Anantnag: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was Wednesday greeted with a shutdown in Kulgam and Quimoh townships of this southern district. Clashes erupted between government forces and youth in Quimoh after the Chief Minister addressed a rally. Forces resorted to intense teargas shelling to disperse the stone hurling youth.
Omar was scheduled to visit different areas of the district including Quimoh, Kulgam, Divsar and Panzath to address election rallies there.
Reports said that in Quimoh town where Omar reached first as per electioneering schedule, partial shutdown was observed to protest his visit. In main chowk of the town, shops and other business establishments were closed, while in Eidgah area, which was venue for the rally, market was open. However, the violent clashes triggered a shutdown.
“The rally passed off smoothly amid huge deployment of forces, but after the Chief Minister left the town to address another rally in Kulgam, youth resorted to intense stone throwing at police and CRPF men,” a local resident told Kashmir Reader.
He said the forces lobbed dozens of tear smoke shells to disperse the stone throwing youth. Two CRPF men were injured after their vehicle came under heavy stone pelting.
In Kulgam town also, complete shutdown was observed in wake of Omar’s visit. Early in the morning, groups of youth raising pro-freedom and anti-election slogans took to roads and asked shopkeepers to keep their shops shut. Though there were no clashes in the town, reports said a complete shutdown greeted the Chief Minister.
The shops reopened only after Omar left after addressing a rally. Chief Minister, however after being greeted with shutdown in Quimoh and Kulgam rushed to Panzath Qazigund where he addressed a well-attended rally.