Day 32: Pellets rain on protestors, 110 injured

With no let-up in protests and clashes, at least 110 protestors including some women sustained pellet and tear-gas shell injuries in various parts of Kashmir on Tuesday—the 32nd straight day of public uprising.
Day 32: Pellets rain on protestors, 110 injured
Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

With no let-up in protests and clashes, at least 110 protestors including some women sustained pellet and tear-gas shell injuries in various parts of Kashmir on Tuesday—the 32nd straight day of public uprising. Major clashes were reported from South Kashmir's Qazigund area and Pattan area of north Kashmir's Baramulla district. Srinagar areas witnessed late night protests and clashes while Batamaloo area remained tense throughout the day as people were seen engaging forces in pitched battles against detention of local youth.

Reports said majority of injuries were caused by pellets fired by forces while quelling protests in various localities.

SOUTH KASHMIR

At least 60 protesters including some women sustained injuries, most of them with pellets fired by forces, in Vessu area of Qazigund Anantnag, even as protest rallies continued across South Kashmir on Tuesday. Meanwhile, curfew also continued to remain in force for 32nd running day in all big and small towns here. Reports said in the evening, men and women were simultaneously holding a protest demonstration in Vessu when police and CRPF suddenly appeared at the spot and resorted to baton-charge, teargas shelling and also firing pellets to break the demonstration. "We have treated 60 injured patients so far," said a doctor at PHC Vesu.  He said the injured were mostly hit by pellets while few were wounded due to teargas shelling and beating with gun-butts and batons.

"Three persons severely injured with pellets were shifted to District Hospital Anantnag," he said. "One of the critically-injured Aashiq Ahmad Malik who had sustained pellet injury in eye and multiple pellet injuries in chest was referred to a Srinagar hospital."

A pro-freedom rally was held in Waghama village of Bijbehara. Thousands of people, waving pro-Pakistan flags, participated in the procession which was addressed by clerics from various sects, apart from Tehreek-i-Hurriyat District President Mir Hafizullah. During the rally, witnesses said, people noticed some suspicious movement of three persons and upon inquiring about their identity, they turned out to be cops in civvies. "People caught hold of them and roughed them up," they said.

They said while two cops managed to flee, the other cop was thrashed only to be rescued by elders later.

"The cop received injuries and was taken to SDH Bijbehara by people themselves wherefrom he was discharged later," they said.

A police official confirmed that the cops were beaten up. "The cops were just passing by but people caught hold of one of them, Sabzar Ahmad Wani, an SPO posted at Bus Stand Anantnag, and beat him up," the official said. He said the cop received injuries and was hospitalized.

Massive pro-freedom rallies were also held in Lelhar and Laki Liiter in Pulwama district and Nunmai area in Kulgam district. Meanwhile, responding to the call of joint resistance leadership, all-women rallies were held across South Kashmir.

In Pampore, locals said announcements were made early morning from mosque Public Address Systems asking women to assemble at Markaz-i-Khanqah. "As women started assembling, forces appeared all of a sudden and dispersed them by lobbing tear-gas shells," they said.  Markazi Khwatani Markaz (MKM) chairperson Yasmina Raja was leading the rally. Meanwhile, hundreds of women took out a rally in Mahind village of Bijbehara.

Amid pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and pro-Burhan slogans, the protesting women marched through the streets of the village and finally ended the rally at local Eidgah. Hundreds of women also held pro-freedom protests in Mattan area of Anantnag district. The women assembled near Jamia Masjid and took out a protest rally. Raising pro-freedom and Pro-Burhan slogans and carrying freedom placards, the protesting women marched through the streets of the area. Earlier Dukhtaran-e-Millat activists addressed the women in Jamia Masjid.

Curfew meanwhile continued to remain in place in Annatnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian towns. Clashes erupted Liazbal and Janglatmandi areas of Anantnag late in the evening. Two people sustained pellet injuries at Laizbal. At Janglat Mandi, people alleged that forces lobbed teargas shells inside the nearby district hospital premises, terrifying patients, doctors and attendants. Locals have been demanding shifting of police post Janglat Mandi which is situated in the premises of the hospital.

NORTH KASHMIR

At least 30 protesters were injured during clashes at Singhpora Pattan this afternoon. Four of the injured youths were rushed to Srinagar hospitals for specialized treatment. Clashes erupted after a group of protesting youths tried to march towards Srinagar-Baramulla highway at around 3.30 pm and hold protests there. Police immediately swung into action and fired scores of teargas shells. As the clashes intensified, police fired pellets and during these clashes, 30 protesting youths were reported to have suffered injuries. Locals said soon after the incident, the cops went berserk in the area and smashed windowpanes of scores of residential houses, leading to further tension in the area. Meanwhile in Yattipora Pattan, four protesting youths suffered injuries during clashes that erupted after a group of youth—who wanted to stage protest on highway—were prevented by cops from doing so. In Hygam area of Baramulla, night protest on Monday broke out after a local youth was picked up by police during a nocturnal raid.  The protesters were demanding his immediate release. On Tuesday afternoon, a huge protest was taken out by women in the area. Amid pro-freedom slogans, the protesting women marched through the interiors.

A massive protest was held in Botengoo Sopore in which hundreds of women participated. Meanwhile, locals alleged that forces including police triggered panic in main markets of Sopore including Iqbal Market, Shah Faisal Market and Main Market by asking the shopkeepers to down their shutters. The shopkeepers had opened their shops after 6 pm as per the joint resistance leadership's programme. The move evoked strong condemnation from local Traders' Federation and local Beopaar Mandal too. Earlier, locals alleged that forces barged into Sub-District Hospital Sopore and harassed the staff and asked the volunteers to wind up a community kitchen there. Later, the hospital staff staged a protest against the police move. 

In Kupwara district, people staged a sit-in against Kashmir killings. People mostly youth and women took out two major protest rallies from Kupwara town, Voudhpora, Lalpora, Lolab and other areas of the district. A major rally was held in Lalpora Lolab at Jamia Masjid which was attended by women and children as well. People were raising pro-freedom slogans. Residents of several localities of Kupwara including Malik Mohalla, Jamia Qadeem, Mir Mohalla, Regipora, Darzipora of Kupwara Town, Trehgam, Kralpora, Lalpora, Kalaroos and other areas alleged  atrocities by the forces. 

In north Kashmir's Bandipore district, scores of women took out a protest rally in Ajas area. The protesting women marched from Main Chowk Ajas to Eidgah. Complete shutdown was observed in Bandipora, Sumbal and Hajin areas.

SRINAGAR:

Forces resorted to pellet firing on locals who were about to offer 'Asr' prayers on roads in Noorbagh area of Srinagar. Witnesses said at least eight persons sustained pellet injuries in forces' firing. Batamaloo area witnessed intense clashes throughout the day in which at least three youth sustained pellets injuries. The condition of one of the youth was stated to be critical.

Protests and clashes were reported from Eidgah, Safakadal, Qamarwari, Rainawari, and other adjoining areas of Srinagar.

Residents of Rainawari alleged forces' atrocities, stating that they broke windowpanes of many residential houses in the evening.

Protests were also reported from Bagahat, Barzulla, Habak, Zakura, 90-feet road Soura and other areas.

Locals of Darbagh Harwan alleged that forces resorted to damaging residential houses and also broke windowpanes of shrine of Hazrat Syed Mousa Baghdadi (RA) and Jamia Masjid Dargbah. They said forces hurled abused at inmates, triggering strong protests in the area. A torch procession was also reported from Nowgam area of uptown Srinagar.

Pertinently, curbs continued to remain in place in old Srinagar areas, especially in places falling under jurisdiction of six police stations. Late night reports suggested that evening clashes were going on at Nowgam area of uptown Srinagar and various areas of old city that include Rajouri Kadal, Saraf Kadal, Kawdara, Nawakadal and others. Reports said for the first time in the past 31 days, shopkeepers of old Srinagar opened their shops on the joint resistance leadership's call.

ARMY MOVEMENT IN SONWAR

Locals of Pandrethan and Sonwar areas stated that Army men came to them and asked local shopkeepers to keep their shops open and "resist those who throw stones."

"Army men travelling in their vehicles disembarked at Pandrethan and Sonwar areas and asked shopkeepers to help restore peace," a local said.

The Army, however, said it was a joint exercise by "J&K Police and the Army." 

"The basic motive was to instill confidence among the residents especially shopkeepers," an Army official claimed.

CENTRAL KASHMIR

Reports said people offered 'Asr' prayers on roads in interior areas of Saloora while clashes were witnessed in Baroosa area of Ganderbal district where local shopkeepers alleged vandalism by forces. Locals said forces damaged goods in various shops, entrance gate of a local graveyard and also a signboard of J&K Bank. In Budgam district, amid tight curfew, situation remained peaceful while youth organized peaceful rallies in Khag area against the civilian killings. Last night, a candlelight march was also held in many areas of Budgam district. 

Meanwhile, Sarpanchs and Panchs of Takia-Farooq, Mulnaroo, and Kanoora villages of Khansahib, have voluntarily announced their resignation in the wake of killing of 22-year-old Sameer Ahmed Wani on August 6. They announced this on a stage on the occasion of Chahrum (fourth day of mourning) of Wani.

SHUTDOWN IN RAJOURI

Reports said a complete shutdown was observed in Thanna Mandi and Behrote areas of Rajouri district in Jammu region.  All shops and business establishments remained closed.

POLICE VERSIN

A police spokesman in a statement said except for three incidents of stone pelting by "miscreants on police deployments in Awantipora, Lalpora Kupwara and Ajas area of Bandipora district, the overall situation in Kashmir remained normal and under control. "Although restrictions under section 144/CrPC remained in force in Kashmir, curfew was imposed in some parts of Srinagar and Anantnag town only," he said. "A group of miscreants assembled near village Chursoo, Awantipora on Highway and tried to block the National Highway by pelting stones on the vehicles. In order to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic, the Police/Security forces reached the spot and chased the miscreants away."  He said "a mob of 3000 people" assembled near Jamia Masjid Lalpora in Kupwara district and started stone pelting on the police/security forces. "Some militants were spotted in the mob.  During dispersal of the mob two persons were injured. One of them was injured in stampede who has been referred to SKIMS Srinagar," he said. "About 70 miscreants pelted stones on police/security forces deployment at Ajas, in the jurisdiction of Police Station Sumbal. There are no reports of injury to anybody so far."

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