Curfew, restrictions mark another Friday
Khankah March Foiled; Curfew In Bandipora, Kupwara, Sopur; Protests In Srinagar, Pulwama
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, July 23: Protests broke out in several parts of the Kashmir Valley on Friday even as authorities imposed curfew in Bandipora, Kupwara and Sopur towns in north Kashmir. Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in the summer capital here, particularly in the old city areas.
The Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani had asked people to stage protests at district headquarters across the Valley against the recent civilian killings and urged them to march toward Khankah-e-Moula shrine here.
Police and CRPF deployed in large numbers blocked roads and streets at several points by barricades and concertina wires, especially the roads leading to Khankah-e-Moula. Like Jamia Masjid, no prayers were offered at Khankah-e-Moula shrine today. The restrictions were a bit relaxed in uptown areas. Barring Hyderpora, where people took out a protest march from Jamia Masjid after Friday prayers, the situation in the city remained peaceful throughout the day.
Protesters tried to march towards Hyderpora Chowk. However, police and CRPF men swung into action and baton charged them. They lobbed tear-smoke canisters at the protesters, injuring five of them. The ding-dong clashes continued for several hours.
Youth from nearby Galwanpora also took out a protest rally which was intercepted by police. The protesters later hurled stones at the policemen.
Curfew was clamped in Bandipora, Kupwara, and Sopur towns. Forces were deployed in abundance to thwart the possible protests. They had blocked roads at several points to restrict civilian and vehicular movement.
Defying curfew, hundreds of youth at Papchan and Gamoora took to streets after Friday prayers and tried to march towards the martyrs’ graveyard. However, police intercepted them at Nusoo. Protests also broke out at Hajin, Naidkhai, Sumbal and Safapora areas of Bandipora.
Police forced people to offer prayers in the local Majids. Roads leading to Jamia Masjid Bandipora were closed at Nowpora and Nishat Mohalla. Only those people residing in the vicinity of Jamia Masjid were allowed to offer Friday prayers there after proper frisking. “We were not allowed to offer prayers in Jamia Masjid. Police stooped us near Nowpora Chowk,” said Ghulam Muhammad, a resident. CRPF and police patrolled the sensitive areas like Papchan, old Jamia and other localities.
A number of students were not allowed to appear in exams despite government order that roll number slips may be treated as curfew passes. In Kupwara district, protests erupted after Friday prayers at Langate, Handwara and Chitipora.
Reports said seven policemen including the SDPO Uri, Masroor Ahmmad, were among 11 persons injured in the clashes between the police and the protesters in Khanpora area in Varmul. Earlier, in old town area people were asked to offer Friday prayers in the Qadeem Eidgah. After the prayers thousands of people took out a procession. The protesters, chanting pro-freedom slogans, marched through the old town and later dispersed peacefully near Azad Gunj Chowk.
Later protesters gathered at the Cement Bridge and Azad Gunj Bridge and clashed with police. Police fired several teargas shells to quell the protesters.
Curfew-like restrictions were observed in south Kashmir districts and towns of Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, Qaimoh, Pampore, Islamabad, Awantipora, Tral and Bijbehara. Protests broke out at several places in south Kashmir.
From early morning police and paramilitary CRPF persons were deployed in strength in the old town areas of Islamabad while curfew was clamped in the volatile areas of Mattan Chowk, Dangerpora, Kadipora, Cheeni Chowk, Malakhnag and Reeshi Bazar.
Elsewhere in the old town prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC remained enforced. The Khanabal-Pahalgam road, however, remained open.
Only elderly people were allowed out of their homes to offer Friday prayers in Masjids including Jamia Masjid Hanfia, Jamia Masjid Ahlihadith and Rehat Ded Masjid in Lal Chowk area.
Most of the areas in Islamabad town have been under curfew and restrictions since June, 29 after the cold blooded murder of three teenagers by police in Anchidora.
In the evening, reports of clashes between youth and police were received from Kadipora and Malakhnag areas.
In Shopian, amid restrictions a huge procession was carried out from Jamia Masjid, Shopian after Friday prayers which later on dispersed peacefully. The protesters, shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, marched through the township. People also staged protests at Charsoo area of Awantipora.
Reports of violent clashes between the protesters and the police were received from Pulwama township. Eyewitnesses told Greater Kashmir that after Friday prayers a massive demonstration was carried out from the main chowk but as soon as it reached Chatipora area the police and paramilitary CRPF persons resorted to baton charge and intense tear gas shelling injuring about a dozen people two of them critically. The injured were rushed to district hospital in Pulwama.
One of the injured, Muneera Akhtar, was shifted to SKIMS in a critical condition. Later, youth in the area organized themselves in large numbers and pelted stones on the police personnel injuring six of them including a DSP. Police again resorted to shelling and aerial firing to disperse the youth. Soon additional deployment was called in and curfew like restrictions were imposed but the clashes continued to spread to other areas of the town and were on till last reports came.
The residents accused the CRPF men of going berserk and barging into many residential houses and ransacking them and beating up the inmates, including women and children.
A large number of people assembled after Friday prayers and took to the streets to protest against civilian killings near Pampore. They raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. They blocked all roads, allowing only Ambulances and emergency vehicles to pass through Samboora-Pampore. Many Army vehicles which have to pass through Samboora were made to take a U-turn.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 23 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 23 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 24 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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