Srinagar: The government on Friday enforced a strict curfew in Kashmir to stop people from proceeding towards Aripanthan Beerwah. Dozens of people were injured in clashes with government forces on Friday.
Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were stopped from leading the march and taken into police custody. The joint pro-freedom leadership had appealed to people to offer Friday prayers at Aripanthan Beerwah as a mark of tribute to four persons who were shot dead there on August 16.
As soon as the Friday prayers were over, people held protest rallies and marches at several places amid curfew. The government forces retaliated with teargas shells and pellets.
In Srinagar, the historic Jamia Masjid was sealed and no Friday prayers were offered for sixth consecutive Friday. Pro-freedom slogans reverberated at masjids including Hazartbal Dargah. In old city and Batamaloo, people played pro-Burhan and pro-freedom songs on loudspeakers while holding protests.
At Chanapora, a pro-freedom rally was taken out after the congregational prayers, which later led to clashes after the forces fired teargas shells. At Chattabal Zampa Kadal, a protest rally was taken out. Similarly, a rally was taken out in tourist hub of Dalgate.
Later, evening protests also erupted at several places in the city. A sit-in was held after Friday prayers in Nawa Kadal area of old Srinagar. Earlier, a protest rally was taken out from Masjid Sharief Khankah-i-Sokhta in Nawa Kadal. The rally was led by Hurriyat leader Masroor Ansari. The protestors chanted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
SMHS Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Nazir Choudhary said that they received 27 wounded people since morning. “Of them, majority have received pellet injuries while one patient was hit with bullet in Pulwama,” he said.
In south Kashmir, clashes erupted at several places after the prayers. The protests were replied with teargas and pellets injuring dozens of people.
Scores of people held a pro-freedom rally at Bijbehara after the prayers. Similarly, protest rallies were taken out in Kanlewan, Srigufwara, Dachnipora and Wopzan.
In Kuglam, protesters burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Friday prayers. Most of protests later morphed into clashes at Redwani, Khudwani. The forces fired tear smoke shells into the protesters injuring six. Of them, an injured was to Srinagar hospital. Two persons were beaten up in Yaripora by the forces yesterday evening.
At Khanbal, three persons were injured with one among them Bilal Ahmad critical who was removed to Srinagar hospital. In Qazigund, teargas shells were fired on people in Jamia Masjid premises.
At Shopian hospital road, Alyapora, Bonbazar, Pinjora, the forces fired teargas shelling and pellets injuring
In Pulwama, clashes erupted between the forces and youth. Thirteen persons were injured in the forces action including a class 12 student from Patel Bagh Pampore. The crucially injured Shahid Ahmad Yatoo was shifted to SMHS Hospital. a doctor said, he has received bullet in neck. His father Abdul Salam told Kashmir Reader at SMHS Hospital that his son Shahid was targeted and was not part of protesters. In Tahab Pulawama, eight persons were injured while 6 were injured in Newa.
In Burhan Wani’s hometown Tral, protests erupted after the prayers. Several persons were injured. Of them, the forces beat one up while pellets hit the other. The duo was shifted to sub-district hospital Tral. In Shar-e-Shali area of Khrew where army beat up a lecturer to death, people offered joint prayers in Eidgah.
In north Kashmir, protests erupted in Baramullah, Sopore, Palhalan, Kupwara, and Bandipora.
In Palhalan, clashes broke out in the day but the forces fired teargas shells and pellets into protesters. At least, eight people were injured. Of them, two were removed to SMHS Hospital with pellet injuries. “We were holding peaceful protests but as soon as we marched towards Baramullah highway, forces fired teargas shells and pellets,” an attendant said at SMHS.
Protests erupted in Trehgam Kupwara and in the clashes three persons were injured by the forces action. Protest rally was held in Sopore but the forces fired teargas into protesters resulting into injury of three persons including two women.
Hundreds of people offered Friday prayers jointly organised by different villages at Ushkara Baramulla. In garrisoned Uri town, a shutdown was observed in against the killings by the government forces.
As soon as Friday prayers culminated in Bandipora, many pro-freedom processions from Plan, Nebrepora, Papchan, Ajar were taken out. The protesters which comprised of men and women, shouting pro-freedom slogans marched towards main market in Bandipora. The protesters also burned the effigy of Sajad Gani Lone. As soon as the peaceful protesters reached Nowpora Chowk, the police lobbed tear smoke shells into the protesters. Several protests including women were injured. Slippers of protesters were strewn on roads.
Later heavy heavy clashes broke out at Nowpora Chowk and Plan Bandipora. Also massive clashes between army and protesters were witnessed near Pazalpora were in the protesters tried to attack a BRO office there. Scores of teargas shells were fired to disperse the protesters. At least 20 protesters including women were injured, a doctor said. Also peaceful demonstrations were reported from Ajas, Saderkoot, Sunderwani and other adjoining areas.
Massive clashes erupted after Friday prayers at Hajin in Bandipora district. Soon after the Friday prayers people raising Pro-Burhan and Pro-Pakistan slogans assembled at main bus stand Hajin and were marching towards Jamia Masjid. But a continent of police intercepted them near Higher secondary ground Hajin and fired several round of pellets and shells towards the protesters ,who in return threw stones on them resulting to heavy clashes between Youth and government forces in the area. Four people were injured in the forces action.
Forces beat three Radio Kashmir employees on Thursday while they were on way to home from office. The employees Zahoor Ahmad, Zubair Qureshi and Irfan Ahmad were beaten by the police and CRPF on Thursday. Zubair was beaten outside Radio Kashmir Office, Zahoor near BSNL Exchange and Irfan near Abdullah Bridge.
—With inputs from Owais Farooqi, Bilal Habib, Gowhar Maqbool and Nissar Malik