DAY 76: 40 injured as clashes, protests continue
At least 40 people sustained injuries in fresh clashes between protestors and forces on Thursday, even as strict curfew was imposed in southern Anantnag town to foil a pro-freedom rally.
Eight persons were injured after intense clashes broke out between youth and police following a police raid in old town Baramulla this evening. The injured includes Fayaz Ahmad Kumar alias Narsimha of Khanpora who sustained a pellet injury in his leg.
"Fayaz, who is wanted by police in stone-pelting cases, was bundled into a police gypsy and taken to Police Lines Baramulla. Following the incident, rumors spread in the area that the injured youth has succumbed, but it proved to be wrong," locals said.
As these rumors spread, scores of youths hit the streets and started protesting. As the protests intensified, police lobbed scores of teargas shells and fired pellets, causing injuries to seven youths who were shifted to Primary Health Center in Old Town. Meanwhile, Baramulla police—in order to dispel the rumors called upon the family members of the injured youth and president of Auqa-I-Islamia Khanpora and allowed them to meet Fayaz.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Fayaz's brother said he is injured but stable. "We talked to him and he is stable. He has received pellet injury in his leg," said Abdur Rashid Kumar.
Meanwhile, the residents of Banglow Bagh, Arampora and Azad Gunj accused the police of "spreading terror in the area by ransacking dozens of residential houses and damaging scores of vehicles." "Even an electric transformer at Bunglow Bagh was hit with bullets by police, plunging the entire area into darkness," the residents alleged.
Reports from Sopore said amid complete shutdown, a freedom rally was held at Arampora and Batpora areas which culminated peacefully.
A youth was allegedly beaten to pulp by paramilitary forces on Thursday afternoon in Saderkoot area of Bandipora district, witnesses said. Javaid Ahmad Malik, 24, of Saderkoot Payeen was beaten to pulp by CRPF without any provocation, they said. "He was later shifted to SDH Bandipora where doctors said he has multiple injuries on his back due to beating by forces."
Meanwhile, at least seven people were injured when clashes broke out in Aragam area of Bandipora after a gunfight was over. Witnesses said youth clashed with police and CRPF in Aragam Chowk, and the forces responded by firing teargas shells and pellets.
Reports from Kupwara district said a complete shutdown was observed there amid heavy deployment of forces in areas including Trehgam, Kralpora, Langate, Sogam and Lalpora.
Authorities foiled a march to Anantnag (Islamabad) called by Kashmir's joint resistance leadership for people of South Kashmir on Thursday by imposing curfew in the town. The forces relentlessly continued to attack villages, damage property and beat up inmates, witnesses said.
Police and paramilitary forces, wearing riot-gear and armed with sophisticated weapons, were deployed in strength on streets of Old Town as well as Khanabal-Pahalgam road and Achajipora-Moominabad areas to thwart any attempts at protests. The forces had also sealed all entry and exit points leading to the town by erecting barricades and laying spools of concertina wire, witnesses said.
Clashes and protests, however erupted in Kulgam town where youth pelted stones on forces who responded by lobbing teargas shells and pellets. However, there were no reports of any injuries.
Locals of Sedow village in Shopian district alleged that forces conducted overnight raids there, ransacked household goods and damaged property. "The forces also beat up inmates including women and children," they alleged.
Meanwhile, police continued with its crackdown against youth, with many being arrested during overnight raids across South Kashmir, reports said.
While old Srinagar areas remained under curfew, massive clashes broke out at Safa Kadal after police allegedly detained a local Imam, Bashir Ahmed, and lodged him in police station Khanyar. As the news of the Imam's detention spread, scores of youth took to the streets and engaged forces in stone-pelting. The forces, in turn, retaliated with pellets and tear-gas shells in which 15 people sustained injuries. The clashes later spread to Nopora, Sekidafar, Watal Kadal, Kaka Sarai, Nawabazar, Saraf Kadal and other areas. Reports of clashes also poured in from Habba Kadal and Fateh Kadal areas. Evening clashes were reported from Rainawari, Saida Kadal, Kathidarwaza, Nowhatta, Nawa Kadal, Gojwara, Bohri Kadal, Rajouri Kadal and Kawdara areas. Reports of evening clashes and protests also poured in from Batamaloo, Nowgam, Azad Basti Natipora, Chanapora, Soiteng, Lasjan, Hyderpora and Peerbagh localities. Reports said restrictions were imposed in uptown Sanantnagar while there was a heavy deployment of forces at Jawhar Nagar, Rajbagh and Rambagh areas to scuttle a freedom march to these areas called by the joint resistance leadership.
A complete shutdown was observed in Ganderbal district for 76th consecutive day with all the business establishments and schools remaining closed. Reports said residents of Fatehpora area here staged protests against arrests of youth by police.
A report said three persons were arrested by police from Wussan area, triggering protests. The arrestees were identified as Tariq Ahmad Sheikh and Riyaz Ahmad Dar, both students, and Ghulam Mohid-ud-din Sheikh, a farmer.
Meanwhile, during the intervening night of September 21 and 22, a panchayat ghar was gutted in a mysterious fire incident at Tulmulla area in Ganderbal. An official told Greater Kashmir that a case has been registered and investigations taken up.
Reports from Budgam district said that a complete shutdown was observed in all areas there.
According to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, the overall situation remained under control across the Valley on Thursday. "There was no curfew in Kashmir except in town Anantnag and areas falling under three police stations of Srinagar," the statement said.
It said 57 individuals found involved in creating disruption in traffic movement, opening of shops as also damaging public/private property were arrested.
"Following specific information about the presence of militants in Chapran, Bandipora, Police and security forces cordoned off the area and launched search operation. The cordon and search operation turned into an encounter when the search party was fired at. In the retaliatory fire one militant was killed whose identity is being ascertained," the statement read.
"Soon after the encounter about 150 miscreants assembled and pelted stones on Police and security forces. To chase them away the security forces used some force which caused injuries to a few miscreants," the statement said.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement issued by Zonal Police Headquarters Jammu, a spokesperson said the situation across Jammu region remained normal and there was no report of any untoward incident.
(With additional reporting from Khalid Gul, Ghulam Muhammad, Eijaz-ul-Haq, Irfan Ahmed)