Protests continue amid relaxation
17 Cops Hurt In Islamabad, Shutdown In Maisuma
MUDDASIR ALI/KHALID GUL
Srinagar, Sept 1: At least 25 persons including 17 policemen were injured in violent clashes between stone pelting youth and forces in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district over killing of a minor in police action last Monday even as a complete shutdown was observed in Maisuma and adjoining localities here against police firing on local youth here on August 30.
Elsewhere in Kashmir, the situation remained peaceful as Hurriyat (G), spearheading the ongoing “Quit J&K Movement,” had announced relaxation in strike for today.
Soon after CRPF and Police deployment was reduced in main town Islamabad in the evening, scores of youth took to roads near Nai Basti and Khanabal and staged anti-police protests.
Reports said a police vehicle came under heavy stone pelting near Nai Basti due to which the driver lost control over the vehicle which turned turtle, resulting in injuries to 17 policemen.
Earlier during the day, apprehending law and order problem following killing of a minor in police firing on Monday, authorities clamped curfew in Islamabad town even as the clashes broke out between the protestors and forces resulting in injuries to at least eight persons.
“Curfew remained enforced in the areas falling within municipal limits of the town to maintain law and order,” said an official. At Khanabal, police erected barricades to prevent vehicles from moving towards the town.
Since morning police and CRPF men were deployed in strength in the entire township and people were barred from offering Fajr prayers. Locals said scores of people who had gone to offer morning prayers in Masjids were allegedly thrashed by CRPF troopers.
“Even Seharkhan, Farooq Ahmad Khan, was ruthlessly beaten up by the CRPF men,” said the residents.
Later the CRPF men went berserk and without any provocation barged into several houses at Kadipora and beat up the inmates including women. Police raided several houses in Dangerpora and detained a local baker but he was later released.
Despite heavy deployment youth came out on streets at several places in old town- Cheeni Chowk, Malakhnag and Reshi Bazar- and clashed with police and CRPF men who retaliated by lobbing tear gas canisters.
Late in the evening youth again took to streets in the old town areas, Lal Chowk and Khanabal and also in civil lines areas of K.P road- Laizbal and Gulshanabad- and clashed with police and CRPF men. The forces lobbed tear gas canisters and fired several rounds in air to quell the protesters. However the youth offered resistance and fought pitched battles with the forces.
Clashes were going on when this report was filed. Several cops were also reportedly injured in the clashes. The angry youth also attacked the Sherbagh police station with stones and damaged police vehicles at Naibasti and Khanabal.
In Frestibal area of Pampore, four youth who were extorting money from the vehicle owners on the highway were caught by people late on Tuesday evening.
“However three of them fled away and took refuge in a nearby CRPF camp,” said the locals.
They said as they were seeking the custody of the miscreants, CRPF resorted to baton charge and tear gas shelling, injuring four civilians. “However they were taken away by police who arrived on the scene,” locals said.
Since morning, people came out on roads and staged sit-in protests in Maisuma against police for unprovoked firing on youth on Monday in which five persons, including the nephew and maternal cousin of JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, were injured. The conditions of one of the injured, Yasir Rafiq Sheikh, continues to be critical with doctors maintaining that he was not showing any visible signs of improvement.
All the shops in the area, housing the JKLF headquarter, remained closed and traffic was off the roads. Shutdown was also observed in nearby areas including Gaw Kadal, Basant Bagh, Habba Kadal which witnessed thin vehicular movement.
A portion of business hub Lal Chowk and nearby markets including Kokerbazaar, Exchange Road and Madina Chowk also remained closed. However there was no report of any untoward incident in these areas.
Elsewhere in the summer capital the situation remained peaceful as authorities lifted curfew from entire district. Shops and other business establishments opened early in the morning with markets witnessing heavy rush of customers. Schools and institutions including banks, offices—public and private--also opened while roads remained abuzz with heavy traffic rush.
Situation remained peaceful in Varmul and adjoining areas. Shops and other business establishments remained open for the whole day while traffic returned to the roads. There was no report of any untoward incident from any other area of north Kashmir.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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