Amid complete shutdown and undeclared curfew-like restrictions in many Kashmir areas, clashes were witnessed in Srinagar and various places in North and South of Valley in which at least 20 people including a girl sustained pellet, bullet and teargas shell injuries. Massive pro-freedom rallies and candlelight protests were held in various places in the summer capital and elsewhere, against the spate of civilian killings that has enraged the Valley.
The chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani offered Asr (evening) prayer on road outside his Hyderpora residence here while JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik was shifted to Central Jail Srinagar after remaining under police custody at Kothibagh police station since July 8.
A JKLF spokesman said Malik was kept in "solitary confinement, cut off from rest of the world, because of which his health deteriorated considerably". "He was recently taken to a hospital where doctors advised authorities to admit him. But instead of doing that, the authorities shifted him back to police station Kothibagh wherefrom he was shifted to Central Jail Srinagar today," the JKLF spokesman said.
Chairman of Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq continues to remain under house arrest at his Nigeen residence since July 9.
The district authorities had put in place undeclared restrictions in old Srinagar areas to thwart protest rallies. A complete shutdown was observed across the district while strict curbs were put in place in Nowhatta, Gowjara, Rainawari, Rajouri Kadal, Safa Kadal, Nawabazar, Eidgah and various adjoining areas. Forces had placed spools of concertina wire on roads to prevent youth from taking out pro-freedom rallies. However, a big pro-freedom protest rally was taken out in Batamaloo area in which women and children also participated. The protestors marched through interior areas amid pro-freedom sloganeering. The protest later culminated peacefully. Earlier, protestors offered 'Asr' prayer on road as per the program announced by the resistance camp.
Protests and clashes erupted in various old Srinagar areas in the evening too. Protestors clashed with forces at Nawakadal area. Witnesses said two youth sustained pellet injuries in the forces' firing. "The duo was shifted to SMHS hospital," they said. Similar clashes were reported from Khanyar, Rainawari near Gurduwara, Safa Kadal, Bohri Kadal, and other areas of old Srinagar. Clashes were on till last reports came in.
Reports said CRPF men resorted to aerial firing at old Barzulla after youth lobbed stones and bricks at two vehicles of the force. A torch procession was also held in Nowgam area of uptown Srinagar with youth raising pro-freedom slogans.
Reports of clashes also came in from Rawalpora, Sanatnagar and Rangreth areas. A candle-light procession was also taken out at Panthachowk amid pro-freedom slogans. The area also observed a complete shutdown while pro-freedom 'taranas' continued to reverberate from all local mosques.
On Friday evening, forces fired dozens of pellets and tear-gas shells in Nowpora and Sekidafar areas in which at least 10 people including elderly men got injured. A local masjid was also damaged by CRPF men, locals alleged.
Three persons including a girl sustained bullet injuries after forces fired on protesters in Imam Sahib area of Shopian district, even as curfew remained in force in South Kashmir areas for the 22nd straight day. On the call of pro-freedom leadership, people offered 'Asr' prayer on roads while pro-freedom slogans reverberated in mosques.
Witnesses said strict curfew remained in place in Anantnag, Bijbehara, Kulgam, Pulwama, Kakpora, Pampore and Awantipora. However, only restrictions were imposed in Shopian district.
Witnesses said CRPF and SOG men resorted to indiscriminate firing on protests in Imam Sahib village, injuring three, including a 20-year-old, girl. The injured were shifted to district hospital Shopian where from they were referred to Srinagar's SMHS hospital.
"One of the youth had sustained bullet in his leg and other in shoulder," a doctor at DH Shopian told Greater Kashmir. He said the girl had sustained bullet in her abdomen. Locals said she received bullet in the compound of her house.
Five other youth also sustained pellet injuries, one of them in his eye. The firing triggered massive protests in the area which were on till last reports came in.
Massive clashes also erupted in Tahab village of Pulwama on Saturday evening. Youth fought pitched battles with forces who lobbed teargas shells, chilly grenades and used pellet guns, injuring several youth. Clashes were on when this report was being filed.
In Kaimoh area of Kulgam, about 400 youth—riding bikes and waving Pakistani flags and chanting pro-freedom slogans—held a rally which passed through Yaripipora, Frisal and Bugam. Similar rally was held in Dachnipora belt of Bijbehara, which culminated at Kanelwan village.
Protests and clashes erupted in Dooru area of Anantnag district. Youth hurled stones on forces who resorted to baton-charge, lobbed teargas shells, pepper gas and also used pellet guns. Several persons sustained injuries in the forces' action, witnesses said.
They said angry protesters set ablaze few court chambers at Dooru.
Reports of protests were also received from several villages of Kulgam including Mohanpora, Chawalgam, Nehama, Ari and Aahwatoo. The locals of Chawalgam village alleged that forces personnel have made their lives "miserable" by barging into houses, smashing doors and windows and ransacking household goods besides beating inmates including women and children. Similar reports came in from Nehama and Mohanpora villages.
"Dozens of youth have been rounded up by police during nocturnal raids," residents of Kulgam areas said.
A district police official denied this, but Deputy Commissioner Showkat Ajaz said he will look into the matter.
Pitched battles between youth and forces were seen in Old Town Anantnag on Saturday evening when deployment of forces was being withdrawn. Later, torch procession was held. People also held a candlelight vigil in the area.
In Pulwama, clashes broke out in Main Town, Drusu, Prichoo, where five youth sustained injuries. Reports said clashes were witnessed at Tahab area also where six youth sustained minor injuries.
Thousands of people paid tributes to slain militant Parvez Ahmed at his Noorpora village. Pervez was killed with Burhan Wani in Kokernag encounter on July 8. Local socio-religious groups in Tral had urged people to visit Noorpora to pay tributes to Pervez. There, former General Secretary of Bar Association Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, urged India and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir according to the UN resolutions. People went to the area on bikes, by foot and in vehicles, amid chanting of pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, witnesses said.
After widespread protests in different areas of Kupwara and firing on protestors on Friday, strict restrictions (undeclared curfew) were clamped in different areas of the district on Saturday. These included Kupwara town, Rigipora, Dudwan, Sulkoote, Darzipora, Mir Mohalla, Gushi, Bohipora, Drugmulla, Nagri, Hatmulla, Trehgam, Kralpora, Lalpora, Kuligam, Tikipora. In these areas, forces in huge numbers were deployed during the day. A protest demonstration was held in Kuligam against the closure of Kupwara-Warnow road by army at Kuligam. Protestors from Warnow, Kawari, Khurhama, and Kuligam marched towards Wavoora, raising pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans. Another protest was held at Gushi where protestors marched to Bohipora demanding action against the forces personnel responsible for opening fire on youth, injuring four of them, on Friday. In the late-night protests at Lalpora, Darpora and Krusan in Lolab, forces fired on protesters who had hit the streets against the alleged atrocities of CRPF and SOG men.
In the forces' action, four youth sustained pellet injuries, who were referred to a hospital.
Reports said complete shutdown was observed in Tangmarg area of Baramulla district. People staged pro-freedom protests in Tangmarg areas including Druroo, Batpora and Wusan.
Witnesses said clashes were witnessed in areas including Kunzar Township, Batpora village and Chandilora.
A tear-gas shell hit a girl at Takiya-Batpora and was shifted to a hospital. Locals alleged atrocities by forces, accusing them of damaging residential houses without any provocation.
In Baramulla, clashes were witnessed at Azad Gunj and Old Town while forces had blocked the Main Bridges with concertina wire.
Clashes were witnessed in Pattan area where forces resorted to pellet firing, injuring five youth. The injured were shifted to SMHS hospital. Clashes were also witnessed in Saderkote Payeen and Saderkote Bala.
Amid complete shutdown, intense clashes broke out in various areas of Budgam district including Beerwah, Narbal, Aripanthan and Humhama. Reports said peaceful procession was held from Pulwama district that passed through Central Kashmir's Gowherpora, Khanda and Kultara villages of Chadoora. People from Beerwah Chadoora and Narbal alleged forces are detaining youth in large numbers. Intense clashes were witnessed at Narbal where youth lobbed stones at the forces' vehicles. One youth sustained pellet injury in his eye in action by forces and was shifted to SMHS hospital Srinagar. Late night protests were reported from many areas of Ganderbal district as well.
PDP MINISTER'S CAVALCADE STONED
Senior PDP minister Nayeem Akther's cavalcade came under attack of stone-pelters while travelling to north Kashmir's Bandipora district to take stock of the situation there and assess the availability of essentials, police said.
Police sources said youth had placed tree-trunks on middle of the road to prevent movement of police and official vehicles. Akther's cavalcade was first stoned at Shilwat village near Sumbal after earlier coming under attack of stone-pelting youth at Panzinara area.
A police official said the Education Minister escaped unhurt. "We had advised him not to visit the area given the present law and order situation," he said.
Meanwhile, an official spokesman said Akhtar visited Sumbal, Sonawari in district Bandipora to take stock of the law and order situation and availability of essential commodities.
Legislator, Yasir Reshi accompanied the Minister.
Responding to the demand of the locals for providing ambulance to the hospital, the Minister assured them that the matter would be taken up at the appropriate level.
Interacting with the civil society groups, the Minister urged people to help the Government in restoring calm to prevent the massive losses being suffered on every front including by way of losing precious lives, the spokesman added.
(With Inputs from Altab Baba from Baramulla, Zahid Maqbool from Tral, Showkat Dar from Pulwama, and M A Dar from Budgam)