Shutdown, protests again on Mehbooba’s visit to Kelam

Shutdown, protests again on Mehbooba’s visit to Kelam
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Mohammad Suhail                                                                                         
Kulgam: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti visited Kelam village in Kulgam district on Thursday after more than six months and like her previous visit in December, a complete shutdown was observed in the area along with stone-pelting of government troops.
Mehbooba also faced sloganeering from flood victims in the village, who asked her to fulfill her promises for their rehabilitation.
Mehbooba was on a day-long tour of Devsar constituency in Kulgam, where she took stock of several developmental works, including a hospital in Kelam village.
Locals told Kashmir Reader that the village wore a deserted look amid heavy deployment of government forces, with shops and other business outlets shut in the area.
“Minutes after Mehbooba left the village, intense stone-pelting took place in the village,” a local said.
Local youth attacked the government forces with stones and the forces retaliated with tear smoke shells.
“One stone-throwing youth was also nabbed by the police,” a local said.
The clashes continued for some time before normalcy returned to the area.
Police, however, refuted reports of stone throwing in the area.
“No, there was no stone pelting at all,” SP Kulgam Sreedhar Patil told Kashmir Reader. “Some flood victims raised slogans before the CM and that was it.”
The chief minister last visited the village on December 4 last year.
A senior police official was injured during stone-pelting the last time she was here, to inaugurate a bank ATM.
Mehbooba on Thursday met victims of the devastating floods of September 2014 and assured them of all help from the government.
“The women she met raised slogans of Humaari Maangein poori Karo in front of the chief minister, saying they have been neglected by the government,” a local who was present at the meeting told Kashmir Reader.
Several families have been living in a hospital building in Kelam area since the 2014 floods.
“We have been living like refugees in our own village and the government has done nothing about it. We raised slogans today before the CM with the hope that her conscience comes alive and she starts thinking about us,” a flood victim said.
Mehbooba also visited Mirbazar, Boonigam, Qazigund, Devsar, Kond and YK Pora in Devsar constituency and interacted with party workers.

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