No let-up in clashes, 20 students injured in Kulgam

Several areas of southern Kashmir on Thursday yet again descended into violence which led to at least two dozen injuries to protestors when they clashed with the police in Kulgam and Anantnag.

Dozens of students of Government Degree College, Kulgam, took to streets raising pro-freedom slogans and soon when the police tried to bar their way they began pelting stones at the police.

In the subsequent clashes twenty students were wounded when the police resorted to firing pellets and tear-smoke shells. Eyewitnesses said one media person was injured in his eye when a pellet hit him. Sources said that the injured were shifted to the hospital and their condition is stable.

While tensions were high in Kulgam, clashes between civilians and the police flared up in Anantnag. A shopkeeper had parked his vehicle on the street in the Dangerpora area and a policeman asked him to remove it from the street. This irked the shopkeeper and soon a heated argument broke out and many shopkeepers joined their colleague, alleging that the police beat them.

This, according to local sources, led to a spontaneous shutdown in the area and agitated shopkeepers started protesting against the police. Soon extra forces were rushed to the area that fired tear smoke shells on protesters resulting in clashes in Anantnag. A police official said that a shopkeeper had parked his vehicle on the road and when a police officer asked him to remove the vehicle from the road, shopkeeper started accusing police of highhandedness and some nearby shopkeepers indulged in misbehaving with the police party resulting in the chaos in the area.

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