At rally in Bandipora, many quit pro-India politics to join freedom movement
Srinagar: Despite continued rainfall and plummeted temperatures, anti-India protests and rallies continued in several parts of Kashmir on Sunday, the 51st day of the public uprising that erupted after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.
Police said that barring three incidents of stone-pelting, the situation remained under control and an increased number of vehicles were moving around in Srinagar. But despite rainfall, several anti-India rallies were held in south Kashmir and were preceded or followed by clashes with government forces. Due to inclement weather some rallies in Tral and Aishmuqam were postponed.
No restrictions in Valley from today except in Pulwama town and areas under MR Gunj and Nowhatta police stations: Police
Reports said that the government forces conducted night raids in Ashajipora area in Anantnag town and arrested a local youngster on allegations of taking part in protests. The people alleged that the government forces also entered nearby Dabran village to harass the population. They alleged that several residential houses were ransacked.
The incidents triggered protests in the area that led to stone-pelting on the government forces.
Sources said that clashes occurred at restive Kaloosa village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district where people have intensified their campaign against the 27 Rashtriya Rifles camp situated at Paribal village. Clashes occurred between protesters and government forces that left four persons injured. They were admitted to local hospitals. Clashes reoccurred in the evening when the government forces against attempted to enter the village.
In Ajas township of the same district, thousands of people took part in a peaceful protest rally as villagers from the adjacent hamlets converged at the local Jamia Masjid. Amid anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, a host of local leaders addressed the rally and vowed to continue their “struggle against oppression”. Sources said that senior Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani addressed the rally on telephone. Sources said that around 20 pro-India political workers including some former panchayat members announced their resignations in the rally and vowed to join the pro-freedom movement. The names of these members were read out by a senior functionary of Hurriyat (G).
At least 20 people were injured when government forces attempted to foil a pro-freedom rally at Nadigam village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. The government forces ransacked the podium much before the people had gathered in the area. The villagers later re-assembled and held the rally according to their schedule. In Bellow, Rajpora, a rally was organised after a brief clash with the government forces. At least four protesters were injured in the clashes. Clashes also occurred at Parewan village in Kulgam district where locals had announced to hold a peaceful rally. At Tachloo village, a brief rally was held.
Due to inclement weather the organisers called off protest rallies at Gulshanpora, Tral and Aishmuqam in south Kashmir.
Protest rallies were also held at Dangarpora in Budgam, Kanipora and Nowgam areas in the outskirts of Srinagr.
An official spokesman said that following improvement in situation, curfew was lifted from Anantnag and major areas of Srinagar on Sunday morning. Quoting zonal police headquarters, the spokesman said that three “stray incidents of stone pelting” were reported from Sangam, Ashajipora, in Anantnag and Nadigam in Shopian where “some trouble-mongers attempted to disturb the situation by pelting stones on police and security force deployments.”
“Barring these three incidents of stone pelting, overall situation remained peaceful and under control across the valley till filing of this report,” it said.
The statement said that restrictions under section 144/CrPC remained in force in the Valley. “However, curfew was imposed under the areas of three police stations of Srinagar, Pampore and Pulwama towns only. Increased movement of vehicular traffic and people was observed in major areas of the valley including Srinagar city,” it said.
Reports said several shops reopened in Lal Chowk, Nawa Kadal and few other old city areas during the relaxation hours from 6pm onwards as outlined in the pro-freedom leadership’s protest calendar. Markets in Bandipora town also reopened in the evening after a gap of five days. Despite restrictions in Srinagar city, some private transport was seen on the roads in city outskirts and various inter-district roads till evening.
Night curfew remains in force in Srinagar since August 17. Similar restrictions on the movement of people, public and goods transport during late evening and night hours remains in force in north Kashmir’s Sopore, Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara areas.
The pro-freedom leadership has extended the shutdown call till September 1. Along with programmes of sit-ins, rallies and lockdown, the pro-freedom leadership has called upon people to march towards Doordarshan, Radio Kashmir and State Information Department offices on September 1 to restrain employees from attending offices. The pro-freedom leadership has described these offices as “institutions of propaganda war machinery of Indian State.”