Srinagar: At least 30 persons were injured and close to 100 youths detained during clashes in south Kashmir, amid an undeclared curfew and a complete shutdown on the first death anniversary of Burhan Wani on Saturday.
Despite heavy deployment of army, police and paramilitary troops in Burhan’s hometown Tral, hundreds of youth reached the slain Hizbul commander’s home at Shareefabad. Clashes broke out in Shareefabad and adjoining villages after army soldiers raided the house of Burhan and asked his father Muzaffar Wani to tell the gathered youths to leave the village. The youths hurled stones at the army soldiers and clashes spread to other villages, including Arigam and Kounsarbal. Government troops resorted to heavy teargas shelling and beat up many protesters, locals said.
“Four injured who were beaten and had sustained injuries after being hit by teargas shells were taken to a local hospital. Two of the critically injured were shifted to a Srinagar hospital,” locals told Kashmir Reader.
They alleged that forces ransacked a few houses in Shareefabad and beat up their inmates.
Troops had sealed all roads loading to Tral and had detained about 100 youth from Tral and Awantipora areas when they were going towards Shareefabad or clashing with troops along the way.
Locals said that some youth were injured when troops used them as human shields while dealing with protesters in Tral area.
Earlier in the day, locals of Churso village had blocked the highway on the occasion of Burhan Wani’s anniversary. Government forces soon swung into action and chased the protesters away. Three protesters were injured during the forces’ action.
Protests and clashes were reported from some other areas of Pulwama and Tral areas. The army conducted a flag march in Tahab and Haal areas of Pulwama to prevent protests.
Nearly 20 persons, including five women, were injured when forces fired pellets at protesters in areas of Shopian. Amid curfew-like restrictions in the Shopian main town and adjoining areas, protests and clashes broke out in Bonigam, Shirmal and Tukroo areas. Locals said that 10 persons including 5 women were injured when forces fired pellets at Bonigam.
“Six of the injured were taken to hospital, including five women,” said locals.
They said one of the injured women has been shifted to Shopian district hospital for serious pellet injury.
Clashes were also reported from the district police lines at Gagren and in Memandar and Kanipora areas of Shopian. “At least twelve persons were injured when forces resorted to heavy teargas shelling and pellet firing at protesters at Memandar,” eyewitnesses said.
They said that two persons were injured by teargas shells and the others by pellets.
Clashes erupted in Hajin area of Bandipora when protesters pelted stones at the Army Goodwill School in the town. “Forces resorted to aerial firing and fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protesters,” said local residents.
Police detained a youth identified as Momin Ahmad Parray, son of Mohammad Altaf Parray, of Hajin during the clashes.
In Srinagar, minor clashes erupted in Soura and Rawalpora. Residents living near the Eidgah area alleged that government troops damaged their property during the night.
A shutdown was observed by the Muslim community in Bhaderwah on a call given by the Anjuman Islamia Bhaderwah. Speaking to media persons, president of the Anjuman, Perviaz Hussain Sheikh, blamed the government for the killing of innocent civilians in Kashmir.
The joint resistance leadership led by Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for shutdown and protest marches to pay tributes to Burhan, who was killed by government forces in an encounter at Kokernag area of Anantnag on July 8 last year.
Internet and train services remained suspended across Kashmir for the second consecutive day.