Women’s protests attacked with teargas shells; women of Hurriyat leader’s family beaten, harassed in their home at Kulgam; troops disrupt water supply, damage transformers, ransack homes in many villages
Srinagar: Amid pro-freedom protests, both successful and those that were thwarted, dozens of protesters were injured in clashes with government forces in several parts of the Valley on Tuesday, the 81st day of the raging anti-India uprising.
Heeding the call of the resistance leadership, all-women demonstrations were held in several places, the biggest by Dukhtaran-i-Millat activists at Batamaloo in Srinagar.
Holding banners, women shouted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans in Batamaloo. The forces lobbed teargas shells at women protesters, injuring a few women.
Later, clashes erupted between youths and government forces in which a few people sustained injuries after the troops resorted to heavy teargas shelling and pellet firing to chase away protesters.
Three youths were also detained by the police, which triggered another bout of protests with people demanding their release.
At Jenab Saheb Anchar, scores of women marched on streets, shouting pro-freedom slogans. They were stopped by the forces who fired teargas canisters at them.
Clashes erupted later at main Soura square between youths and government forces, injuring more than a dozen civilians.
The protesters were also demanding the immediate release of arrested pro-freedom leader Hayat Ahmad Dar who was arrested on Sunday.
Scores of women attended a pro-freedom congregation at Botengoo area of Sopore town where participants protested against the “atrocities” committed by government forces during the ongoing uprising.
All-women demonstrations were also held in Tral, Dadsara, Bugam and Nikas areas of south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts. The rallies, led by activists of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, were attended by thousands of people.
At least 15 civilians were injured during clashes that erupted after forces went berserk at Samboora village of Pampore town in Srinagar. Local residents told Kashmir Reader that forces entered the village and ransacked houses and damaged vehicles and other things.
Locals said announcements were made on loudspeakers of mosques asking people to come out and protest against the forces. The protest morphed into fierce clashes between the local residents and troops. Six of the injured were admitted to sub-district hospital Pampore, where three of the injured were referred to Srinagar because of the severity of their injuries. One of the injured has suffered multiple fractures.
Locals alleged that troops had disrupted the water supply of the village and damaged seven power transformers in the area.
Intense clashes erupted at Kanelwan village of Bijbehara town in Anantnag district after government troops intercepted a group of people who were heading towards Kanelwan to participate in a scheduled pro-freedom rally-seminar there.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary forces were deployed to thwart the proposed rally. However, people of several nearby villages including Sundepora tried to defy restrictions and attempted to reach the rally venue. They were stopped by the forces deployed by firing teargas and pellets at them.
Residents of Sundepora village told Kashmir Reader that forces created havoc in the area by ransacking dozens of residential houses and baton-charging many people.
At least 12 civilians sustained injuries because of the forces’ action and were taken to different health facilities in Anantnag district.
Locals alleged that troops set afire at least six paddy stacks in rice fields and damaged five power transformers in the area. The water supply to the village was also disrupted by the troops.
Sources said that police raided Wakura village in Ganderbal district where volunteers were preparing for an Ittihad-e-Millat conference scheduled on Wednesday. Locals alleged that police raided the venue and dismantled tents. Police also beat up volunteers, locals said.
Witnesses said that angry youth hurled stones at the forces while the forces resorted to tear smoke shelling and aerial firing that left at least 10 people injured.
Meanwhile, some youths pelted stones on a police vehicle in Saloora from where a youth was arrested.
Men and women in large number held a strong protest rally in Manigam and shouted Azadi slogans. The protest rally later dispersed peacefully.
Forces allegedly assaulted women during a nocturnal raid in Rampora Qaimoh village in Kulgam district.
The family of a Hurriyat leader said that during the night hours SOG and army men barged into their house and thrashed the inmates. The family members said that forces, after not finding the Hurriyat leader at home, arrested his son Abdul Lateef. While trying to resist the forces, the wife of Lateef, Tanveera Jan, was also beaten up by the troops. Latif’s sister Sheema alleged that a trooper harassed her by holding her neck.
The family said that the mother of Lateef fainted when forces fired teargas shell inside the home when she cried out for help.
“This is how forces commit atrocities on us. They didn’t even spare our women,” Lateef’s cousin said.
Hundreds of students, mostly girls, gathered near the Jamia Masjid at Ajas to protest against the government and the education department. Holding placards, the students marched from Jamia Masjid Ajas to Eidgah saying they won’t appear in examinations unless the Kashmir issue is resolved.
A person was arrested by police at Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district in connection with stone-pelting in the area. The family has denied any involvement of the youth.
Unknown persons lobbed a grenade towards a forces camp at Soura area of Srinagar city during late evening. According to a police officer, the militants targeted 47 Battalion of SSB stationed in a Kashmiri Pandit’s house in Bilal Colony in Soura. No one was hurt in the explosion, police said.
The officer said that following the attack, a search operation was started in the area but no one was detained. “The manhunt for the attackers is on,” he said.
Mild clashes and late night clashes erupted at several areas of downtown Srinagar including Nowhatta and Noorbagh where youths pelted forces with stones and came under teargas and pellet firing from the troops.
In Kishtwar where curfew remained imposed for the third consecutive day, police detained one more person, Asif Ahmad, during a raid on Monday night.
A statement issued by police said that the situation remained by and large normal and peaceful on Tuesday although a couple of stray stone-pelting incidents were reported.
According to the statement, an incident of arson was reported from Kulgam in the afternoon (on Tuesday). “Miscreants in their attempt to disturb the situation set on fire a Panchayat Ghar at village Kujar in district Kulgam,” police said.
The statement said that in its continuous efforts to curb the activities of “trouble mongers”, police arrested 51 “miscreants” during past 24 hours “who were involved in different offences of causing disturbance” in the situation in the Valley.
The statement said that during the day good movement of traffic was observed in the valley, including Srinagar city.
“A large number of street vendors selling different articles of daily use were on the streets of Srinagar city,” the statement said.
In a separate statement, police said that situation in the Jammu region remained by and large normal and peaceful. “No untoward incident was reported from any part of the region,” it said, adding that the district administration Kishtwar announced relaxation in curfew in Kishtwar town from 12 noon to 4 pm on Tuesday.
With inputs from Bilal Habib and Rafia Rahim