Bandipora town shuts down against arrests

By Azim Jan

Bandipora: A complete shutdown was observed Thursday in the main town of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district to protest the arrest of some youth and minors on charges of stone pelting.
All shops, offices, commercial establishments remained closed, while public transport was off the roads in the main town . Locals  alleged that the youth had been picked up by CRPF and police during three-day shutdown on the anniversaries of Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Mohammad Afzal Guru.
Two minor boys identified as Ehsan Bashir, son of Bashir Ahmad Gadda of Ward No 6 and Sameer Farooq, son of Farooq Ahmed of Ward No 6 were among the arrested, they said. The minors have been shifted to Srinagar’s juvenile home.
Posse of CRPF men and cops carrying riot gear and weapons maintained strict vigil to thwart any possible protests by the locals.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police (SP) Bandipora, Mohammad Shafi Mir told Kashmir Reader that only six people, including two minors,  were arrested by the police during “stone pelting protests in the district since Saturday last.”
“The two minor boys have been sent to juvenile home by the court of the chief judicial magistrate. Four youth are in police custody. Some of them were arrested in connection with previous cases,” he said.
He said that the shutdown was observed by the locals after rumors were floated that the two minor boys had been booked under PSA. He said a delegation of senior citizens also met Deputy Commissioner (DC) Baramulla on hearing the rumors.