July 2016 News

Day 21: Over 100 Injured In Clashes As Govt Foils Jamia Chalo

29 July 2016
Rising Kashmir
Sumaiya Yousuf

Srinagar: Hundreds of youth were injured in clashes as protesters defied curfew at many places across Kashmir on Friday after authorities foiled the protest march to Srinagar's historic Jamia Masjid called by separatist leaders. Police claimed that maximum restraint was exercised despite 'serious provocations'. In north Kashmir's Kupwara district, Army opened fire on protesters injuring dozens of people. Three minors sustained bullet injuries at Gushe Kupwara after army men opened fire on protesters who were marching toward Kupwara main town. The injured, hailing from Gushe area, have been identified as 11-year-old Faisal, Irshad and Irfan. They were rushed to Kupwara hospital for treatment. The clashes turned violent after the firing incident during which another teenager identified as Owais Aziz of Regipora Kupwara was injured. Eyewitnesses said Owais was hit by a tear smoke shell in his head. Meanwhile, local sources told Rising Kashmir that government forces ransacked Kupwara hospital on the pretext that stone pelters were taking shelter inside. Elsewhere in the district, two protesters received pellet injuries in police action at Kuligam Lolab. Protests erupted at Kuligam, near Army's 18 RR Camp, and Lalpora in Lolab, eyewitnesses said. Medical Superintendent, SMHS hospital, Dr Nazir Chaoudhary said they received and treated 25 injured persons in the day. 'Most of them were from Srinagar,' he said. SKIMS Soura also received two injured persons one from Ganderbal and another from Sopore. Authorities foiled 'Jamia Challo' call given by separatist leadership. Life across Valley remained paralyzed for the 21st day as stringent curfew was enforced to foil the march. The separatists had asked the people to reach Jamia Masjid to pay tributes to the people killed in the recent violence in Valley. Heavy clashes broke out between youth and police after hundreds of people staged protest near United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) office in Srinagar. Eyewitnesses said men, women and children hailing from different areas of Dalgate, Sonawar and other adjoining areas were part of the protest. The protestors assembled at martyrs' graveyard at Dalgate from where they marched towards UN Office. Some youth were also detained by police, eyewitnesses added. Eyewitnesses said police and CRPF fired tear-gas canisters into the houses of residents and also thrashed the pedestrians. After Friday prayers, heavy stone pelting was reported from many places in Baramulla and Bandipora districts of north Kashmir. In Bandipora, a large procession was taken out after Friday prayers. Men and women in large numbers raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans as they marched towards martyr's graveyard where they offered Fatiha. Clashes were reported from Papchan, Kaloosa, Pazalpora and Ajas areas of Bandipora. At Ajas two youth were beaten up allegedly by army men. As the youth threw stones the army retaliated with heavy tear gas shelling and aerial firing. Clashes also erupted in Gamroo, Papshan Sumblar, Nadihal, Madar and Lawdara areas of Bandipora district. Protests were also reported from Hygam, Main Chowk, Arampora and Botingo Sopore. As per reports, many protesters were injured due to pellet firing. South Kashmir which has seen the highest casualties in the ongoing unrest remained on boil. A police official said all the four districts of south Kashmir- Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian- were put under curfew to maintain law and order. Massive protests were held in Shopian after congregational Friday prayers. Protesters were chased away by police and paramilitary forces using tear smoke shells. Protests were going on when reports last came in. According to police, a government godown of Animal Husbandry department was set on fire in Shirmal area of Shopian district while hundreds of protesters attacked an army camp at Chodergund, Shopian stationing 62 RR unit of Army. Local sources said protesters reached very close to the camp and attacked its outer boundaries and bunkers. Army personnel resorted to aerial firing to disperse the attackers in which many were injured. Protesters attacked SOG camp at Imam Sahab, Shopian. The SOG personnel fired pellets injuring two youth, both residents of Malibugh and Imam Sahab. Both have been referred to Srinagar. Protesters also attacked police station Keller. Police used tear smoke shells and aerial firing to disperse the protesters. Violent clashes also erupted in Alyalpora area Shopian. Meanwhile, revolutionary songs were played from many mosque loud speakers in the town. As per sources, candle light vigils were held at many places across the valley last night. In Srinagar city people staged nocturnal protests in Habba Kadal, Safa Kadal, Peer Bagh, Sanat Nagar, Batamaloo and other adjoining areas Sources said district administration had deployed army besides paramilitary and police personnel in all volatile areas to stop people from coming on roads in south Kashmir. Reports of peaceful protests against the civilian killings at the hands of government forces have also reached from Lawer Munda and adjacent areas on Srinagar-Jammu highway. People in Thanamandi, Poonch also held protest against civilian killings in Kashmir. The protest was organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples' Movement (JKPM) The protest march was led by the Mir Shahid Saleem working chairman of the JKPM and it was attended by the hundreds of people belonging to different walks of life. POLICE STATEMENT According to a police statement issued in the evening, 70 incidents of stone pelting were reported from across the valley. 'The miscreants attacked a number of police and security establishments and camps. Militants lobbed a grenade on police and CRPF personnel deployed for law and order duty at Shopian. Grenade was later on defused by the BD squad. At Rohama, Rafiabad, a government building was set on fire,' the statement reads. 'The deployments exercised maximum restraint inspite of such serious provocations. During these law and order situations eight persons, 46 police and security force personnel were injured.'