Violent protests in Batengoo after Malik, associates “thrashed”, detained

Anantnag: Violent protests have erupted in Batengoo village of this south Kashmir district after police detained Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik and his associates this afternoon.

Malik, was detained by cops along with his associates when he was returning to Srinagar after offering his condolence to the family of Zahid Rasool Bhat, a truck driver who succumbed to serious burns sustained in an attack by the activists of fanatic Hindu groups in Udhampur, on Sunday.

The JKLF chief and his associates including Sheikh Abdur Rashid, Shabir Ahmad Dar, Mohammad Ahsan Untoo, Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi, Engineer Farooq, Javed Ahmad Mir were also allegedly thrashed by forces before whisked to the Sadder police station.

When the news of Malik’s arrest spread in Batengoo, dozens of youth hit the road and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations. Besides chanting slogans, angry protesters also pelted cops and paramilitary CRPF with rocks.

“The forces used batons and lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the demonstrators. However, they regrouped and continued renewed attacks on government forces,”  witnesses said.

They said that the government forces have been able to thrown open the highway after chasing away the protesters.

Protesters and government forces are also locked in pitched battles in Lazibal, Reshi Bazar, Mattan Chowk.

The residents of Mattan Chowk charged CRPF troopers of going on rampage by damaging window panes of several residential houses. The troopers, they said also thrashed people after failing to chase stone pelting youth.