At least 60 people including some women sustained pellet injuries in South Kashmir areas and Central Kashmir's Budgam district on Sunday when forces foiled pro-freedom rallies there, witnesses said.
Locals, according to witnesses, had called for 'Dangerpora Chalo' in Budgam district and people from various areas including those from nearby Pulwama district marched towards Dangerpora where police had imposed strict restrictions. When people from New Khanda, Chattergam, Gangipora, Kanipora, Wangipora and Kenihama areas reached Dangerpora, a heavy contingent of police and paramilitary forces intercepted them and fired dozens of tear-gas shells before resorting to massive pellet firing. "Police also detained six youth," local residents said.
At least 15 people including three women sustained pellet injuries in the police action. Clashes were going in the area till last reports came in.
At least 40 people were injured after police and paramilitary forces used force to foil peaceful pro-freedom rallies in several South Kashmir localities, even as curfew and restrictions remained in place in various towns for the 51st straight day. Reports said police and CRPF raided Nadimarg village early in the morning and beat up volunteers who were making arrangements for a pro-freedom rally there. As people came out to protest, forces lobbed tear-gas shells and also fired pellets, witnesses said, adding: "At least 20 people were injured in the forces' action with many receiving pellet injuries. The injured are being treated in local hospitals."
"The forces also vandalized the venue and damaged the Public Address System and the stage," witnesses said. They said the rally was however held later despite heavy rains and police action.
In Pariwan and Kanchlo villages of Kulgam district, where a similar rally was proposed to be held, forces attempted to foil the procession with force. "The forces raided the venue and beat up volunteers and also lobbed teargas shells and pellets on people who came out to protest the police action," witnesses said.
They said at least 10 people sustained injuries, two of them critical, in the forces' action. "The injured were treated at District Hospital Kulgam," they said.
A pro-freedom rally was also held in Belaw village of Pulwama and after the rally ended, six people sustained injuries, two of them with pellets while one was beaten, when forces swung into action. However, due to heavy rains, only 1000 people reportedly attended the rally.
The rallies-cum-unity conferences of various sects have become a routine in South Kashmir during the ongoing anti-India uprising triggered by killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on July 8. More than 100 rallies witnessing attendance in thousands have been held so far.
Clashes between forces and protesters were also witnessed in Sangam area of Anantnag and Nayina village of Pulwama. 12 people sustained injuries in Achajipora area of Anantnag town during protests.
"Amid curfew people including women came out on roads early in the morning to protest nocturnal raids and arrests in the area. The forces swung into action and resorted to baton charge and lobbed tear-gas shells," witnesses said.
They said 12 people including few women sustained injuries due to forces' thrashing. Forces also allegedly ran amok in nearby Dabruna village, beating inmates and ransacking goods, triggering further protests in the area.
Reports of protests also came in from Dadoo and Marhama village, the native place of Shahnawaz Khan whose body was fished out from river Jhelum when he had jumped into it while being chased by forces. The heavy rains however forced people to stay indoors as a result of which intensity of protests was also less on Sunday. Curfew and restrictions however, remained in place in Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Pampore, Awantipora, Kakpora, Bijbehara and Mattan areas.
A massive protest rally was staged under the banner of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat at Ajas in north Kashmir's Bandipora district in which hundreds of people participated. Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani addressed the gathering over phone and asked people to remain steadfast towards the freedom movement.
In the rally, many Sarpanchs and Panchs announced their resignation, reports said.
Reports from Baramulla said strict curbs remained in place across the district while Bridges—connecting old town with Civil Lines areas—continued to remain closed. Reports said peaceful protest rallies were held in Rafiabad area of Baramulla while similar protests were staged in Zainageer and Arampora areas of Sopore, amid heavy rains. Reports said curfew continued to remain in place during the day while authorities enforce night curfew across Kupwara district.
Due to rain, no major protest rally was held in the district, but deployment of forces continued to remain in place.
While old Srinagar areas continued to remain under tight curfew, restrictions were in place elsewhere in Srinagar district.
Reports said a major protest rally was held in Batamaloo area against the civilian killings. It culminated peacefully.
Reports of evening protests poured in from Lawaypora, HMT, Qamarwari and Bemina areas.
A torch procession was taken out at Nowgam area after Magrhib prayers. Reports from old Srinagar said majority of shops opened after 6 pm including the Jamia Market at Nowhatta. In Lal Chowk, many shops opened after 6 pm.
Meanwhile, reports said Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz will continue to remain in Sub-Jail Chesmashahi for some time. Mirwaiz was detained on Friday evening and first lodged in police station Nigeen wherefrom he was later shifted to Cheshmashahi Sub-Jail.
Anjuman-e-Islamia Bhadarwah on Sunday called for a shutdown in the area against civilian killing in Kashmir on Monday and detention of youths "at the behest of RSS and BJP in Bhaderwah."
"Authorities and some communal politicians are hell bent to vitiate peaceful atmosphere of Chenab Valley by falsely implicating and arresting youth under draconian laws," a statement of the Anjuman-e-Islamia read.
Advocate Baber-ul-Islam was arrested in Doda on Saturday evening and booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).
Sources said he has been shifted to Kotbalwal jail. They said more than three FIRs have been registered against the Advocate for "raising voice against the recent killings in Kashmir." The administration has also slapped PSA on a medical student for protesting against Kashmir killing.President of Bar Association Doda Advocate Asim Hashmi has termed it as "misuse of power by the Doda administration."
According to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, "following improvement in situation, curfew was lifted from Anantnag and major areas of Srinagar this morning."
"Three stray incidents of stone pelting were reported from Sangam, Ashajipora in Anantnag and Nadigam in Shopian where some trouble-mongers attempted to disturb the situation by pelting stones on police and security force deployments. Barring these three incidents of stone pelting, overall situation remained peaceful and under control across the valley," it said.
The statement said restrictions under section 144/CrPC remained in force in Kashmir. "However, curfew was imposed under the areas of three police stations of Srinagar, Pampore and Pulwama towns only. Increased movement of vehicular traffic and people was observed in major areas of the valley including city Srinagar," it claimed.
"Following improvement in the situation, there will be No restrictions in Kashmir valley from Monday, except town Pulwama and areas falling under jurisdictions of Police station M.R Gunj and Police Station Nowhatta in Srinagar," a police spokesman said on Sunday evening.
Radio Kashmir Srinagar once again started broadcasting its scheduled programmes after it went off air from Saturday evening for more than 15 hours, officials said.