Curfew imposed in Kishtwar following clashes against arrests

Curfew was imposed in Kishtwar district of Chenab Valley on Sunday after massive protests were held against the arrest of three persons, including two prayer leaders, during a night raid.
Curfew imposed in Kishtwar following clashes against arrests
Curfew in Kishtwar after clashes erupt against arrest of three people, including two Imams on Sunday. GK Photo

Curfew was imposed in Kishtwar district of Chenab Valley on Sunday after massive protests were held against the arrest of three persons, including two prayer leaders, during a night raid.

At least eighteen persons were named in cases of sedition for allegedly raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans during protests on Eid-ul-Adha against the killings of civilians in Kashmir.

"Police arrested Imam Umar Mohalla Masjif Maulvi Abdul Qayoom Matoo, Saif Ud Din Bagwan and Firdous Ahmad Bagwan from their residences in Umar Mohalla and Bagwan Mohalla at around 1:30 am," sources said.

Reports said that both Matoo and Saif Ud Din have been sent to Kot Balwal jail in Jammu while Firdous is still lodged at Kistwar police station.

Sources added that police later raided the residence of Imam Bunistan Masjid, Qari Manzoor Hussain Ganai but he was not present in his home.

However, the arrests triggered massive protests in the district as people took to streets and held demonstrations. 

"Announcements were made through loudspeakers and people came out and pro-freedom protests erupted," locals said.

Witnesses said that police resorted to lathi-charge and teargas shelling to disperse the protesters.

Curfew was imposed in the town and adjoining areas at around 4 am.

Notably, hundreds of people have been arrested in Kashmir valley during the ongoing uprising. Over 350 persons have been booked under stringent Public Safety Act, which rights bodies have dubbed as "lawless law".

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