Protests Turn Violent In Srinagar
20 March 2004
Srinagar: Violent protest demonstrations followed alleged police high- handedness here today and over a dozen people, mostly women, were injured. Witnesses said police targeted women in a procession by the Association of Disappeared Persons (APDP) heading towards the office of the United Nations here demanding to know the fate of their relatives who had gone missing in police custody during the last 13 years. Soon after the procession started from the APDP office, police used force to disperse it. Over a dozen women and the APDP patron, Parvez Imroz, were injured. Later police arrested 10 women and Mr. Imroz. This evoked protest from the people in the area who shouted slogans against the Mufti Government and demanded action against the police. Normal life in the city was disrupted. Protesters pelted stones at the police and pitched battles continued.Two photographers and a police sub-inspector were injured.Condemning the police action, Mr. Imroz told The Hindu that the APDP was organising a peaceful procession towards the U.N. office but police used force to disperse the unarmed and innocent women already in trauma after the disappearance of their sons.Over 8,000 people, he alleged, had disappeared from the custody of the police and security forces. 'We are demanding a high-level commission into the disappearances.' Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary and MLA, Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami, was arrested while taking out a procession against the 'occupation' of Iraq by American forces.