Curfew, Restrictions, Clashes, Shutdown In Valley

Curfew, Restrictions, Clashes, Shutdown In Valley

15 March 2014
Kashmir Times
Syed Yasir

Srinagar: The curfew and restrictions were imposed in various parts of Kashmir valley today including downtown Srinagar, following the killing of 20 year old Farhat Ahmad Dar. Despite the restrictions, clashes erupted at many places in Kashmir valley in which at least 30 people got injured including few cops. Normal life was paralysed due to spontaneous strike. Farhat Ahmad Dar was today laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard at Shahgund (Naidkhi). Thousands of people participated in his funeral. A massive protest demonstration was also held after his funeral. Almost all the separatist leadership was either placed under house arrest or arrested by police. Shops, other business establishments, government and semi government offices remained closed in most of Kashmir valley against the killing. However, no separatist group had given the strike call today. The Hurriyat Conference (G) and (M) have given a strike call for tomorrow against the killing. The JKLF has given a call for protest march and sit-in, against the killing, on March 17 at Lal Chowk. In the wake of the killing of a youth in Naidkhai yesterday, official curfew, undeclared curfew and restrictions were imposed in many areas of Kashmir valley today. The curfew was imposed in Naidkhai, Hajin, Sopore, Bandipora and various areas of north to prevent people from visiting Shahgund, the native village of the deceased youth Farhat Dar. The area was sealed by authorities and no one was allowed to visit the village in early morning. But despite the curfew people in large numbers defy curfew and restriction reached Shahgund and participated in the funeral of Farhat. Reports said that thousands of people participated in his funeral and they raised slogans in support of Islam, Azadi and in support of Pakistan. His funeral ended peacefully, but thousands of people later held a massive protest demonstration at Naidkhai and shouted slogans against the killing. The protesters were saying that police killed him in cold blood and he was not involved in any protest demonstrations. People in large numbers also held protest demonstration at Hajan. The police used force by fired dozens of smoke shells to disperse the protesters. The youth continuously pelted stones towards the forces from the narrow lanes. However, the forces managed to control the situation by deploying more cops and CRPF personnel in the area. Several youths including some policemen got injured in the clashes. Reports also said that people pelted stones towards the forces, when they were protesting against the killing. Reports said that tension gripped the entire town when scores of youth pelted stones on forces with the latter retaliating with cane charging. Clashes are also reported from various areas of old Srinagar. However, a large deployment of forces prevented them from holding the protest demonstration. Reports said that youth held protest demonstrations at Selo, Sopore, Pap Chan Bandipora, Hajan and Pulwama when they were protesting that killing. But large deployment of police and CRPF in these areas did not allow them to take out the protest demonstration. The youths pelted stones towards forces which were responded by forces with baton charge and firing tear gas shells towards them. To thwart further possible protests, authorities blocked all the roads leading to Shahgund while large contingent of police and Para-military troopers were deployed at sensitive places. Despite these restrictions, a large number of youths took to the streets at many localities of north and south Kashmir and tried to hold a protest demonstration. A large presence of police force deployed in the township prevented them from holding protest demonstrations. The youths pelted stone towards the police and CRPF, who were deployed in the township. The protesters also intensified stone pelting and resorted to stone pelting from various localities of the Bandipora, Palhalan and Baramulla. During these clashes several youths received injuries. Reports also said that few cops received injuries. An additional deployment was made in the township to foil further protests. The additional deployment was made at all the sensitive areas, which virtually imposed undeclared curfew in the localities. Severe restrictions imposed by government in old Srinagar city on Saturday brought normal life to a grinding halt. Reports said that a heavy deployment of forces has been made in the old city to prevent any protests against the killing on the youth. The reports also said that a complete shutdown was also observed at Baramulla, Sopore, Bandipora, Hajan, Pattan, Palhalan, Ganderbal, Kangan, Budgam, Char-i-Sharief, Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag, Kulgam, Khanabal, Dooru, Bijbehara and almost all the major townships of the Kashmir valley. The Public transport was off from the roads. However, some private vehicles and auto rickshaws were seen playing on the internal roads in outskirts of Srinagar city and district roads. The authorities had imposed restrictions in length and breadth of Kashmir valley to prevent any protest demonstrations and clashes. Despite these security measures, at least 12 people, including few policemen were injured during the clashes between government Forces and protestors at various areas of valley. The entire separatist leadership was placed either house arrest or detained at various police stations. The various groups had called a strike and protest call. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest at his Nigeen residence. The JKLF chairman was also placed under house arrest at his Maisuma residence. Shabir Ahmad Shah and Nayeem Ahmad Khan were placed under house arrest and Shabir Ahmad Dar was arrested at were lodged in Police Station, Safa Kadal. Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Zafar Akbar Bhat, Hilal Ahmed War house arrest or detained them in different police stations.