2 youth shot in Srinagar
CURFEW IN OLD CITY, ISLAMABAD; PROTESTS CONTINUE
GOWHAR BHAT/KHALID GUL
Srinagar/Islamabad, Sept 2: Authorities on Thursday imposed curfew-like restrictions across summer capital in response to the strike call of Hurriyat Conference (G) while curfew continued in Islamabad town for the fourth day running to contain protests. Protests broke out at several places across the Valley during the day. In downtown here, witnesses said minutes before Iftaar CRPF opened fire on a group of protesters at Zaldagar and Fateh Kadal injuring two youth.
The two were shifted to SMHS hospital. They were identified as Sajid Ahmad, 18, son of Bashir Ahmad of Karfali Mohalla and Riyaz Ahmad Batloo, 22, of Fateh Kadal.
“Sajid has a firearm injury in leg while Riyaz has a bullet in abdomen. They are being operated upon by surgeons,” a doctor on duty at SMHS hospital told Greater Kashmir. He said condition of Riyaz was critical.
After the incident, protests intensified in these localities and also spread to other localities including Haba Kadal. Youth staged protests and raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. The police and CRPF men caned and fired tear smoke ammunition to disperse the protesters.
The protesters were on at the time of filing of this report.
Protests broke out in Badamwari locality in the evening. Scores of people, including men and women, took to streets and protested the arrest of a youth by police.
They raised anti-police and anti-India slogans and demanded the release of the youth.
Earlier in the day, several parts of the city mainly downtown areas falling under Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safakadal, Maisuma, Shaheedgunj, Maharajgunj, Batamaloo, Soura and Rainawari police stations were under siege as an undeclared curfew was imposed to foil any fresh protest demonstrations. However, very thin civilian and vehicular movement was witnessed in these areas.
Police and CRPF dotted the roads and streets. They blocked roads at several places by barricades. The situation in civilian areas was relatively relaxed during the day.
While shops, businesses remained closed for the day, the government offices and educational institutions remained closed on account of Janamashtami holiday. Protests broke out in uptown Natipora and Rambagh localities as youth came out on roads. They pelted police and paramilitary forces with stones who responded by baton charging.
Curfew continued in south Kashmir’s Islamabad town for the fourth day running. The town and its peripheries have been under curfew since the killing of a minor in police firing on August 30. Several persons were wounded as police and paramilitary CRPF used force to quell the pro-freedom demonstrations.
“Curfew remained enforced in the areas falling within municipal limits of the town to maintain law and order,” said an official. At Khanabal on the Srinagar-Jammu highway and other major entry points of the town police erected barricades and laid concertina wires to prevent people from moving.
Early in the morning police and CRPF men were deployed in strength in the entire township.
Locals alleged that the CRPF and policemen prevented people from offering prayers in masjids in Kadipora and other old town areas and thrashed many who ventured out of their houses to offer prayers.
The CRPF men went berserk and without any provocation and barged into several houses at Kadipora and Naibasti and beat up the inmates including women, ransacked the household goods and smashed the window panes. Several women were wounded in the CRPF action.
Despite heavy deployment youth came out on streets at several places in old town; Cheeni Chowk, Malakhnag, Janglat Mandi and Reeshi Bazar and K.P road areas of Khanabal, Naibasti and Gulshanabad, clashed with police and CRPF men who retaliated by lobbing tear gas canisters and firing several rounds in air.
Late in the evening when the deployment was reduced youth again took to streets in the Lal Chowk, Khanabal and several old town areas. The forces lobbed tear gas canisters and fired several rounds in air to quell the protesters. The youth hurled bricks and stones on the forces and offered tough resistance. Clashes were going on till this report was filed. Several people including cops were reportedly injured in the clashes. The angry youth also attacked the Sherbagh Police station by hurling stones and bricks.
Meanwhile, the family members of the 11-year old Irshad, who was killed in police firing, have appealed the people of the town not to observe any strike on Friday, commemorating his Chahrum.
Reports of protests and clashes were also received from other South Kashmir townships; Bijbehara, Mattan, Kulgam, Qaimoh, Shopian, Pulwama, Kakpora, Pampore, Awantipora and Tral. Restrictions were however imposed in Pulwama and Kakpora only.
In North Kashmir’s Varmul, Sopur, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Kupwara towns, a complete shutdown was observed during the day.
Police and CRPF were deployed in large numbers across the towns and district headquarters and they imposed strict restrictions.
“Situation in almost all parts of the Kashmir Valley remained peaceful barring a couple of stone pelting incidents in Prichoo, Pulwama and Zaldagar in Srinagar. While the miscreants were chased at Prichoo, a mob of miscreants attacked security forces at Zaldagar. The forces fired tear smoke shells to disperse the mob. However, the miscreants did not relent. The forces fired rubber pallets. Two persons namely Riyaz Ahmad and Sajid Ahmad were injured. The condition of both the persons is stated to be stable so far,” a police spokesman said in the evening.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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