Hurriyat calls for shutdown today, KU postpones exams; mobile internet suspended, restrictions imposed in Srinagar, Pampore
Srinagar: At least four youth sustained pellet injuries during clashes with government troops in areas of Srinagar, Bandipora and Baramulla on Friday.
Soon after the Friday prayers at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, a group of youth took to the streets in protest against the killing of a civilian in Rangreth area of Srinagar on Thursday evening. The protesting youth raised pro- freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans during their protest.
Clashes broke out when troops fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters.
Eyewitnesses said that two youths were injured by pellets fired at the protesters. They said that government forces also fired teargas shells inside the premises of the Jamia Masjid at Nowhatta.
Clashes were reported from Sopore’s old-town area soon after the Friday congregational prayers. Local youth led a protest rally from the Jamia Masjid in the old town and shouted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. They hurled stones at government troops and teargas shells were fired by the troops to disperse them. When the clashes did not subside, the police fired pellets, according to eyewitnesses, from which one boy sustained injuries. The boy was not taken to hospital but was treated privately due to the threat of his being identified.
Following the clashes, the old town area observed a shutdown.
Clashes also erupted between government forces and local youths in Hajin town of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district after the Friday prayers. Witnesses said that hundreds of youth assembled near the Jamia Masjid at Hajin and shouted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. The youths took out a protest march and on the way hurled stones at government troops, who retaliated by firing teargas shells at them. In the clashes that ensued, two youths were hit by pellets fired by troops, locals said.
The pro-freedom leadership has called for a complete shutdown on Saturday to protest the killings of civilians by government forces. Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik in a joint statement said that government forces had virtually declared a war on civilians and gone on a rampage.
Soon after the strike call was announced, the Kashmir University postponed all examinations scheduled on Saturday.
“All Kashmir University examinations scheduled to be held on June 17, 2017 (Saturday) are postponed,” a Kashmir University spokesperson said in a statement.
According to the statement, fresh dates for the deferred examinations shall be notified later.
Soon after the killing of civilians during an encounter in Kulgam’s Arwani area, the government suspended mobile internet services of all networks, including BSNL, citing security reasons. Broadband internet service of BSNL and point-to-point broadband service of other providers were still functioning in the evening, though at a slow speed.
All cellular companies had suspended their 3G and 4G mobile internet services.
The Srinagar district administration announced restrictions in areas under five police stations for Saturday.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Lone said that restrictions under Section 144 will be imposed in Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Safakadal and MR Gunj police stations.
In an order issued by the DC Pulwama, restrictions were announced in Pampore Tehsil for Saturday under Section 144 of CrPC.