Day 35: Kashmir remains on boil, 250 injured in fresh clashes

41 including 17 women wounded as army flexes muscles on protesters in Arhama Ganderbal | Soldiers patrol South Kashmir streets to enforce curfew | 3 persons sustain bullet injuries | Pellets continue to rain on people | Pro-freedom rallies held in several areas

Srinagar/Anantnag, Publish Date: Aug 12 2016 11:24PM | Updated Date: Aug 12 2016 11:24PM
Day 35: Kashmir remains on boil, 250 injured in fresh clashesPhoto: Aman Farooq/GK
More than 250 persons were injured, scores of them with deadly pellets, in clashes that rocked Kashmir on Friday—the 35th straight day of uprising, even as stringent curfew and restrictions continued across the 10 districts of the province.
In Ganderbal district, 41 persons were injured after Army intercepted a protest demonstration in Arhama village. The injured include 17 females and “16 among them were referred to SK Institute of Medical Sciences for treatment”, witnesses said.
They said soldiers of Army’s 5 Rashtirya Rifles fired in air and beat up people to pulp in Arhama after residents denied stopping a pro-freedom ‘tarana’ that was playing out in a local mosque.
Witnesses said people in large numbers assembled and held strong protest demonstrations. “The RR soldiers beat up people with iron rods and gun-butts, injuring 41 persons,” they said.
“Nobody received bullet or pellet injury,” Block Medical Officer Kangan, Dr Arshad Hussain, told Greater Kashmir. He said 16 injured were referred to SKIMS. The protests were also held in Kulan, Gund, Sumbal, Genwan, Kagan, Safapora and several other parts of the district, and were on at some places when this report was being filed.
In Budgam district, where curfew remained in place, over 130 people were injured in clashes and of these 22 were referred to Srinagar hospitals, witnesses said, adding: “Over a dozen among them have received pellet injuries while one person was hit by a bullet.” The protests took place at Beerwah, Magam, Narbal and some other areas of the district.   
The curfew-bound Srinagar also witnessed protests which were largely peaceful. The forces had blocked all exit and entry points to old Srinagar to thwart protest post-Friday prayer protest demos. The authorities barred Friday congregational prayers for the 5th consecutive week at Central Jamia Masjid at Nowhatta.
Reports said people took to streets in some parts of old Srinagar, Bemina, Barzulla, Padshahibagh, Mehjoor Nagar, Chotta Bazar, Guru Bazar, Saraibala and some other areas. The protestors also clashed with forces. Protests at some places were going on when this report was filed.
Protests were also reported from Lasjan Sumerbugh, Syedabad Soiteng and their adjacent areas. Reports said hundreds of people tried to march towards Lal Chowk, but were dispersed by police with intense teargas shelling.
Several protesters were injured during clashes in Pattan and Palhallan areas of Baramulla district on Friday afternoon.
Witnesses said in Pattan, hundreds of people from Nihalpora, Sareewarpora and Goiewa defied curfew and marched towards the main market on Friday afternoon. The protesters were not allowed to proceed towards the Srinagar-Baramulla highway, leading to massive clashes. Police fired scores of teargas shells and used pellets to quell the protests. At least 13 protesters were injured in the ensuing clashes. According to Block Medical Officer Pattan, five injured youths were brought to Sub-district hospital Pattan where from three of them, who were hit with pellets, were shifted to Srinagar.
Clashes were also witnessed in Palhallan. Reports said soon after Friday prayers ended, scores of youths, while defying the curfew, marched towards the highway. Police and CRPF personnel did not allow the protesters to assemble, triggering clashes. Police fired scores of teargas shells and used pellet gun to disperse the protests and clashes were on till evening.
In Sangrama area of Sopore, at least six persons were injured after clashes broke out between police and protesting youth. Three youth, who had pellet injuries, were rushed to Baramulla district hospital.
Local residents accused police and CRPF men of ransacking several houses in the area.
Clashes between police and protesters were also witnessed at Hatipora in Rafiabad.  According to witnesses, several villages in Rafiabad jointly offered Friday prayers at Hattipora and soon after these end, a huge protest march was taken out. As a group of protesters started pelting stones at the Sub Divisional Police Office situated near Chijhama, police swung into action and lobbed teargas shells. As the clashes intensified, police fired pellets and injured at least 15 protesters. Three of the injured youths were brought to Baramulla district hospital.
In Baramulla town, despite strict curfew, scores of youths appeared on Cement Bridge and started pelting stones on police and paramilitary forces. Police fired scores of teargas shells and clashes between youths and police continued till evening.
Reports from Sopore Tehsil of Baramulla district said dozens of persons were injured when police and paramilitary forces fired pellets into pro-freedom rallies after congregational Friday prayers.
Reports said thousands of people took out a pro-freedom rally from Jamia Qadeem and marched towards Chanakhan amid pro-freedom and anti-India sloganeering. They said women were seen offering water to the marchers. However, forces fired teargas shells and pellets as the protesters moved on. Several people were injured and shifted to SDH Sopore.
Reports said similar rallies were staged in Bomai, Warpora, Tujjara and Hadipora areas of the district. Several youths were injured in the clashes, they added. Two among the injured were shifted to Srinagar for advanced treatment, official sources said.
Reports reaching here from Bandipora district said violent clashes erupted in Ajar and Nowpora areas soon after Friday prayers. Youth clashed with police and CRPF who were deployed near Ranger Khan area.
Witnesses said youth pelted stones on forces who resorted to heavy teargas shelling to disperse them. Reports of clashes were also received from Hajin area where youth assembled in Main Town. Meanwhile, a large procession was carried out from Jamia Masjid to Nowpora Chowk. Later, the procession culminated peacefully at Gulshan Chowk.
Peaceful protests were also held in Ajas, Papchan, Ayathmulla, Kehnusa, Aloosa and Pazalpore areas of the district.
About 40 persons were injured in protests and clashes that erupted in Kupwara district of North Kashmir
Amid complete curfew and shutdown, clashes erupted in Kupwara, Kralpora, Hyhama, Lolab and some other areas and left about a dozen persons injured.
Defying curfew-like restrictions, hundreds of people on Friday afternoon hit the streets and staged massive anti-India and pro-freedom protests against the recent civilian killings. People mostly youth took out major protest rallies from Regipora, Bohipora, Bumhama Drugmulla and Halmatpora Hyhama but foiled them with full force, resorting to massive teargas shelling in which at least four persons sustained injuries. Groups of youth, raising pro-freedom slogans, took to streets in Lolab, Kralpora, Bohipora, Batpora and other areas. They were intercepted by large contingents of police and CRPF. The forces burst tear-smoke shells and cane-charged the protestors. The latter in turn pelted stones on the forces, triggering clashes in which many persons were injured and some of them shifted to SDH Kupwara.
Meanwhile, candlelight protest was taken out after Magrib (evening) prayers on Thursday in Kupwara.
Residents of several localities including Jamia Qadeem, Chana Mohalla and other areas alleged that forces ransacked residential houses and damaged windowpanes.
Apprehending widespread protests, district authorities imposed stringent curfew in all small and big towns of South Kashmir, even as at least 100 sustained injuries in protests and clashes that erupted in many areas. A youth sustained bullet injury in Bijbehara town late in the evening.
Curfew remained in place in Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Pampore, Kakpora and Awantipora towns for 35th running day. Curfew was also extended to Bijbehara, Mattan, Achabal, Dooru, Kokernag and other small towns.
“Even Army was seen patrolling Anantnag streets at several places like Moominabad and enforcing curfew,” witnesses said. They said even curfew passes were not adhered to.
On Srinagar-Jammu Highway, Army was deployed at Lower Munda, Qazigund, Vesu, Wanpoh, Bijbehara, Sangam, Charsoo,  Awantipora and Pampore. However, pro-freedom demonstrations were taken out in peripheral areas.
Witnesses said soon after Friday prayers, massive demonstrations rocked the town and adjoining villages. The protesters were shouting pro-freedom, anti-India, pro-militant slogans.
Later, youth hurled stones and bricks at forces who in turn lobbed teargas shells and fired pellets which caused injuries to at least 20 people, reports said.
Clashes erupted in Kakpora area of Pulwama district in which several people sustained  injuries. “Youth pelted stones on forces who lobbed shells and aimed sling shots on the protesters,” witnesses said.
They said one of the youths was hit in his head and was shifted to Srinagar hospital after.
Violent clashes erupted in Imam Sahib village of Shopian. “Youth defied curfew and clashed with forces who lobbed shells, fired pellets and also resorted to aerial firing,” witnesses said.
Army resorted to aerial firing to break up a protest demonstration in Chaudharigund village. At least a dozen people sustained injuries after forces lobbed shells and fired pellets on a protest demonstration in Utersoo area of Shangus in Anantnag district.
Violent clashes also erupted in Goriwan area of Bijbehara town. “Four people sustained injuries after forces lobbed shells, fired pellets and later resorted to firing,” reports said,
They said one of the youth identified as Aaqib Dar sustained bullet injury in his foot. “He was shifted to SDH Bijbehara.”
Clashes were on in the town when this report was filed.
Four people sustained injuries in clashes that erupted Pulwama town.
Violent clashes were also reported from Khananbal area of Anantnag town. Five people sustained injuries in DH Pora after a tear-gas shell in a play field suddenly went off. The injured were shifted to local SDH.
Six people sustained injuries in clashes in Kulgam town. Protests and clashes also were reported from Kaimoh and adjoining villages of Khudwani and Redwani.
People in Mattan town of Anantnag district jointly offered Friday congregational prayers in Eidgah and later took out a massive pro-freedom procession.
After the conclusion of prayers, people shouted pro-freedom and pro-Burhan slogans and marched through the streets of the town and the procession finally culminated near Pran Bhawan.
Another pro-freedom rally was organized in Dialgam village of the district. “Thousands offered Friday congregational prayers jointly and later a rally was held at a local playfield.”
A pro-freedom demonstration was also taken out in Anchidora area of Anantnag after Friday prayers.
The forces lobbed shells and fired pellets at the demonstrators, but there were no reports of any injuries.
In Goplapora Shangus people took a protest rally which culminated at Brakpora.
People offered Asr prayers on roads there.
A massive pro-freedom rally was also taken out from Arwani, Srigufwara and Kanelwan villages of Bijbehara.
In Pampore, people jointly held Friday prayers at Khankah. A remembrance meet was also held for Hurriyat Conference leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz to commemorate his 8th martyrdom anniversary. Protest demonstrations were also held in Nambalbal, Drangbal, Fristibal and Kadalbal.
Reports of protest demonstrations also came in from Sangam, Nayina, Tahab, Prichoo , Malangpora, Padgamopora, Charsoo, Karimabad,Achabal, Kokernag, Dooru, Verinag, Qazigund, Vessu.
While several separatist leaders continue to remain under police custody or house detention, police Friday detained some other separatist leaders including Muslim League General Secretary, Muhammad Rafiq Ganie and shifted them to Srinagar’s Central Jail.
Reports said police in the intervening night of Thursday-Friday raided the houses of several separatist leaders including Ganie, other ML leaders and activists, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat’s Umar Adil and leaders and activists of other amalgams.
In an official statement, a police spokesman said: “Over three dozen incidents of stone-pelting were reported from different districts of the Valley including Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Baramulla, Sopore, Kupwara and Bandipora. Curfew was imposed in Srinagar and in the towns of Ganderbal, Budgam, Anantnag, Shopian, Baramulla and Sopore.”
“After Friday prayers miscreants assembled at various places and tried to disrupt the vehicular movement. At most of the places the miscreants started pelting stones on moving vehicles, police and security force deployments. The deployments exercised utmost restraint despite severe provocations at a number of places. Many police/security force men have been reported injured during these clashes. At Arhama Ganderbal miscreants assembled on road and pelted stones on security forces. While tackling the situation six persons were injured,” the police spokesman claimed.
“At Dooru Tangmarg about 300-400 miscreants assembled on road and pelted stones on police and security forces. Two persons were injured, one of whom was shifted to Srinagar.
At Uttrsoo Anantnag miscreants pelted stones on police and security forces. While dispersing the mob, four persons suffered minor injuries who were discharged after first aid from the hospital.”
(With additional reporting by Sheikh Nazir/Altaf Baba/Ghulam Muhammad)

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