50 Hurt In Clashes16 August 2010
Srinagar: At least 40 persons were injured in clashes between protestors and police and paramilitary personnel across the curfew-hit Valley on Monday. Two persons sustained bullet injuries in CRPF firing at Tral in Pulwama district in the evening and are battling for life. Authorities enforced curfew in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley. Hundreds of police and paramilitary CRPF men were deployed on the roads and they had placed barricades and concertina wires on the roads to block all kinds of movement. South A labourer Hilal Ahmad Dar, 28, son of Ghulam Hassan Dar of Pinglish Tral in Pulwama district was critically injured when paramilitary CRPF men opened fired in Tral township on Monday. Eyewitnesses said CRPF men fired on people as they staged peaceful pro-freedom demonstrations after the Asar prayers at Tral township, causing injuries to five persons. “We carried the injured to hospital but the CRPF men again fired at us inside the premises of Sub-District Hospital, injuring many persons including a labourer Hilal Ahmad,” they said. Hilal was later shifted to SMHS hospital, where he is undergoing treatment. The doctors have termed his condition as “life threatening”. Two more persons identified as Tariq Ahmad Qantroo, 35 and Shabir Ahmad also sustained bullet injuries and were shifted to SKIMS and SHMS hospitals respectively for specialized treatment. Medical Superintendent SKIMS Dr Syed Tabish Amin said Tariq Qantroo has received fire-arm injury in the head. “His condition is very critical and doctors are doing their best to save him,” he said. Meanwhile, at least 20 persons were injured when police and CRPF men lobbed tear gas canisters and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse people in Kokernag area of Islamabad district. One Sajad Ahmad Naikoo, who sustained critical injuries, was shifted to Srinagar hospital for treatment while others are undergoing treatment in District Hospital Islamabad and Sub-District Hospital, Kokernag. The locals alleged that Tehsildar, Kokernag along with a police party reached the spot, where people were staging peaceful protest demonstrations. They said the cops without any provocation swung into action and used force to disperse the agitating people. Meanwhile, curfew remained in force in the Islamabad town, where situation is tense after a youth Irshad Ahmad died in CRPF firing on Saturday. Curfew also continues to remain enforced in Bejbehara township. People in the Momin-Abad and Ashaji Pora areas of Islamabad staged peaceful sit-ins and offered Asar and Zuhar prayers on roads. Restrictions were put in place in Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Kakapora, Tral and Awantipora areas. People staged peaceful dharna in Shopian town and offered prayers on roads. CENTRE People at many places in Srinagar defied curfew and came out on roads and staged protest demonstrations. After Zuhar prayers, youth tried to take out a peaceful protest rally at Tengpora, Batamaloo but police and RAF men intercepted them. Chanting slogans like, “We Want Freedom” and ‘Go-India-Go back’, the angry youth lobbed stones towards police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel, who retaliated by lobbing tear gas canisters and resorted to aerial firing to disperse them. The clashes continued for some time during which three boys were arrested and four youth sustained injuries. The locals said a youth was ruthlessly beaten while another received bullet injury. “Two others were also injured in police and RAF action. All the four have been shifted to SMHS hospital,” they said. In Shalimar area, a woman namely Syeda, 40, was critically injured when police lobbed dozens of tear gas canisters to disperse people, who were protesting against the arrest of a youth. “A tear gas shell hit the woman and she fell down. We shifted her to SKIMS, Soura where she is undergoing treatment,” the eye-witnesses said. Medical Superintendent SKIMS, Dr Tabish said Syeda was brought to the hospital with head injuries. “She was hit by a tear gas canister on head and is being treated,” he said. Another woman, Nayeema of Alochi Bagh was also injured after a tear gas canister hit her while she was in the balcony. Residents alleged that policemen targeted her as no protests were going on in the area. At Hawal, a teenager was critically injured after being thrashed allegedly by the troops housed in the erstwhile Firdous Cinema. The teenager was rushed to SMHS hospital for treatment. Two youth identified as Suhail Ahmad and Umar Bashir of Adalat Masjid was also arrested by the forces. People also staged protests at Hazratbal against the police and paramilitary troopers for not allowing people offer prayers in the shrine. Chanting pro-freedom, pro-Islamic and anti-India slogans, the protestors were demanding action against the police and CRPF men for desecrating the revered shrine. They also alleged that the police and CRPF men are not allowing anybody to offer prayers in the mosque. “This is pure religious interference. We are not allowed to pray in the holy month of Ramdhan. This is the third day when we are being stopped from offering prayers in the shrine,” said Muzaffar Ahmed, a protestor. The police and CRPF men rushed to the spot and lobbed tear gas shells and resorted to baton charge to disperse the youth, who retaliated by hurling bricks and stones towards them. Some persons sustained injuries in the clashes. At least eight people were injured when forces opened random fire upon protesters in Bemina locality of Srinagar. Six of them with bullet injuries were rushed to SMHS and SKIMS for specialized treatment. At many places in Srinagar, people offered prayers on the road defying curfew and restrictions imposed by the authorities. The police and CRPF men gave them a safe passage. NORTH North Kashmir witnessed uneasy calm as curfew remained in force in Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipora and Sopore. Atleast three people were injured in clashes between cops and angry youth in old town Baramullah. Minor protests were reported from Bandipora town. Meanwhile, hundreds of people continued to visit the residence of Abdul Ahad Jan, the policeman who hurled shoe on chief Minister Omar Abdullah during the August 15 function at Bakhshi stadium on Sunday. There were reports that a mob torched the office of the NC district president in Bandipora town in the afternoon. Reports said later the mob also ransacked the NC leader’s house. People also clashed with police and CRPF men at Pattan. The cops fired tear gas canisters and resorted to aerial firing to disperse the youth, who pelted stones on them. The clashes continued for quite some time. In Kupwara district, peaceful protests were reported from Bumhama, Drugmulla, Kulangam, Trehgam, Chogal, Langate and other areas. At least ten people were injured in fierce clashes between protesters and forces in main chowk in Bandipore district. Four youth were also arrested by the police. Some of the arrested have been identified as Mohammad Amir, son of Ghulam Hassan, Abid, son of Ghulam Hassan Bhat and Mazoor Ahmad. POLICE VERSION A police spokesman said stone pelters attacked two vehicles of troops forces near Aabghar in Tral town and surrounded them. “They attacked the vehicles and started vandalizing them. The cops fired in self defense injuring two persons,” he said. He said the situation across the valley by and large remained peaceful barring few incidents of stone pelting in Srinagar in which five policeman and three civilians were injured. “One person namely Waseem Ahmed Khan was injured when an unruly mob that had blocked the Highway and was indulging in heavy stone pelting at Tengpora, Bypass, Srinagar was chased away by the police and paramilitary troopers,” he said. The spokesman said in another incident of stone pelting at Alochi Bagh, Srinagar, police had to resort to lathi charge and fire tear smoke shell to disperse the mob. “A lady Nayema got injured in the incident. Her condition is reported to be stable. At Shalimar Chowk, Srinagar a mob had blocked the road. The mob was chased away in which a lady Sayeeda fell down, she was shifted to SKIMS in unconscious state where she has regained her consciousness,” he added.