5 booked under PSA in Bandipora; many injured in clashes, 1 critical
SRINAGAR: Thousands of policemen, CRPF troopers and soldiers blocked roads with razor wire and enforced strict curfew in the Valley on Saturday to prevent people from marching towards Lal Chowk—the aborted march was named as Referendum March by the resistance leadership—which was part of an elaborate protest calendar issued by the leadership on Friday.
To quell the march, the police arrested Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Geelani was picked up outside his Hyderpora residence, where he and some other leaders and activists of the resistance grouping held a sit-in protest after being stopped from marching towards Lal Chowk.
People had been asked to march towards Lal Chowk and hold sit-in wherever they are stopped.
Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was detained at police station Nigeen.
At least 15 people were injured in clashes with government forces that erupted in Azad Gunj and Cement Bridge areas of Baramulla after the people were stopped from marching peacefully towards Srinagar. Clashes also started in a similar manner in Pattan and Palhalan areas, where the residents were already angry over the arrest of a few youngsters.
The forces including army injured at least 15 people in Saderkote Bala in north Kashmir’s Bandipora. The people were demonstrating peacefully when they were attacked, they said. The residents were shouting slogans against the government forces for ransacking a local mosque, damaging houses and beating up civilians.
Block Medical Officer Hajin said five people assaulted by the forces were hospitalised.
Sources said five people have been booked under the Public safety Act and sent to different jails, two of them are Tehreek-e-Huriyat members— Kursheed Ahmad Parray and Abdul Majeed.
Others who have been booked include Shabir Ahmad Rather Naseer Ahmad Parray and Abdul hamid Parray.
At least 10 people were injured in Ashtengoo area of Bandipora district after forces fired pellets into a procession. SHO Bandipora and four policemen were also injured during the fierce clashes between youths and the government forces.
Several pro-freedom rallies–cum-seminars were organized at several places like Siligam Aishmuqam, Marwel-Kakapora, Heffkudi-Nagbal in Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama districts.
The speakers stressed over the unity among the people to keep momentum of the on-going public uprising. They also asked people to remain steadfast and follow the programme of resistance leadership.
Locals in Theed Harwan alleged that policemen snatched wallets from many people on Friday night and abused women.
“They have created terror in the area and they do not even allow emergency movement,” he said.
The photojournalists of leading local dailies and international news organizations complained that the SHO of Kralkhud police station harassed them and hindered their professional duties after they were covering the day’s situation.
They said that the said officer asked them to handover their professional cameras and leave from the spot.
Meanwhile, Kashmir Reader Baramulla correspondent reported that announcements were made on loudspeakers in Baramulla town asking people that curfew would be imposed in the locality.
On Saturday night, tens of hundreds of protesters marched from Jamia Masjid towards Lal Chowk. The peaceful march morphed into a clash when police fired dozens of teargas shells into the protesters at Neelam Chowk.