August 2016 News

Major Crackdown Against Protesters In Kashmir, 1000 Arrested

7 August 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: For the first time since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani on July 8, Srinagar-Jammu National Highway will be thrown open tomorrow with the help of Army while security forces have launched a massive crackdown against protesters across Kashmir arresting over 1000. A top security official told Excelsior that the Army help to remove hurdles from National Highway and throw it open during the day was sought in a meeting of the security agencies last night in Srinagar. The National Highway remained blocked since July 9 with protesters taking its control by blocking it at over dozens of places from Kupwara to Jawahar Tunnel, bringing the movement of the traffic including the convoys to halt. However, the convoy of security forces, yatra and some private transport was plying on the highway during midnight. For past two weeks, even the night movement had become difficult as protesters were blocking it during night as well. It even led to the killing of a protester in Pampore area of South Kashmir's Pulwama district when security guard of Additional Deputy Commissioner Ramban, Babu Ram, opened fire last week during night when protesters torched the officer's car. Government came under severe criticism for failing to keep the highway and major roads in Kashmir open for past one month and protesters taking their control. Now they are starting with the National Highway and it will be followed by taking control of the major district and other roads so that the connectivity is restored. The officers said that Army will be deployed at vantage points and they will also patrol the highway while Police and CRPF will be deployed at the spots where protesters have been blocking the highway. Police and para-military will keep protesters away from highway so that they don't come in direct contact with the Army. In the meantime, police with the help of the security forces have launched a massive operation across Kashmir against stone pelters and their instigators and arrested over 1000 of them. Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, SJM Gillani, said here that over 1000 persons have been arrested for unrest in Kashmir. 'More than 1000 accused persons have been arrested and bound down in different police stations of the Valley', he said. Gillani said that over 1000 cases have been registered in over 1000 cases of violence during past one month. 'In all 1018 incidents of violence were reported during this period. 1030 FIRs stands registered in different police stations of the Valley', he said. The IGP said that 80 Government installations including police stations were either torched or damaged by protesters during last one month. '29 installations including police stations, police posts and other Government establishments were set ablaze and 51 damaged by the protestors', he said. Gillani said that over 3300 Police and CRPF personnel were injured and two cops were killed in violence since July. 'Since July 2016, 3329 personnel from JKP and CAPF have been injured while maintaining law and order in the Valley. Out of these injured personnel, many have suffered grievous injuries including multiple fractures. Besides two personnel from JKP were killed in the violent protests in the Valley', he said. In the meantime, curfew, restrictions and shutdown continued on the 30th consecutive day today in the Valley paralyzing the normal life. The curfew and restrictions continued in Kulgam, Anantnag, Pulwama, parts of Srinagar and parts of other districts to thwart any protests again. Huge contingent of security forces were deployed on roads and streets and they had erected concertina wires to prevent any congregation. In Langate area of Kupwara, 10 persons were injured when clashes broke out between security forces and protesters. Two of the injured are critical with one having bullet and another pellet injury, They have been shifted to Srinagar for treatment. Two persons were also injured when mob attacked police post in Waterhail area of district Budgam today. The mob pelted stones at the post and police in retaliation fired tear smoke shells to disperse them. The stone throwing protests were also reported from Khanpora, Baramulla, Nowgam and Warpora Sopore area of the district. However, police and security forces fired tearsmoke shells to disperse them. The IGP Kashmir said that baring two incidents of stone pelting where miscreants attacked security force deployments at Warpora and Nowpora in Sopore, the situation in the Valley remained peaceful. The Valley observed shutdown, protests and curfew for 30th day today. The train services between Banihal and Baramulla remained disrupted for 29th day today and major roads remained shut including the National Highway. The shops and business establishments remained shut with only some shops selling essentials opened in the early morning and late evening and people were seen busy in buying essentials. However, in Lal Chowk and Civil Lines area, large number of shops opened this evening and people were seen busy in shopping. The prepaid cell phone services and mobile internet continues to remain blocked across Valley and only BSNL broad band internet services are functional. Meanwhile, locals of a Pulwama village this morning found a bullet-riddled body of youth. He was identified as Bilal Ahmad Malik, 23, son of Abdul Gani Malik resident of Dafferpora Zadoora and the body was found on a road in Chewa Kalan village in South Kashmir's Pulwama district. Reports said that Bilal had left his home on Saturday evening on his motorcycle to drop his brother-in-law home in Kangan village in Murran area of the district. Police have launched investigation into the incident.