July 2016 News

Curfew Lifted In Srinagar; Massive Clashes Erupt, Dozens Injured

28 July 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: As the authorities lifted curfew from Srinagar, massive protests broke out at several places in the city and other parts of Kashmir in which over a dozen protesters were injured even as shutdown and curfew paralysed life for 20th day today in Valley. And a local court today directed the Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar to register FIR against a police officer accused of acting 'beyond the powers' in connection with the killing of a youth in Tengpora area of Srinagar on July 10. The curfew was lifted from Srinagar today but curfew like restrictions continued in old city areas of Srinagar including Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal, Gojwara, Saraf Kadal and Nawa Kadal. Scores of youths in Old City areas took to streets to protest against the recent killings. The protesters blocked roads and burnt tyres to restrict movement of vehicles. Police in Safa Kadal area of old city resorted to massive teargas shelling on protesters after which clashes erupted in the area. The clashes also broke out at Chatabal, Baba Demb, Habba Kadal and Barbar Shah after police and CRPF intercepted protesters who were marching towards Lal Chowk by lobbing teargas and pepper gas. The clashes continued for several hours and many protesters received minor injuries. In Batamaloo as the protesters turned violent, security forces opened fire on them near Ziyarat in which one youth identified as Sajad Ahmad Mir was injured. He was hit in abdomen and was rushed to SMHS where his condition is stated to be critical. The clashes also broke out at Khanyar, Saraf Kadal, Nowhatta, Bemina and other areas of the city. Police fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protesters. The ding dong battles continued for hours. In North Kashmir's Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts, minor protests were reported from several places. However, at Cement Bridge, Baramulla police opened fire on protesters in which two persons were injured, one of them has been shifted to Srinagar for treatment. In South Kashmir's Sangam area of Anantnag, two youth jumped into Jhelum as they were being chased by security forces during clashes. One of them managed to swim across the river while another, Shahzad Dar, was rescued by police and hospitalized as his leg got fractured. In Pulwama and Shopian districts, there were curfew like restrictions and movement of people and vehicles was restricted. In Kulgam district, there was heavy deployment of police and security forces but the movement of the people and vehicles was allowed. In Tahab, Bellow and Haal areas of Pulwama, protesters defied restrictions and pelted stones at security forces. Police and security forces fired tear smoke to disperse them and at Tahab they fired from shotgun in which 7 persons received pellet injuries. However, they are out of danger. At Shopian, protesters defying restrictions marched towards the main Chowk where police and security forces intercepted them leading to clashes. In Anantnag, strict curfew continued today and security forces had blocked the main roads and no movement was allowed. A police spokesman said here: 'The situation throughout the Kashmir valley remained peaceful and under control today. There was no report of any untoward incident from anywhere in the Valley. Except Anantnag town, there were no restrictions anywhere in the Kashmir valley. Minor instances of stone pelting were reported from some places.' The Valley observed shutdown for 20th day today. Schools and colleges, despite summer vacation having ended, remained closed as no students and hardly any teachers turned up. Thin attendance in the government offices was negligible in Srinagar city and other parts of Kashmir valley. The train services between Banihal and Baramulla remained disrupted for 20th day today and major roads and highways also remained shut. The shops, business establishments and most of the banks remained shut with only some shops selling essentials opened in the early morning and late evening and people were seen busy in buying essentials. The prepaid cell phone services and mobile internet continued to remain blocked across Valley and only BSNL broad band internet services are functional. The postpaid mobile services were restored yesterday while postpaid BSNL services remained unaffected. In the meantime, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar, Masrat Shaheen, today directed the SSP Srinagar to register FIR against Deputy Superintendent of Police accused of acting 'beyond the powers' in connection with the killing of a youth in Tengpora area of Srinagar on July 10. The CJM directed that the FIR should be registered against the police officer within 24 hours otherwise he shall appear before the court in person and explain why action may not be taken against him for violating the court order. A youth, Shabir Ahmad Mir, was killed in police firing at Tengpora area of Srinagar on July 10. According to police, he was killed during protests but the family of the deceased alleged that he was shot dead by the officer in cold blood inside his house. Earlier, on July 18, the CJM had directed the SSP to register the FIR against the officer but so far the court order was not implemented. In its previous order, the CJM had said:'The applicant is on affidavit and as per the facts of the application, the concerned DySP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) has acted beyond the powers which revealed that there is a case of cognisable offences.' The Court had also directed that the case be investigated by an officer not below the rank of a DySP. Father of Shabir in his application has submitted that the DySP took law in his own hands and killed his son in cold blood without any reason and rhyme. He has submitted that he filed an application with the SHO Batamaloo who refused to lodge an FIR against the said DySP.