August 2016 News

Day 33: Protests Continue, Over 20 Injured In Clashes

10 August 2016
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir and Khalid Gul

Srinagar: An eerie calm prevailed in Kashmir on Wednesday while people held massive protest rallies across South Kashmir. Clashes were reported from various parts of north Kashmir and Srinagar in which at least 20 youth sustained injuries. NORTH KASHMIR Reports said a youth identified as Shabir Ahmed Lone, 22, sustained tear-gas shell injury during clashes at Lassipora area of Sogam Kupwara. Lone was hit in his abdomen, damaging his spleen, witnesses said. 'He was profusely bleeding and we removed him to SDH Sogam wherefrom he was referred to Srinagar,' they said. Another youth was being treated at SDH Sogam. Witnesses said the duo was injured in firing of cops of Special Operations Group of J&K police. Six youth also sustained injuries in forces' action at Lalpora in Lolab when protests rocked the area against alleged harassment of civilians by CRPF personnel. The police, however, claimed there were no protests in Lalpora and none was injured. Protests also rocked Langate and Kralgud area of Kupwara. Meanwhile, commuters alleged that CRPF, police and Army deployed on Kupwara-Sopore road have been harassing them without any reason. Meanwhile, scores of youth in old town Baramulla took out a pro-freedom march. In Sangrama, several vehicles suffered damage after a group of youth pelted stones at them, police said. Later police rushed to the spot and chased them away. In Hanjiveera Pattan, police foiled a protest march this morning. In nocturnal raids by police at Pattan and Singhpora, scores of youth were detained, witnesses said. In Sopore, major protest rallies were held by women in Batingoo, Hardshew, Zainageer and Batpora. Witnesses said forces resorted to use of force on the protests in which many women sustained injuries. They said 80-year-old woman and a 10-year-old boy sustained injuries in forces' action, who were later hospitalized. Meanwhile, locals alleged that forces, especially army, beat up many people at Hardshiva and Pazalppora. SOUTH KASHMIR Pro-freedom rallies continued across South Kashmir and curfew remained in place in many towns for 33rd running day. Clashes also erupted at various places. A huge pro-freedom rally was held in Kaimoh town of Kulgam district. The rally was part of the unity (Itihad-I-Milat) conference of various sects. Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani addressed the gathering telephonically. A similar rally was held at Arihal village of Pulwama and Srigufwara area of Bijbehara. Another pro-freedom rally was held in Padgampora area of Awantipora which was attended by thousands of people. Clashes erupted in Pahloo village of Kulgam district late on Tuesday after government forces allegedly fired teargas shells into a peaceful sit-in against the detention of two youths. Locals said they staged a peaceful sit-in at Pahloo Bus Adda at around 11 pm to protest detention of Zameer Ahmad Bhat and Sharafat Rehman, who are in police custody since July 23. 'We were protesting peacefully when forces from nearby Devsar camp entered Pahloo village and started indiscriminate firing and heavy teargas shelling,' alleged a local resident. This triggered clashes that lasted for about two hours, he said. Later, he alleged, forces barged into several houses, damaged property and caught hold of a youth and dragged him for several meters. Deputy Commissioner Kulgam Showkat Ajaz said : 'I have sent Tehsildar to look into the complaints of residents and ascertain the facts.' Residents of Zungalpora Devsar also alleged that forces raided the village at midnight and tried to harass them. 'We raised an alarm using mosque loudspeakers as a result of which forces retreated,' they said. Meanwhile, curfew remained in place in Annatnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam towns. Violent clashes erupted in old town area of Anantnag in the evening. Reports of protests also poured in from Sangam, Kokernag in Anantnag district, and Kakpora and Tahab in Pulwama district. In a new way of protest, scores of people rowed their boats across river Jehlum in Bijbehara, and shouted pro-freedom slogans. On the call of 'Youm-e-Shohada', hundreds of people marched towards Dadsara village of Tral to pay tributes to slain militants including Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. Witnesses said forces had blocked all main roads with barricades. However, people took interior routes through paddy fields to make the Dadsara march a success. They said a major rally started from Ratsuna, the native village of new Hizb commander Sabzar Ahmed Bhat. People could be seen marching in large numbers from Saimoh, Piniglish, Shikargah, Laribal, Kuyil and other adjoining villages. Witnesses said when the rally reached Dadsara, it was intercepted by police who resorted to massive tear-gas shelling. However, at least 20,000 people managed to reach Dadsara. The rally was addressed by Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani over phone while a video of new Hizb commander was also released in the rally. A Sikh leader also addressed the massive gathering, witnesses said. SRINAGAR: While stringent curbs continued in various old Srinagar localities, protests and evening clashes took place in many areas. Batamaloo area witnessed clashes between forces and youth throughout the day while similar clashes and protests were reported from Chattabal, Noorbagh, Qamarwari, Barthana, Bemina, Nundresh Colony, Rajouri Kadal, Sekidafar, Bohri Kadal, Zampa Kadal, 90-feet Soura, and many other areas. A major pro-freedom rally was held at Hyderpora. It culminated peacefully. Late evening reports suggested that four youth sustained pellet injuries in evening clashes at Kani Kadal in old Srinagar while intense clashes were going on at Zaindar Mohalla, Habba Kadal and Fateh Kadal areas. Reports of protests also came in from Shalimar, Nishat and Harwan areas. A torch procession was held at Nowgam while clashes were also reported from Lawaypora and HMT on Srinagar outskirts. CENTRAL KASHMIR Kangan market in Ganderbal district witnessed mild stone pelting while peaceful protests were held in Larsun and Manigam areas. In Budgam district, authorities had imposed strict curbs in Chadoora, Budgam, Beerwah, Magam and Khag areas. Reports said forces during nocturnal raids detained six youth in Chadoora, triggering protests. POLICE VERSION A police spokesman in a statement said barring few incidents of stone pelting 'by miscreants', the overall situation in the valley 'remained normal and under control.'