, July 16: Authorities imposed strict curfew in the summer capital here and in several parts of the Valley to thwart yet another protest march called by Hurriyat Conference on Friday. Owing to curfew, Friday prayers couldn’t be held in the historic Jamia Masjid for the third consecutive Friday today even as the ongoing shutdown entered 21st day.
The Batamaloo locality, where three persons were killed by police and CRPF on July 6, was sealed by the police and CRPF to foil the march to the locality. Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani had asked people to march to Batamaloo to express solidarity with the families of those killed. Additional troopers were deployed in the Batamaloo, Magarmal Bagh, Alochi Bagh, Tengpora by-pass who blocked roads at several junctions by barricades and concertina wire.
Most of the downtown localities, the epi-centre of pro-freedom protests, also remained under strict curfew. Hundreds of police and CRPF troopers deployed across the old city didn’t allow people to come out of their homes.
Fearing protests after prayers, police and paramilitary CRPF, in most places in downtown didn’t allow people to come out for prayers. No prayers were held at the Jamia Masjid Srinagar for third consecutive Friday.
After Friday prayers people, mainly young boys, attempted to defy restrictions in several areas and staged pro-freedom protests and clashed with forces. Protests broke out in Dalgate, Sonwar, Galwanpora, Hyderpora, Natipora, Chanapora, Bagh-e-Mehtab, Shalimar localities in the afternoon.
At Hyderpora, forces cane charged protesters and lobbed tear smoke ammunition to disperse the protesters.
Prayers were held at Hazratbal shrine where Friday following of Me’raj-e-Alam was observed. However, only a modest gathering of people offered prayers. The devotees couldn’t again make it to the shrine second time this month on Friday, due to imposition of curfew across valley.
It is in place to mention that Friday was the 21st day of shutdown in Srinagar. The ongoing series of protests, strikes and curfew began on June 25 and have continued since then barring a day of normalcy on July 4. Massive protests and heavy clashes were also reported from Pampore town on the outskirts of Srinagar city. The clashes were going on till late in the evening.
KHALID GUL ADDS FROM SOUTH KASHMIR
An undeclared curfew was clamped in several towns of south Kashmir today. A heavy deployment of police and paramilitary CRPF men were deployed in the old town Islamabad and the Khanabal-Pahalgam (KP) road and strict restrictions were imposed.
However, protests took place in the Kadipora area when the SOG men caught hold of a teenager in one of by-lanes and thrashed him and tried to take him along. Soon, women came out on streets and rescued him from their clutches.
After the Friday prayers some youth assembled in the by-lanes of Kadipora and pelted stones on the police and CRPF men. During the clashes two persons injuring a cop were injured. The residents accused the SOG men of smashing their window panes and also pelting stones inside the residential houses and also using string shots.
The area has been witnessing massive protests during the last two days demanding the removal of SOG camp for they accuse their men of harassing them. Though the district administration has assured the locals of removal of the camp but they have vowed to continue their protests.
Due to curfew, Friday prayers were not allowed in the centrally located masjids of the town.
Massive protests also rocked the Chinar town of Bijbehera, Mattan, Shangus, Achabal, Dooru and Sangam. People were shouting pro-freedom, anti-India and ‘Go India Go’ slogans. Shutdown was also observed in the tourist resorts of Pahalgam and Kokernag. Protests were also witnessed in Kulgam, Ashmuji and Yaripora areas despite severe restrictions. In Shopian town, thousands of people gathered outside the Jamia Masjid and staged massive pro-freedom protests.
Most of the protesters were seen robbed in white clothes. In Pulwama, Pampore, Awantipora, Tral and Kakpora towns Section 144 was imposed and severe restrictions were enforced.
After Friday prayers protest demonstrations were held in many areas of Shopian and Pulwama including Kakapora, Rajpora, Aukhoo, Samboora, Shopian town and Dadsara.
ALTAF BABA & TARIQ RASOOL ADD FROM NORTH KASHMIR:
Amid curfew like restrictions, protest broke out in several parts of the north Kashmir including Varmul, Sopur, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Pattan and Sumbal.
Curfew-like restrictions remained imposed in Varmul town today. The three bridges—Cement Bridge, Transport Yard Bridge, and Azad Gunj Bridge— connecting old town with the civil line areas were seized by the police and no one from the old town area was allowed to cross over. Severe restrictions were enforced on the Varmul-Srinagar highway and no private vehicle was allowed to ply on the road.
Meanwhile hundreds of people from old town took out a procession after the Friday prayers. As the protesters reached the cement bridge, they were not allowed to cross the bridge resulting in clashes between the protesters and the police. Police fired several tear smoke shells to quell the protesters.
Protests were also reported from Delina, Sheeri and Pattan areas of the district.
At Saloora, Ganderbal, many young boys took out a protest rally. However, police swung into action and used force to disperse the protesters. Police lobbed tear smoke canisters in which six persons including a woman and a child were injured.
Locals alleged that policemen desecrated Jamia Masjid Saloora and smashed its windowpanes.
Even as the entire Ganderbal district remained shut but the movement of the yatris to and from Amarnath cave remained unhindered.
After Friday prayers people tried to hold a protest demonstration from Jamia Masjid Bandipora but police laid the siege around the Masjid and did not allow people to come out. People raised slogans and staged protest march from Jamia Masjid to martyrs graveyard Bandipora.
Scores of people led by the chief cleric of Jamia Masjid, Bandipora, Molvi Khurshid Ahmed Naqshbandi, marched towards martyrs graveyard Bandipora and offered prayers.
People from Papchan and Ashtangoo also marched towards Bandipora but were intercepted by police near martyrs graveyard. Peaceful demonstrations after Friday prayers were also reported from other areas of the district including Old Jamia Masjid, Kaloosa, Mangnipora, Ashtangoo, Sumbal and Hajin.
10 INJURED IN KUPWARA CLASHES:
Amidst curfew, massive protests erupted in Kupwara district today, reported Shahid Rafiq.
Police resorted to baton charge and fired dozens of tear smoke canisters and rounds of live ammunition in air to disperse the processions in different areas of the district. At least 10 persons including 4 police and CRPF men were injured in the violent clashes. Defying the curfew and strict restrictions, people held massive pro-freedom protests and started marching towards Kupwara after Friday prayers.
Thousands of people from Kralpora, Trehgam, Batergam, Tiker and other adjoining areas marched towards Kupwara raising pro-freedom slogans. These processions were intercepted by police and CRPF, triggering clashes. Police fired tear gas shells and resorted to lathi charge to disperse the protesters at Kralpora and Tiker.
Eyewitnesses said at least 5 persons were injured in the clashes.
Locals alleged that CRPF smashed and damaged the shutters, furniture and sign boards of shops at Kralpora market to avenge the protests.
Massive protests were held in Langate, Chotipora, Wudipora, Gonipora, Pohru and Kulangam areas of Handwara tehsil.
Eyewitnesses said that 2 policemen and 3 civilians were injured in the clashes at Chotipora when police and CRPF men resorted to tear gas shelling and cane charging to disperse a procession.
Muhammad Iqbal Shah of Langate was injured when he received a tear gas shell in his leg at Chotipora Handwara.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 17 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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