Kashmir shut, again
PROTESTS IN SRINAGAR, PAMPORE, ISLAMABAD
Srinagar, July 26: After a day’s breather on Sunday, Kashmir Valley again remained shut on Monday in response to the Hurriyat’s strike call. Restrictions remained imposed in parts of downtown here even as protests broke out in uptown areas. Nearly a dozen persons were injured in the clashes between protesters and forces.
Protests broke out at Rambagh and Natipora uptown localities where people, mainly young boys, shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans staged protest demonstrations.
When police and CRPF tried to quell the protests by chasing them, youth pelted stones and engaged the forces. Police later lobbed tear smoke canisters to disperse the protesters. Five persons were injured in the clashes which continued intermittently during the day.
During the protests, many women also poured out on streets, police had to call-in women police to deal with the women protesters.
Most of the uptown areas were deserted with only a few private vehicles were plying on roads. Most of localities in Batmaloo remained tense as curfew-like restrictions remained imposed to check the protests over the death a youth, Farooq Ahmad Bhat of S D Colony, whose body was found in a stream in downtown on Sunday evening.
Locals contest the police claim that he committed suicide. They maintain that it was a case of murder since there were injury marks on his blood smeared body. The area had witnessed massive protests against his death on Sunday evening.
Policemen repeatedly cane charged civilians who attempted to come out of their homes. Witnesses said six persons were injured in the police action.
The entire downtown of the city remained under restrictions with heavy deployment of police and paramilitary CRPF guarding the roadsides. They had erected barricades and laid razor wires at several important crossings to hinder civilian and vehicular movement.
In several localities including Maisuma and Gaw Kadal, locals said, police vehicles fitted with loud speakers made announcements of curfew being in force.
Protests also broke out in Pampore town in the outskirts of city. People staged protests at Kadalabal and attempted to block Srinagar-Jammu highway. They hurled stones on police and CRPF troopers who tried to chase them away. The ding-dong battles continued for several hours.
Police has intensified its crack down on youth in Islamabad town. Several youth have been detained several of them during overnight raids in Ashajipora, Moominabad, Sherpora, Janglat Mandi and Naibasti areas.
On Sunday, authorities imposed strict restrictions in the old town areas including Malakhnag, Cheeni Chowk, Reeshi Bazaar, Dangerpora and Kadipora.
Heavy contingents of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed in these areas and the civilian movement was curtailed.
The residents of Kadipora accused the CRPF men of thrashing them when they tried to venture out of their houses for buying bread and milk in the morning.
Later in the day, protests broke out in several localities. Meanwhile, a 70 year-old-man was critically injured when the persons of Special Task Force allegedly thrashed him at his house in Naibasti Sunday night. Two of his sons, who were also beaten and detained during the overnight raids on the same night, have also sustained severe injuries. The trio was, however, later released by the police after massive protests in the area.
According to the locals, “The STF men raided the house of Abdul Ahad Kaloo and after thrashing him he was dragged took along his two sons- Imtiyaz Ahmad, 30, and Asif Ahmad, 23- who were also severely thrashed and then detained. They also barged into several other houses, ransacked the household goods and smashed the window panes.”
Protesters mostly women staged a dharna and protested against the police action following which the trio was released. However, Abdul Ahad who according to his family members is a diabetic patient had to be immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment as his condition deteriorated.
“Ahad has sustained multiple injuries and his sugar level is also raised,” said a doctor attending him.
Imtiyaz and Asif who had also severe injuries were also treated in the hospital.
Reports of shutdown and protests were also received from Bijbehara, Kulgam, Awantipora, Tral and Shopian towns of South Kashmir. While as restrictions were imposed in Pulwama and Kakpora towns and there were reports of sporadic clashes between the protesters and police in these areas.
Reports of complete shutdown poured in from north Kashmir’s Varmul, Kupwara, Ganderbal and Bandipora districts.
All the shops, educational institutions, remained closed while the traffic was off the roads in the entire area.
Police was deployed in strength in towns to prevent people from staging protests.
(With inputs Khalid Gul and Altaf Baba)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 26 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 26 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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