Protests, shutdown in north Kashmir over arrests

Srinagar: Violent protests broke out Thursday in Saderkoot Bala area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district against the arrest of five youth on charges of stone pelting.
Scores of youth took to streets at Saderkoot Bala and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations to register their protest against the arrests. Besides chanting slogans, the protesting youth also pelted stones on the police and CRPF personnel, eyewitnesses said.
“The forces burst teargas canisters after they failed to chase away the stone pelting youth with batons. However, the youth regrouped from small lanes and by lanes and continued assaults on the forces,” said Bashir Ahmad, an eyewitness.
He said the clashes continued for at least two hours. However, no one was wounded. “Situation returned to normal after the youth dispersed. However, a complete shutdown was observed in the area to protest the arrests,” Ahmad added.
Meanwhile, protests broke out late Wednesday night in the volatile Hajin town after cops in civvies allegedly tried to arrest a youth identified as Muhammad Ashraf, reports said.
However, the youth managed to give slip to the cops.
Meanwhile, several youth were arrested by police in a spate of nocturnal raids across downtown Srinagar.
Local residents told Kashmir Reader that a contingent of police joined by paramilitary CRPF troopers swooped in the interiors of Nowhatta and its adjoining localities on Wednesday night and rounded up nearly half a dozen youth for allegedly participating in the stone pelting protests. Two of the arrested youth have been identified as Babloo and Amir.
“Over a dozen police vehicles came to the locality and went on arrest spree. They arrested four youth in and around Nowhatta. They also carried out raids around Bahauddin Sahab and Iqbal Market,” the locals added.