- Amid clashes, curfew, police raiding homes at night
- Youth from across the Valley, many in Srinagar, being picked up on charges of stone-pelting
Srinagar: Pro-freedom and anti-India graffiti were splashed across roads and written on walls and shop shutters across Kashmir, with Syed Ali Geelani leading the protest.
The resistance leadership had asked people to write such graffiti as part of a five-day protest programme.
Geelani, who has been under house arrest for most part of past two years, wrote ‘Go India Go Back’, one of the popular slogans that the current uprising inherited from 2008 and 2010 revolt.
Many other popular slogans were either painted on roads and walls. Candlelight protests were also organised in many parts of the valley.
At least 15 people were injured by pellets on Monday, the 24th day of the relentless anti-India agitation that burst into life after the death of Burhan Wani. Curfew and severe restrictions on movement remained imposed across the Valley and mobile internet, prepaid mobile phone services continue to be in suspension, but the shutdown, the protests, and the hurling of stones on government forces by young men and boys continues unabated.
Five people sustained injuries in Kalaroos village of Lolab Valley in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district after youths clashed with forces and were attacked with teargas shells and pellets. The injured were shifted to the nearby hospital where their condition is said to be stable.
Three people were injured in ammunition firing in Ladoora village of Qazigund after a gathering of people tried to block the Srinagar-Jammu highway. The forces fired several rounds of bullets, pellets, and teargas shells.
One among the injured, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, who suffered a bullet injury in the head, has been referred to SKIMS for treatment, doctors at the emergency and trauma ward of Qazigund hospital said. Three CRPF men also suffered injuries during the clashes and are being treated at the hospital in Qazigund.
Earlier in the day, a man who was injured in south Kashmir’s Anantnag in one of the past few days succumbed at SMHS Hospital on Monday.
Medical Superintendent of SMHS Hospital Dr Nazir Choudhary said that Manzoor Ahmad, a father of four daughters, had suffered injuries in his head and was brought to the hospital from Anantnag. The doctor said he was not aware of the cause of the injury.
In Imam Sahib area of Shopian district, intense clashes occurred for the fourth consecutive day. Youths hurled rocks at troops and came under heavy ammunition firing. Three youths sustained pellet injurious and were shifted to district hospital Shopian.
Residents of Imam Sahib locality held demonstrations against the arrest of four youths by the police on charges of stone-pelting.
Thousands of people from areas in Shopian district like Pahnoo, Pinjura, Pahlipora, Trenz, Mulu, Chitragam, Turkwanagn, Heff, Sugan, Nadigund, Outerpora and Dangerpora marched towards the district headquarters raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
Clashes erupted between youth and government forces in Kaloosa area of Bandipora district on Monday in protest against harassment by forces who are alleged to be raiding homes at night to arrest youth.
Youths pelted forces with stones and the forces retaliated with heavy teargas and pellet gun firing. Local women also participated in the demonstrations. Locals alleged that forces have spread ‘terror’ in the locality and smashed the windowpanes of several residential houses and also of a local mosque.
Earlier, the locals of Nasoo village in Bandipora district held demonstrations outside the office of Deputy Commissioner Bandipora against the harassment by government forces. They said that troops barged into and ransacked several residential houses in the night and also thrashed the inmates.
Protests were also held in several areas of south Kashmir, in Arwani, Frisal, Budroo, Kukargund, Katepora, Hangalbuch, Yaripora and Kanji Kulla where youths carrying green flags shouted slogans in favour of azadi.
A bike rally was organised in Kulgam district in which 15,000 people were claimed to have participated. The bikers assembled near Baloos, a village ten km away from main town Kulgam, and from there carrying green flags rode through several areas of Kulgam district.
A similar bike rally was organised in adjoining areas like Khiram K Kalan, Wapzan, Srigufwara, Kandipora and other areas. Minor clashes were also reported from a few places of the district.
Continuing the initiative of uniting the Kashmiris, a huge seminar was organised in Arwani, Bijbehara, where people from all sections of society participated. The scholars who addressed the people stressed the need for unity and “for keeping up the momentum of the agitation”.
Sources said that media persons were not allowed to enter the Dak Bungalow of Baramulla where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was scheduled to meet members of civil society and traders of Baramulla district.
The journalists later held a protest demonstration against this denial of access. Those few journalists whom Mehbooba was scheduled to meet boycotted the meeting with her and advised her to instead “talk with Hurriyat leaders”.
“Nobody among the invitees attended the meeting. A few government employees were brought to the Dak Bungalow and the chief minister claimed that she met people from civil society,” a witness of the drama said.
Meanwhile, residents of Natipora area of Srinagar alleged that forces thrashed several residents throughout the day on Monday. They said that the troops thrashed whoever came in their way and even the people who were going to offer daily prayers.
A late-night protest march was held in Pampore on Sunday night. Doctors at SKIMS Bemina also took out a protest march against the killings in Kashmir during the past three weeks. The doctors carrying placards raised pro-freedom slogans.
A candle light protest was organised at Maharaja Bazar of Srinagar to protest the killings of civilians.
Reports said that police raided many areas of Nowgam in Srinagar to arrest youth on charges of stone-pelting.
A police press statement released here said that the situation throughout Kashmir remained under control but 15 incidents of stone-pelting were reported from across the valley.
“These incidents were reported from Ganderbal, Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian, Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora. During these law and order situations 3 persons, 25 police and security force personnel including a CRPF Company Commander were injured. The CRPF Company Commander suffered serious injury in his face,” the statement said.
Curfew/restrictions were put in place in police stations of north zone Srinagar and Anantnag town, the police statement said.
—With inputs from Bilal Habib