ANANTNAG: Life remained crippled in Shopian for the fifth consecutive day Friday due to a shutdown in the town against the continuous detention of youth who were arrested by the police last week. At least six youth from the town and its peripheries were arrested by the police Sunday last on charges of stone pelting on the cavalcades of different Pro-India political parties during their campaigning for polls. The shutdown over the arrests continues in the town since then. Reports said that the all the shops, business establishments, private offices and petrol pumps remained closed in the township in protests against the detention of youth.
“The continuous shutdown over the detention has brought the life at halt in the township. Since polling had ended yesterday we were expecting a day of business today but the angry youth early in the morning assembled on the roads and asked the shopkeepers not to open their shops until all the arrested youth are released,” a shopkeeper told Kashmir Reader over phone.
Amid a complete shutdown protests and clashes also erupted in another neighboring township, Pulwama against the alleged night raids of the houses by government forces. Locals alleged that the government forces including CRPF and SOG personal barged into houses in Chattpora and Prichoo localities of the town late last night and beat the inmates. The forces, they said, also arrested two youth during the nocturnal raids. The news about the nocturnal raids by the forces triggered shutdown and protests by the youth. The angry youth, eyewitnesses said, attacked the police station with stones and bricks triggering clashes between the two sides. “Police retaliated by bursting tear gas canisters. The clashes between the forces and youth continued throughout the day,” eyewitnesses said, adding ‘Six more youth were arrested by the police during the clashes’.
A top police official said that police had identified several youth who were involved in stone pelting on polling booths and vehicles carrying polling staff last evening.