Normalcy after 9 days

PROTESTS IN ISLAMABAD, PULWAMA

GKNN/KHALID GUL

Srinagar/Islamabad Feb 18: Life limped back to normal in the Valley on Monday after nine days of curfew and strike in the aftermath of the execution of Muhammad Afzal Guru at Tihar Jail in New Delhi on February 9. Meanwhile, south Kashmir’s Islamabad and Pulwama towns observed a shutdown against the alleged detention of youth by the police. Several people, including cops, were injured in the clashes which erupted between the protesters and the force personnel.
Shops reopen, public transport reappears.
Shops and business establishments reopened while public transport reappeared on the streets on Monday. Government, private offices and financial institutions, including banks also opened as per their normal schedule.
Pertinently, authorities had imposed a 7-day curfew in all the ten districts of the Valley from February 9 onwards. However, Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for a 2-day shutdown on Saturday and Sunday against Afzal’s hanging, imposition of curfew in the Valley and “random arrests” of youth.
Three persons had died and over 60 others, including 25 policemen, were injured in the clashes between protesters and forces during the 9-day unrest in the Valley.

ISLAMABAD
Amid complete shutdown protests erupted in south Kashmir’s Islamabad town against the detention of youth by the police. Several people, including policemen, were injured in the clashes between the forces and the protesters.
Islamabad town observed a complete shutdown following the crackdown by police against the youth involved in protests. Shops and other business establishments remained closed while the traffic was completely off the roads.

PULWAMA
People in large numbers took to streets early in the morning at Pulwama Chowk and other areas of the town and were demanding the release of the youth, reports said.
The protesters alleged that the police were harassing the youth, and have detained many during nocturnal raids and is implicating them in false cases. They said that many youth in the town were on the run.
Reports said that a huge contingent of police and paramilitary CRPF rushed to the spot and resorted to baton charge and chased the protesters. “Demonstrators however offered stiff resistance and pelted stones and bricks on the forces who retaliated by lobbing tear gas canisters,” witnesses said.
Following the protests, restrictions were imposed in the entire town with large number of police and CRPF men seen manning the lanes and by lanes of the town.
“The youth, however, then organized themselves in groups and fought pitched battles with the uniformed men soon the  clashes spread to Murran Chowk, Rajpora Chowk, Tahab Chowk, Washibugh and Dangarpora areas of the town,” witnesses added.
They said the pitched battles between the forces and youth continued throughout the day as police and CRPF men fired numerous tear gas shells and resorted to aerial firing in various areas of the town. Protests were also reported in adjacent Newa village.  Several people including cops sustained injuries in the day long clashes.

POLICE VERSION
Meanwhile, a Police spokesman said that situation remained peaceful across the Valley on Monday.
“Some miscreants pelted stones on passing vehicles in Pulwama in the morning. One person Shahid Malik son of Muhammad Shafi Malik of Newa, Pulwama was injured in left arm,” he added.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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