October 2016 News

DAY 106: Protests Continue

22 October 2016
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Amid shutdown across Kashmir, at least 20 people sustained injuries in the day-long clashes on Saturday while police in its continuous drive arrested 72 more youth in the past 24 hours. Reports said that pro-freedom rallies were held in Shopian district of South Kashmir while intense clashes broke out in Palhallan area of north Kashmir's Baramulla district. Protestors attacked the cavalcade of a senior PDP minister in north Kashmir's Bandipora district. However, the minister managed to escape unhurt. North Kashmir: A massive protest was staged by locals in district Kupwara after army, police and para-military Central Reserve Police Force personnel in a joint operation arrested more than 40 people during pre-dawn crackdown. The locals from Taras Natnusa area alleged that hundreds of army men from 47 Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF and police cordoned off the village at around 5 a.m. 'It was a massive crackdown. The locals were not only beaten but residential houses were also damaged. This village comprises 350 households while forces during search operation caused damage to more than 120 houses. Even apple boxes were damaged. Dozens of such boxes were lifted by troopers,' the protesting people said. The locals said that forces made a queue of village people and arrested more than 40 including 15-year-old Farooq Ahmed. 'To save themselves from the wrath of forces personnel, more than 50 youth escaped from the village and we don't know where they have gone,' the villagers said. Soon after the siege was lifted, massive protests were held in the area on which forces used tear gas shelling in which a woman sustained injuries. Senior Superintendent of Police Kupwara, Shamsher Hussain said, 'We picked up wanted stone-pelters. We arrested only nine people who are trouble mongers.' He refuted the allegations that houses were ransacked, people were beaten up and apple boxes lifted. Report said that intense clashes between forces and protesters erupted in Palhalan area of Pattan in Baramulla district. The clashes, according to locals, started soon after a pro-freedom function ended at the local martyrs graveyard. Protesters were chased away in the beginning, however they re-assembled and started pelting rocks on the men in uniform, they said. Clashes were going on amid heavy tear gas shelling and pellet firing when reports last came in. Reports said that at least 10 youth sustained injuries. In Baramulla two shops were set on fire at Janbaz Complex near Uri Bus Stand. Both the shops (Khan Motors) belonged to Muzaffar Ahmed Khan. A police official said that a case has been registered and efforts are on to nab the culprits. PDP Minister's cavalcade stoned: A PDP minister was stranded for half-an-hour after protesters attacked his cavalcade with stones in north Kashmir's Bandipora district. Police sources said that protesters hurled stones at the cavalcade of Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Abdul Haq Khan, at Saderkoot Bala while he was on way to Srinagar after convening an official meeting. They said that police and paramilitary forces fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protesters. 'It was after the army's help that the minister managed to move ahead,' police sources said. SRINAGAR Police used force to disperse protesters demanding medical aid for incarcerated Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik. Dozens of women and men staged a protest in Maisuma locality of Srinagar to demand medical aid to the ailing leader. Witnesses said that police chased away the protesters and detained some to break up the protesters. South Kashmir At least two persons were injured as forces resorted to aerial firing and teargas shelling to chase away protesters in Heff village of Shopian in south Kashmir. Reports said that early morning police and army cordoned off the village and launched house-to-house search to arrests youths believed to be leading or taking part in anti-India protests. However, people took to streets after announcements were made through public address systems of the mosques urging people to come out. Forces fired in air and used teargas shells to disperse the protesters, including women. This triggered massive clashes, following which forces left the village. Two people sustained minor injuries in the clashes. Clashes also erupted in Bijbehara town in the evening. 'Youth pelted stones on the forces in Giriwan area who in turn lobbed shells,' witnesses said. Clashes were on when last reports came in. Eight shops were gutted in a mysterious blaze in Shopian district late last night, officials said. They said that eight shops located near Jamia Masjid Shopian were damaged in the blaze, the cause of which was still not known. Goods worth crores of rupees were damaged in the blaze, said an official. Unidentified persons on Friday night set ablaze a school building in Bugam village of Kulgam district. Police have registered a case and begun the investigations. Meanwhile, the residents of Malangpora, Pulwama alleged that the forces during night damaged houses and broke up windows in dozens of houses. While talking to Greater Kashmir, SSP Shopian Tahir Saleem said, 'As forces were returning from the village, some locals pelted stones who were chased by forces. No one was hurt in the clashes.' Central Kashmir Reports said that youth resorted to stone pelting on Srinagar-Leh highway at Bonibagh in Kangan area. Two youth were arrested from Kangan town during nocturnal raids in the locality. Reports said that clashes broke out at Nasrullahpora in Central Kashmir's Budgam district against the death of a youth Javaid Ahmed Mir, who was allegedly chased by forces and died of heart attack. Police Version A police spokesman said that last evening driver of a Tempo vehicle, Farooq Ahmad Khanday resident of Iqbal Colony-A Eidgah, reported in Police Station Safakadal that some miscreants hurled a petrol bomb on his vehicle bearing registration number JK01V-4980, which was parked outside his house. This resulted in damage to the vehicle. A case FIR number 137-16 was registered and investigation was taken up.

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