People demanding clean water dispersed with tear smoke shells
Anantnag: A police man was injured as protestors clashed with government forces, who tried to disperse locals blocking newly opened by-pass of Srinagar-Jammu highway here in Sursona village of Anantnag district, officials said.
The people of Sursona village had assembled at the by-pass and blocked the road alleging that they were being deliberately left out from a water supply scheme.
Train services on the Srinagar-Banihal track were also suspended mid-day and could not be resumed thereafter.
Police used tear smoke shells and baton charge to disperse the protestors, as per the local sources. Police however denied having used any shells.
“New water supply pipes have been laid for Shoal village adjacent to ours so that they can avail better water supply from the Bumzoo water supply scheme,” the villagers said, lamenting that their village has been left out deliberately.
Both Shoal and Sursona used to get water supply from the same source till now, as per locals.
“The water supply pipes and the source are both contaminated now and the water is not fit for human consumption. If Shoal is being considered for better water supply why not Sursona,” the locals asked.
Dozens of women, children and men blocked the road at about 9:00am Thursday morning and the road remained blocked for over two hours.
As per sources authorities were forced to divert the traffic on by-pass to the old Highway stretch.
Failing to convince the protestors to move and unblock the road, police used tear smoke shells and baton charge to disperse the protestors.
As the protests intensified train services were also suspended immediately.
MLA Homeshalibugh, Abdul Majeed Bhat alias Larmi, told Kashmir Reader that police displayed highhandedness with the people assembled to raise voice for their genuine demands.
“I had a fierce argument with the police official in charge. How can they use tear smoke shells at people demanding water, I asked,” Larmi said, adding that he was working towards resolving the issue.
Police on the other hand refused that any tear smoke shells were used to disperse people.
“They were trying to damage a railway track and on directions of the civil administration we used mild force to disperse them. No tear smoke shells were fired,” a senior police official told Kashmir Reader.
He said that a police man was hit with a stone injuring him.
“He is stable though,” the official said, adding that the police exercised maximum restraint.