Kashmir shuts on Bar call
12 Injured In Clashes Across Valley
Srinagar, May 10: The strike called by High Court Bar Association and supported by various pro-freedom groups Monday evoked total response across Kashmir Valley. Around one dozen persons were injured in the clashes between police and protesters at several places.
The summer capital Srinagar wore a deserted look as all shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while traffic was completely off the roads. The work remained affected in most of the government and semi-government offices.
In old city areas authorities, fearing protests, imposed restrictions to ensure that propitiatory orders under Section 144 were not violated. Police and troopers had laid concertina wires on all approach roads to the old city to restrict civilian movement.
The inhabitants said policemen and paramilitary CRPF personnel were positioned at all nooks and corners of the city. “They didn’t allow anyone to come out of homes,” said a resident of Gojwara in old city.
Restrictions were also in place in some resistance hubs like Maisuma and its adjoining areas. A heavy deployment of police and CRPF was guarding the streets to restrict youth from staging protests. Forces had also placed barbed wires on Gaw Kadal in the area.
Reports said Additional Secretary (Education), Pervaiz Ahmad, received splinter injuries when a stone-hurling mob attacked his official vehicle at Bemina and smashed its windscreen. The officer, hit by pieces of broken glasses in head and face, is undergoing treatment at SMHS hospital.
In Qamarwari, however, youth came out on streets to protest in the afternoon but were dealt severely by police and CRPF, triggering clashes. Witnesses said two protesters were injured. The strike showed good impact elsewhere in the uptown.
The call for strike was given by High Court Car Association against the “Indian plan to change the demographic complexion of the state, collapse of state judicial system in mitigating the sufferings of political detainees’ and Inter-District Recruitment Bill.
The Government, however, put several pro-freedom leaders and activists under house arrest. These include chairman Hurriyat (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, his close aide, Advocate Shahid-ul-Islam, General Secretary Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Ashraf Sehrai, Mass Movement President Farida Behanji and Zamrooda Habib chairperson of Muslim Khwateen Markaz.
Amid complete shutdown in north Kashmir’s largest district Varmul, at least 10 persons including four policemen were reported injured in clashes between youth and police.
In the morning, youth came out pelting stones at police and paramilitary CRPF deployed near Cement Bridge. The forces retaliated with intense tear gas shelling and firing rubber bullets, resulting in injury to two youth.
Sources in the district hospital told Greater Kashmir that the duo was hit by rubber bullets.
“One of them was hit in the chest and the other in the head. But the injuries were minor and we have discharged them,” sources said.
Four youth were injured by stones and tear gas shelling at various places, witnesses said.
The clashes also took place near police station Varmul and in Delina, 6 kms from the main town.
In apple town Sopur, youth attacked a police gypsy patrolling the main road. Reports said the vehicle turned turtle and four policemen were injured. Subsequently, clashes took place between youth and forces which continued for several hours.
Complete shutdown was also observed in other North Kashmir districts of Kupwara, Bandipora and Ganderbal. Reports said routine businesses in the districts remained closed and traffic was off the roads.
Strike showed impact in most South Kashmir districts where life remained off gear. Reports said a heavy deployment of forces was maintained in all volatile areas, restricting the civilian movement.
Although there were no reports of clashes from anywhere, witnesses said in Malakhnag area in Islamabad district the paramilitary CRPF, without any provocation, went on rampage.
“They broke the windows panes of houses and also damaged the vehicles parked on roads,” witnesses said.
In the evening, youth attacked the office of District Development Commissioner Islamabad and damaged a government vehicle parked there. Police baton charged the protesters, triggering clashes.
BAR COMPLIMENTS PEOPLE
The High Court Bar Association Monday complemented the people for making today’s strike call successful. In a statement, Bar said, “The resilient Kashmiri people have time and again shown that they will not let anyone to snatch their rights.”
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 11 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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