12 Injured In Clashes As Strike Shuts Kashmir

12 Injured In Clashes As Strike Shuts Kashmir

14 September 2013
Greater Kashmir
Shabir Ibn Yusuf

Srinagar: Around a dozen people were injured in clashes that erupted at some places while normal life across Kashmir was affected on Saturday by separatist-sponsored strike against Shopian killings by paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The injured include an 11-year boy, who was hit by a stone in Bandipora district of north Kashmir. The shutdown was called by Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and supported by other groups including High Court Bar Association (HCBA) and Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM). Shops, other business establishments, courts, tuition centers remained closed in support of the call. Public transport was largely off the roads; however private vehicles were seen plying on Srinagar roads. The attendance in government offices was also thin as employees could not reach their destinations because of non-availability of public transport. At least eight persons were injured in clashes that erupted in Rajouri Kadal area of old Srinagar. One among the injured sustained a pallet injury. Sources said that groups of youth Saturday afternoon took to streets in Rajouri Kadal and held protests demonstration against the Shopian killings. They said that the protestors were intercepted by joint columns of Police and CRPF. The forces burst tear smoke and fired pallets to disperse the protestors. Eight persons were injured in police action and one youth received a pallet near his eye and has been shifted to hospital. Sources said that the forces later used pepper gas to disperse the protestors. Pitched battles continued till late evening. Early Saturday morning large contingents of police and CRPF were deployed in sensitive areas in both civil lines and old Srinagar to thwart any protest demonstration. Armored vehicles were seen at major road junctions. Reports of complete shutdown were also received from central district of Ganderbal. Market places at Nagbal, Lar, Safapora, Kangan, Beehama and Duderhama remain closed, however private transport plied on the roads. On the second consecutive day clashes broke out between youth and forces on Srinagar-Leh highway near Kurhama in Lar Tehsil. Reports said that youth took to streets and blocked Srinagar-Leh highway near Kurhama to protest against arrest of Tariq Ahamd Bhat of Kurhama Lar who was arrested on charges of stone throwing on Friday. Reports said youth came out in large numbers and staged protests against the arrest. Police swung into action and used tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters. Two youth, Riyaz Ahmad Bhat and Muhammad Yunus, both residents of Baroosa Lar were injured on Friday after pellets fired by forces hit them. Yunus has received pallet beneath his eye. Both are under treatment at SMHS, reports said. Late Friday evening youth pelted stones on CRPF at Kangan when the latter were returning to their camp. Locals at Kangan alleged that while chasing the stone throwers, CRPF beat and injured pedestrians and shopkeepers. The injured include Fayaz Ahmad Dar, Muhammad Arshad, Habibullah and Nisar Ahmad. CRPF, reports said, damaged shops of Fayaz Ahmad and Nisar Ahmad Rather at Jamia Market Kangan. Locals said that CRPF broke out the window panes of the Sumo vehicle of Mushtaq Ahmad. Taking serious note of the alleged excesses committed by CRPF men in Kangan, Forest Minister and MLA Kangan, Mian Altaf Saturday directed police and local tehsildar to investigate the matter without any delay. “As soon as I came to know about CRPF action, I asked police and tehsildar to investigate the incident. I fail to understand why CRPF went on a rampage and beat the people in Kangan without any provocation,” Altaf told CNS, adding that no one is above law. Reports of complete shutdown were received from Budgam district of central Kashmir amid heavy deployment of CRPF and police. Two youths got injured, one among them critically, in day-long clashes between forces and protesters in north Kashmir’s Bandipora town on Saturday amid complete shutdown. A youth identified as Waheed Malik son of Abdullah Malik of Hajan sustain critical injuries when a stone shot at him through sling shot allegedly by paramilitary CRPF troopers hit his right eye, witness said. Malik was referred to a Srinagar hospital in critical condition, official sources said. However a police spokesman said here that two persons including an 11-year-old boy were today injured in stone-pelting by “miscreants” in Bandipora district. 'An 11-year-old boy, Waheed Malik was seriously injured after getting hit in the eye by a stone pelted by miscreants at main market in Bandipora town,” the spokesman said. He said Malik, who works as a waiter at a restaurant in Bandipora town, was on way to work when he was injured. He has been referred to hospital for treatment, the spokesman added. Another youth who got injured was admitted in Bandipora local hospital but refused to reveal his name fearing police reprisal, hospital authorities said. Shops and other business establishments remained closed while public transport was largely off the roads. Attendance in government offices was thin. Schools also witnessed thin attendance of students and teachers. Early in the morning, scores of youths took to roads in main Bandipora town and staged protests at various places like Nusoo, Gulshan Chowk, Nowpora and Ajar. To foil any protest demonstrations, the authorities deployed large contingents of police and CRPF in major area of town. Hundreds of forces personnel were deployed in the sensitive areas like Papchan, Ajar, Gulshan Chowk and Nowpora. Trouble began when protesting youth were chased away by policemen resulting in violent clashes between the two sides. “Police lobbed tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters who in turn pelted stones and bricks,” reports said. The clashes turned violent when deployment was removed from various areas of township. “As the deployment was removed, people including women and elders took to roads and participated protests which continued till late evening,” witnesses said. Two main towns in Sonwari area of Bandipora, Hajin and Naidkhai, witnessed uneasy calm and minor protests erupted at Ajas. Reports said that groups of youth took to streets and fought pitched battles with police and CRPF for some time. However, no one was injured. Reports of complete shutdown were received from Sumbal, Safapora, Ajas, Saderkoot and Nowgam areas. Reports reaching here from Baramulla said that most of the areas in the district witnessed a complete shutdown on Saturday. All the shops were closed and traffic movement on the roads was very less. During the day-long strike, sporadic clashes between police and protesting youths were reported at several places. Police lobbed scores of tear smoke shells after a group of youths appeared at Tehsil road and start throwing stones towards the police. Though police pushed them back towards the Cement Bridge, however the agitating youths appeared at Khanpora Bridge and engaged the police in clashes throughout the day. Clashes were continuing till evening. Reports reaching here from Kunzar area of Baramulla said that Police on Saturday barged into village Kunzar-Chanpora and pelted stones on the residential houses breaking windowpanes of households on the roadside. The residents told Greater Kashmir that police while chasing away stone pelters in Kunzar entered Chanpora village and threw stones and bricks on the road side residential houses. The windowpanes of houses of Muhammad Akbar Reshi, Abdul Gani Rather, Bashir Ahmad Reshi, Muhammad Sultan Mir and Muhammad Maqbool Reshi were broken. Shutdown was observed in Tangmarg, Chandiloora, Druroo, Rarem, Kunzar, Dhobiwan and Magam besides interiors that included Khaipora, Hardrshoora, Harde Aboora and Lalpora areas. Complete shutdown was also observed in Sopore. Shops, other business establishments and government offices remained closed and traffic was off the roads. Authorities had deployed hundreds of police and CRPF men in town to thwart any protest demonstration. Reports said that life in frontier district Kupwara remained paralyzed on Saturday. All the shops and business establishments, government offices and schools remained closed in Kupwara, Trehgam, Kralpora, Vilgam, Sogam, Lalpora, Handwara and Langate towns. Most of the roads of the district wore a deserted look as public transport was off the roads. Police and paramilitary force was deployed in strength in different areas to quell any protest demonstration in the district. SEPARATISTS UNDER HOUSE ARREST: Chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman National Front Nayeem Khan, JKLF Chairman Muhammad Malik and Zaffer Akber Bhat were put under house arrest. JKLF chairman who was arrested on Friday was today shifted to his residence here and placed under house arrest, a party spokesman said here. “Yasin Malik was shifted to his residence from police station last night and placed under house arrest. Large contingent of police has been deployed at his residence and he has been confined to a single room,” said a spokesman of the Front in a statement today, condemning Malik’s arrest and house arrest. “These oppressive measures and reign of terror clearly show the level of frustration of Indian rulers and their Kashmiri puppets. These illegal, undemocratic and uncivilized measures have become the order of day,” said the spokesman.