Clashes, shutdown continue in Shopian, youth injured in eye by pellets

Clashes, shutdown continue in Shopian, youth injured in eye by pellets
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Minor clashes in Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal

SHOPIAN: Clashes once again broke out in many areas of Shopian district after Friday’s congregational prayers, despite restrictions on public assembly imposed by the authorities. Youths clashed with government forces at Imam Sahib, Meminder, Kanipora and Sofanaman areas.
Eyewitnesses said that in Imam Sahib, youths came out from mosques after Friday prayers and began to hurl rocks at the forces deployed on the streets. The forces in retaliation fired tear smoke shells but the clashes lasted for more than an hour. There was no report of any injury in these clashes.
In Sofanaman, however, a youth identified as Musavir Ahmad, resident of Pinjora village, was severely injured after pellets hit his eye. They added that forces also fired in the air, but police denied the allegations and said no aerial firing took place.
Clashes also broke out in Meminder and Kanipora villages on the outskirts of Shopian town. At both the places, people came out on streets and hurled stones on government troops, who fired tear smoke shells at the protestors. There were no reports of any injuries on either side.
The Medical Superintendent of Sub-District Hospital (SDH) Shopian told Kashmir Reader that one youth, Musavir Ahmed, was brought to the hospital on Friday with serious pellet injuries in his left eye. He said that the injured person was referred to Srinagar for specialised treatment. “Musavir Ahmad was brought here and referred to Srinagar. On Thursday late night, two persons were brought here who both had pellet injuries,” he said.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Shopian, Ifroz Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader that eight forces’ personnel were injured in clashes with protesters. “Eight of our men were injured in clashes with stone-throwers. No aerial firing was conducted by us at any place,” he said.
Freedom songs and slogans continued to be played from loudspeakers of mosques in the native villages of the four civilians killed in army firing on Sunday evening. Another day of shutdown was observed across the district with all shops and business establishments staying closed in the town and village areas.
Internet remains suspended in the entire Shopian district since Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, minor clashes broke out between local youths and government forces after Friday prayers in Nowhatta area of old Srinagar. Eyewitnesses said that scores of youths hit the streets after pro-freedom leaders addressed a gathering to demand justice for the 8-year-old girl raped and murdered in Jammu’s Kathua district. The youths started throwing stones at government forces that were deployed in Nowhatta to maintain law and order.
Witnesses said that police chased away the youths without firing tear smoke shells.
Later in the evening, clashes erupted at Rajouri Kadal, during which two youths whose identity Kashmir Reader couldn’t confirm were detained by police. A local resident, requesting anonymity, said that police resorted to unnecessary force and ransacked the goods of shopkeepers in the area. He said that the police action provoked local youths and the clashes intensified.
Eyewitnesses claimed that police fired teargas shells to disperse the protestors.
The Station House Officer of MR Gunj termed the allegations of ransacking of shops as baseless. “We detained two people, one of whom happened to be a shopkeeper. So, its quite natural they will say such things,” the SHO said.