Day 32: Protests continue

Day 32: Protests continue

70 injured in government forces’ action

Women protest at Waghama, Bijbehara | Photo: Muneeb Gull
Women protest at Waghama, Bijbehara | Photo: Muneeb Gull

Srinagar: The government forces’ campaign to quell peaceful protests in Kashmir Valley with disproportionate use of force continued in Kashmir valley on Tuesday as more than 70 people were injured some of them critically. Most of the protest rallies were carried out by women as per the schedule issued by the unified resistance camp.
At least 30 protesters sustained injuries after police resorted to heavy ammunition firing to quell a protest demonstration at Hartrath, Singpora near Pattan town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Witnesses said that the people were holding peaceful protest demonstrations chanting pro-freedom slogans. They were intercepted by heavy contingent of forces deployed in the locality. The angry protesters hurled stones at the forces who retaliated with teargas shelling and pellet fires.
The locals alleged that police personnel smashed windowpanes of several residential houses in the area. Sources said that three media persons, covering the protests were allegedly abused by the government forces who attempted to create hurdles in conduct of their professional duties.
Meanwhile, the people in several areas of north Kashmir including, Narvaw, Old town Baramulla, Sangrama, Patten, Palhalan, Kunzar, Sopore, Malik Mohalla, Jamia Qadeem, Mir Mohalla, Regipora, Darzipora, Trehgam, Kralpora, Lalpora, Zainangir, Langate, Handwara, Kupwara, Lolab, Dragmulla, Bandipora, Fatehgrah, Ushkura, Sonawari and Kalaroos areas held massive protest demonstrations against the ‘harassment’ and arrest spree by police during the nocturnal raids.
Witnesses said that the Islamic, pro-freedom and pro-Burhan songs were played from the mosques throughout the day. The speakers also asked people to come out on roads to thwart the police raids and prevent them from arresting the local youths.
Citing the example of 3-year old Mehran Mehraj of Jamia Mohla who was injured in forces action on Monday, the locals said that the forces did not hesitate in thrashing women and children.
In Yadipora and Tapper areas of Pattan, three persons received injuries after forces resorted to heavy teargas and pellet gun firing to disperse a gathering of people chanting anti-India slogans. The protesters were angry over the nocturnal raids and the arrest spree by police.
In Ajas area of Bandipora district, scores of women took out a protest rally against the civilian killings by the government forces.
The protesting women marched from main chowk to Eidgah Ajas in Sumbal while chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
At least 20 people sustained injuries following the clashes between youth and government forces in Qazigund area of Kulgam.
The forces resorted to heavy ammunition firing to disperse the protesters who later pelted forces with stones.
Sources said that two among injured were referred to district hospital Anantnag due to severity of their injuries.
Fierce clashes erupted in Batamaloo area of Srinagar following the Supreme Court order that stayed contempt proceedings against IGP Kashmir and SSP Srinagar.
Scores of youth held protest demonstrations and clashed with forces who in reply lobbed several rounds of teargas shells and pellet grenades. The clashes lasted for several hours in and adjoining areas of Batamaloo.
At least six people sustained injuries following the fierce clashes between youth and forces at Lolab Valley in Kupwara district. The witnesses said that the thousands of people including women and children took to the streets and staged protests against the government forces who had thrashed dozens of people and arrested several others in Lalpora area on Monday.
The locals of Nawab Bazar said that the forces attacked a gathering of people when they were offering Asr prayers on the roads as a protest against the killings.
They said that several rounds of teargas shells were fired by the forces which created panic among the people, including children and aged persons.
An all-women protest was carried out in Khanyar area of old city. The people in Malla Bagh area came on roads after a maternal uncle of an alleged stone-pelter was arrested by the police. They blocked the road demanding immediate release of the arrested person.
A torch and candle procession was held in Pinjoora area of Shopian during the evening hours against the killings.
Thousands of people thronged Wagahama village in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district after a call for march was extended by the people to protest the civilian killings by the government forces. Carrying green flags and posters, people held heavy demonstrations in the area.
Amid heavy restrictions, a complete shutdown was observed across the north Kashmir with reports of few protest demonstrations held in the several areas of the region. All the shops and other business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads.
Scores of inhabitants from Hygam, Sopore, and Pattan areas alleged that the forces have unleashed a “reign of terror” in the area and have also beaten-up several residents from these localities.
They said that the forces damaged windowpanes of several residential houses and vehicles parked on the roadside during the night hours.
“A contingent of police barged in to the district hospital Baramulla and warned volunteers there to stop the distribution of essentials among the locals and patients admitted in the hospital,” a volunteer at the hospital said.
He said that the police asked the volunteers of a community Lunger maintained by Jamaat-e Islami at the hospital to stop its functioning.
The Bandipora Bar Association held a protest demonstration outside the court complex of Bandipora against the killings and atrocities by the government forces.
The Association condemned the use of pellet guns against the protesting civilians during the on-going uprising.
“The use of pellet guns is inhuman that has left hundreds of people blinded, it must be stopped,’ they said.
Hundreds of women held pro-freedom protests in different areas of this southern district including Mattan, Mahind, Nanil, Pahalgam and Seer Hamdan. Responding to the call of joint resistance leadership hundreds of women from different localities of the town assembled near Jamia Masjid Mattan and took out a protest rally.
Raising pro-freedom and Pro-Burhan slogans and carrying placards the protesting women marched through different streets of the town and along the KP road. Earlier activists of Dukhtaran-e-Milat addressed the women in Jamia Masjid.
A pro-freedom procession by the women was also taken out in Mahind village of Bijbehara where hundreds of women amid pro-freedom slogans, marched through the streets of the village and held peaceful demonstrations in the area. The procession culminated at the local Eidgah.
In Nanil- the most populated village of the area, a huge pro-freedom rally was carried out by women from Jamia Masjid to main chowk of the village
A freedom road show was also organised by the people in different villages of Shangas. Hundreds of vehicles with pictures of Burhan pasted on their front shields moved in through several villages of the area.
As the rally passed by, witnesses said, pro-Azadi slogans were played on public address systems fitted to vehicles. The rally moved back from Achabal through different routes, they said.
Hundreds of people took out a massive pro-freedom rally in Lelhar village of Pulwama against the civilian killing in valley.
The protesters mostly youth were waving green flags and shouting pro-freedom, anti-India slogans.
Sources said that the people from several Pulwama villages including Goripora Padgampora, Malangpora, Lajoora, Hajibal, Ratnipora, Quil and other adjoining areas participated in the rally.
Clashes erupted in Pampore area after forces stopped the people from assembling in nearby Khanqah-e-Moalla to hold demonstrations. The youth pelted forces with stones while as forces resorted with heavy teargas shelling.
Thousands of people assembled in Yaripora area of Kulgam district where speakers stressed on the need of unity Kashmirs to keep momentum of the on-going anti-India uprising. The people also raised heavy slogans in favour of freedom of Kashmir.
Late night clashes erupted in several areas across the Valley including downtown areas in Srinagar.
‘Situation normal and under control’
A police spokesman on Tuesday said that except three incidents of stone pelting in Awantipora, Lalpora Kupwara and Ajas area of Bandipora, the overall situation in the valley remained normal and under control.
“Although restrictions under section 144/ CrPC remained in force in the Valley, curfew was imposed in some parts of Srinagar and Anantnag town only,” it said.
“A group of miscreants assembled near village Chursoo, Awantipora on National Highway and tried to block the National Highway by pelting stones on the vehicles. In order to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic, the Police/Security forces reached the spot and chased the miscreants away,” said the statement.
“A mob of 3000 people assembled near Jamia Masjid Lalpora in Kupwara District and started stone pelting on the police/security forces. Some militants were spotted in the mob.  During dispersal of the mob two persons were injured. One of them was injured in stampede who has been referred to SKIMS Srinagar,” it said.
It said that about 70 “miscreants” pelted stones on forces deployment at Ajas in Sumbal. “There are no reports of injury to anybody so far,” the statement said.

—With inputs from Mushtaq Ahmad, Bilal Habib, Shabir Ahmad, Wasim

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