Fresh Protests Rock Gool

Fresh Protests Rock Gool

21 July 2013
Greater Kashmir


Ramban: Fresh protests were witnessed in some areas of this highway district today amid shutdown with protesters demanding arrest of those involved in the firing incident in Gool where four persons were killed on July 18 in BSF firing. The district administration assured the protesters that the culprits will be arrested by 7 pm tomorrow. Gool and its adjoining areas continued to observe shutdown for the fourth consecutive day, while fresh violent protests broke out on Sunday afternoon when a team of district administration arrived here to hold “peace meeting” with the local residents. After remaining calm and peaceful for a day, following the incident of BSF firing which led to the killing of 4 persons and injury to around 42 others, situation turned hostile again in Gool when a team of district administration, led by newly appointed Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Hussain Malik arrived here to hold negotiation with the locals. Reports said that all the shops and other business establishments in the area remained closed, on the fourth consecutive day today. There was complete shutdown in Gool, Sangaldan, Dharam and other areas but life is limping back to normal in Ramban and Banihal townships. 'Situation is under control and no report of any untoward incident was received from Jammu region,' a police spokesman said. DDC Ramban Muhammad Hussain Malik along with a team of civil and police officers reached Gool, this afternoon, to hold “peace talks” with the local residents. Eyewitnesses said that as the reports of the team arriving in Gool spread, large number of people assembled at Dak Bungalow and staged massive demonstrations. The protesters raised anti-government and pro-azadi slogans and also reportedly damaged some of the official vehicles, part of the DDC cavalcade. Sensing trouble a huge contingent of police was deployed at the Dak Bungalow to protect the officials. Meanwhile, DIG Doda-Ramban Range also rushed to the spot. The protesters were demanding early arrest of the culprits involved in the killing of four villagers on Thursday. The officials were accused of “befooling masses” as even after four days, all the accused were rooming freely. It was learnt that the DDC, later addressed the protesters and sought the cooperation of the general public in maintaining peace. He assured the people that the district administration and police was committed to ensure speedy justice to the family members of those killed. He said that all the accused, involved in the case, would be arrested by 7 pm tomorrow. However, the angry protesters threatened to intensify agitation in case the police failed to take action in this regard, till tomorrow evening. The Amarnath Yatra from Jammu has already resumed and a fresh batch of pilgrims left for Kashmir valley today. Authorities are monitoring the situation round-the-clock and additional forces have been deployed in sensitive areas of Jammu region, officials said. BSF Special Director General Dilip Trivedi yesterday conducted preliminary inquiry into the Gool firing incident and assessed reports after meeting people, police and BSF officers to ascertain circumstances in which four persons were killed and 42 suffered injuries when a mob attacked a BSF camp on July 18.