Curfew in Shopian, internet suspended, shutdown across Valley; clashes in Shopian, Pulwama, Srinagar
Srinagar: Youm-e-Shuhada-e-Kashmir in the memory of 22 Kashmiri Muslims martyred by soldiers of the Dogra king in Srinagar on July 13, 1931, was observed on Thursday with a shutdown across the valley. The government had imposed curfew in Shopian and old city Srinagar to prevent people from taking to the streets.
At least 10 persons were injured, seven of them with pellets, in street clashes during the day. Internet and train services also remained suspended across Kashmir.
Restrictions under Section 144 CrPC were imposed in areas under five police stations of Nowhatta, MR Gunj, Safa Kadal, Khanyar and Rainwari in Srinagar. Locals said that restrictions were also imposed in the area under police station Kralkhud.
“We are not being allowed to even step outside the home. A huge deployment of police and paramilitary CRPF has been placed in all areas,” residents of Nowhatta told Kashmir Reader.
Residents of Khanyar complained that government forces had set up blockades at various routes to prevent public movement. Roads were sealed with razor wires at Khanyar, Razia Kadal, Gojwara, Hawal, Rainawari, Khayyam, Safa Kadal, Darish Kadal, Nawab Bazar and Nowhatta.
“I was not allowed to visit SMHS Hospital and was asked to return by a CRPF person at Safa Kadal,” said Manzoor, a resident of the old city.
Restrictions were also imposed in the area under Maisuma police station in civil lines Srinagar. Meanwhile, minor street clashes occurred in Safa Kadal and some other areas in the old city.
Residents of Shopian town complained of facing difficulties due to the day-long curfew. “Forces didn’t allow locals to take patients to hospital,” a local alleged.
Six persons sustained pellet injuries during clashes erupted in Memandar area of Shopian. “Youths took to the streets in the morning. The forces fired teargas shells at them, triggering clashes,” eyewitnesses told Kashmir Reader, adding, that troops also fired pellets at the stone-throwing youths, injuring six of them.
A senior police official said that curfew had been imposed in Shopian town as a precautionary measure.
In Pulwama town, clashes broke out in the evening when a troop deployment was being withdrawn from the area. A group of youths pelted the troops with stones, leading to street clashes in the town. Troops fired teargas canisters at the youth to disperse them. Eyewitnesses said that one youth sustained pellet injury when the troops resorted to pellet firing.
Restrictions were imposed also in areas of Budgam, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Baramulla, Bandipora, and Kupwara during the day to foil street protests.
The call for shutdown on Youm-e-Shuhuda was given by the joint resistance leadership led by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik. Shops, restaurants, petrol pumps and other business establishments remained closed and public transport was off the roads across the Valley.