Curfew in Kupwara
SRINAGAR: Protests and clashes broke out in several parts of Kashmir after Friday prayers against the killing of a civilian by army yesterday in Kupwara.
In Srinagar’s Nowhatta, as soon as the Friday prayers were offered in the city’s Jamia Masjid, youngsters attacked police, which was already deployed there in large numbers, with stones. Protests continued for several hours.
Clashes also erupted between the government forces and protesters in Sopore town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. As soon as youth attempted to move towards central Jamia Masjid, police dispersed them by firing teargas shells. Shopkeepers downed their shutters while traffic disappeared from the roads. The protests spread to Batpora and Shah Dargah Chowk.
In Bandipora’s Hajin, police arrested a youth during a protest, police sources said. The youth, identified was Adil Ahmad Bhat (18) son of Mohammad Afzal Bhat a resident of Hajin, was arrested near J&K bank Hajin. The area also registered a protest march, which was taken out from its central mosque against the killing.
At Pulwama, protests which later morphed into stone throwing with government forces also erupted after the prayers.
Eyewitness told Kashmir Reader that scores of youths from different areas of Pulwama took to the streets and shouted pro-freedom slogans and threw stones on government forces that were deployed in the area. The government forces responded with aerial firing and heavy tearsmoke shelling to break up the protest. Amid intense clashes shopkeepers downed their shutters in main town of Pulwama.
Locals said government forces beat a few locals and damaged vehicles parked at Chatpora Pulwama and also damaged windowpanes of several residential houses in the area.
In Kupwara, where the killing had taken place, administration had imposed restriction in many of its volatile parts.
Curfew and restrictions were imposed in Kupwara on Friday a day after army killed a civilian that followed militants’ attack on an army camp.
Locals said government forces enforced strict curfew in Kralpora, Trehgam, and Panzgam areas while restrictions were in place in Kupwara’s Lalpora, Lolab and in other areas to stop any protest.
Announcements were made in Kralpora and Panzgam villages asking people to stay inside their houses as curfew was imposed.
Despite restrictions, people in Aawoora village staged protest after Friday prayers and clashed with forces.
Deputy commissioner Kupwara Gulam Mohammad Dar told Kashmir Reader that the situation across the district remained “peaceful” and “normal”. “Restrictions were enforced in some areas of district to avoid any untoward incident in the area, but the situation across the district remain peaceful and under control,” he said. Three soldiers including army captain were killed by two militants who stormed the camp in the wee hours of Thursday.