More than a 100 injured on Day 59; CRPF men vandalise municipality building in Srinagar; religious leaders urge peaceful protest
Srinagar: Asif Majeed Nagoo, a 15-year-old boy who was injured in the head during clashes with government forces in north Kashmir ‘s Sopore on Sunday, succumbed to his injury at SMHS hospital. Dr Nazir Chaudhary, medical superintendent of SMHS, told Kashmir Reader that the boy who had been on ventilator since he was admitted, passed away on Monday evening.
More than a hundred civilians were injured during fierce clashes between government forces and youths across the Kashmir Valley on Monday, the 59th day of the public uprising against India in Kashmir.
Strict restrictions remained imposed in majority of the areas in all ten districts of the Valley. Police laid concertina wires at sensitive spots to prevent traffic movement and pedestrians from gathering for demonstrations or rallies against the killings and atrocities committed by government troops.
Despite the concertina wires and troop deployments, pro-freedom rallies continued to be held across the Valley, particularly in south Kashmir, where they have now become routine and are attended by thousands of people every day.
More than 35 civilians sustained injuries, one critically, when forces attacked a unity-cum-pro-freedom rally in Zangalpora village in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. Angry youths hurled rocks at the forces and set ablaze the house of a local police man after the attack. The policeman was identified as Constable Javaid Ahmad, a resident of Zangalpora.
Witnesses said that the locals had announced a rally in a local ground for which preparations were being made from the past two days. Police and para-military troopers raided the venue during the intervening night of Sunday-Monday and vandalised the stage erected by the locals. Witnesses said that the troopers also burnt down tents and furniture, and arrested four local youths at the spot.
The action triggered massive protests. People came out of their houses following announcements on public address systems of local mosques during the midnight and held demonstrations. Later, when troopers were chased away by the locals, a huge rally was held at the venue.
The locals made fresh arrangements for the rally overnight and kept guarding the venue till morning, when the function started. Witnesses said that troops again raided the venue and lobbed dozens of teargas canisters and fired pellets at the people participating in the rally.
The action once again triggered intense clashes causing injuries to about 30 people. The injured were admitted to different hospitals in the area.
A doctor posted at district hospital Anantnag said that 14 injured patients were brought to the hospital. “All of them had pellet injuries. One of the injured Rasiq Ahmad was referred to SKIMS in a critical condition as pellets had penetrated deep into his chest. Another was operated in the hospital,” the doctor said.
Twelve others, he said, were discharged after they were given treatment at the hospital. Rest of the injured, locals said, were treated at primary health centre (PHC) Kelam and other health facilities.
A huge rally was organised in Kadpora village of Shangas in which thousands of people participated. The rally was addressed by representatives of different religious groups and village elders. The speakers urged the people to remain united and resilient in the ongoing movement for freedom.
A few women were among dozens of people injured at Bagh-e-Mehtab area of Srinagar after forces foiled a pro-freedom rally organised by locals.
Witnesses said that troops fired several teargas canisters and pellets to disperse protesting people, which intensified the protest and led to clashes. Angry youths hurled rocks at the forces and the forces responded with teargas shelling and pellet firing. Many people, including some women, were injured.
Locals also alleged that the forces broke windowpanes of several residential houses and damaged the venue where the rally was scheduled to be held. The injured were either treated locally or were rushed to nearby hospitals.
Intense clashes erupted at Goiwa village of Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district following a raid by government troops to arrest local youths on charges of stone-pelting.
Witnesses said that a contingent of forces entered the village but locals showed defiance and prevented the troops from arresting youths. The forces resorted to heavy teargas and pellet firing that left around 15 persons injured. The injured were treated at local health facilities.
At least five people sustained injuries during clashes that erupted near Azad Gunj Bridge in Pattan area of Baramulla. The forces fired teargas shells and pellets to scatter the stone-throwing youths.
More than 45 civilians sustained injuries during clashes that erupted at Lalpora and Dardpora villages in Lolab area of Kupwara after forces intercepted a pro-freedom rally in the district. Reports said that forces lobbed dozens of teargas shells and fired pellets to scatter protesters. The injured were either treated locally or were rushed to nearby health facilities.
Meanwhile, people from Kupwara said that all cell phone networks, except the state-owned BSNL, have been suspended in the district.
At least 12 people, including two cops, were injured when people confronted a police team that was distributing posters carrying names of alleged stone-pelters. A local news agency reported, “The area was peaceful when policemen entered the village. They not only distributed notices but also threatened people of dire consequences in case ‘wanted’ stone-pelters didn’t report to police stations. This angered people who pelted stones at them while police retaliated with pellets and tear-smoke shells, the locals said. Over a dozen persons were injured, they added.”
Sources said that an Itthad-e-Millat conference was held at Chorapora, Gotapora area of Aarath in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Huge number of people from several areas of the district participated in the conference where religious and political leaders from various sections addressed the massive gathering.
Apart from the religious leaders from Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamat-e-Ahl-e-Hadees, Karvani Islamia, Buzmi Tawheed, and Dafayi Al-Hadees, several Hurriyat leaders including Farooq Gatpori, Muhammad Yousuf Shopiani, Bashir Ahmad Farooqi and the general secretary of JKLF spoke at the conference. The conference ended peacefully amid freedom slogans raised by the people.
Hundreds of people from several areas of Sopore town assembled at Jamia Masjid Sopore and offered Zuhr prayers together at the mosque. An all-women protest march was carried out at Wadoora village in Baramulla that raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
A peaceful pro-freedom rally was held at Eidgah Warpora area of Sopore town. “Thousands of people from many villages of Zaingair attended the pro-freedom rally,” a witness said. The speakers urged the people to be peaceful while holding pro-freedom protests.
A pro-freedom seminar was organised at Jenab Saheb Anchar in which hundreds of people participated. Later, a peaceful march was carried out in the area.
Witnesses said that scholars from various religious sections addressed the huge gathering and asked them to remain steadfast and resilient during the current movement. A separate women’s protest was held at the same venue that was addressed on telephone by Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi.
Clashes broke out in Rainawari area of Srinagar after locals offered Zuhr prayer on road at Choderbagh. Youths hurled rocks at the troops while the troops lobbed teargas shells and fired pellets. Reports of clashes have also reached from Jogilankar, Dugmohalla locality of Rainawari, and several other areas of old city Srinagar.
Government forces raided a pro-freedom rally at Palpora area of Srinagar and fired several shots in the air to create fear among the participants. Youths hurled stones at the troops while they resorted to heavy teargas shelling.
Witnesses said that locals had planned the rally to honour 12-year-old Danish Sultan who was drowned in the Jhelum after being chased by forces when clashes were going on at Pamposh colony in Noorbagh area of Srinagar. Scores of people had assembled in the football ground at New Colony when forces entered the area and attacked the venue with teargas and pellet firing. Many people have sustained injuries during the ensuing clashes.
Pro-freedom seminars-cum-rallies were organised at Aarmula, Arihal, Boonera and Botengoo villages of Baramulla and Pulwama districts. Thousands of people participated in the rallies. Several Islamic scholars and pro-freedom leaders spoke at the rallies.
Dozens of vehicles were smashed and residents thrashed after soldiers of the army’s Rashtriya Rifles went berserk at Churath village in Qazigund area. Locals said that RR men from Devsar-based 9 RR camp barged into the village and vandalised private property.
Clashes also erupted between youths and government forces at Kurhama village in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district after troops raided the village. At least three persons sustained injuries during the clashes.
Unknown persons snatched a weapon of a policeman posted outside the house of Ali Mohammad Koka, a Communist Party of India (M) member, in Bugam area of Kulgam district on Saturday night. Sources said that a few men reached the house of Koka at about 9pm on Saturday and snatched the rifle of his guard.
CRPF personnel severely damaged the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) office building at Rawatpora Baghat area of uptown Srinagar after culmination of stone-pelting in the locality. Sources said that the CRPF troops hurled stones at the building and smashed its window glasses. The troops also barged into the office and ransacked official documents while damaging the furniture, electronic appliances, doors and windows of the building.
SMC employees alleged that CRPF men lobbed tear-smoke shells inside the rooms of the office building and even thrashed employees without any provocation.
A complete shutdown was observed by Muslims in Doda district of Jammu division against the killings and atrocities on the people in Kashmir. All the shops and business establishments belonging to Muslims remained closed while vehicular moment was very thin in the district. The shutdown call was given by Markazi Seerat Committee Doda.
—With inputs from Bilal Habib and Mushtaq Ahmad