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09-13-2010, 07:58 PM
Jammu & Kashmir: Valley simmers under indefinite curfew, violent clashes rock south, north Kashmir


Srinagar, J & K, India, (Greater Kashmir): A day after violent protests over the killing spree rocked Kashmir, authorities on the second day of Eid-ul-Fitr clamped indefinite curfew across the Valley.

However, at various places people defied the restrictions triggering violent clashes which left scores of people injured. Meanwhile, a youth who was injured in police firing at Pattan Palhallan last week succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS Soura here taking the death toll in the ongoing Kashmir unrest to 70.

Following the gutting of three government buildings near the high security Jehangir Chowk during the Lal Chowk chalo march on Saturday, authorities clamped strict curfew in wee hours of Sunday— not allowing even the curfew pass holders to come out of houses. However, at various places people defied the curfew and engaged the troopers in pitched battle.

Pattan youth succumbs

Meanwhile the youth Muhammad Ashraf Mir son of Abdul Ahad Mir of Palhallan Pattan who was injured in police firing on September 6, succumbed to his injuries at SK Institute of Medical Sciences here on Sunday evening, officials said.

“The deceased had sustained bullet injuries in the neck and he was not stable from the day one. He passed away this evening,” Medical Superintendent SKIMS, Dr Amin Tabish told Greater Kashmir.

Pertinently, four youth were killed on September 6 in police firing at Pattan with one more death today the toll has mounted to five.

Police said protesters torched a Government School in Kralgund village of Handwara in Kupwara district here. Meanwhile eight policemen were also injured when protesters resorted to stone pelting at Azad Gunj in Varmul district Police said a CRPF Mobile bunker was damaged after the protesters attack it with a petrol bomb. The protesters also attacked a Police Post at Pothkhah-Sopur.

Media gagged

Journalists working with various news organizations on Sunday said that police and paramilitary CRPF troopers were not honoring the curfew passes issued to them by district administration.

“Police and CRPF men are not allowing us to discharge our professional duties. It seems they have been directed not to allow mediamen to come out,” a group of photo journalists told Greater Kashmir.

CRPF men thrash scribe

Paramilitary CRPF troopers of 158 battalion allegedly beat up a sub-editor of a news agency AIP at Lal Bazar in city outskirts here on Sunday.

The victim, Sheikh Imran Bashir, told Greater Kashmir that CRPF men told that curfew passes have been cancelled and he had violated curfew by stepping out of his house. “ At least six CRPF men pounced on me and thrashed me mercilessly,” Imran said.

South on boil

Angry protesters took to streets in Damhal Khushipora area of Kokernag in Islamabad district and attacked the house of Minister of Education Peerzada Muhammad Sayed.

GK reporter for south Kashmir Khalid Gul reported that thousands of people from various areas of Kokernag marched towards Peerzada’s house and pelted stones on the troopers and cops guarding the minister’s house. Witnesses said the troopers swung into action and fired dozens of teargas canisters. However protesters offered stiff resistance and attacked the house with stones. The troopers resorted to indiscriminate firing injuring at least 15 persons, one of them critically. He was identified as Sameer Ahmad Malik s/o Gulzar Ahmad Malik of Hukhura Gund, Sameer had received bullet injuries in the abdomen and was immediately shifted to SKIMS Soura here.

The locals alleged that after the incident, the police and troopers went berserk and thrashed many persons and ransacked many residential houses there. Witnesses said the troopers were accompanied by Congress workers.

Elsewhere in south Kashmir at least 25 people, four troopers and five policemen were wounded in the daylong clashes. CRPF men at several places. Hundreds of people assembled at Lethpora on the Srinagar-Jammu highway blocking the movement of army convoys and police vehicles in protests against the killings in the Valley.

Witness said as an army convoy passed through the area, the protesters pelted stones on it. In retaliation, the troopers opened indiscriminate fire on the protesters injuring at least 13 civilians.

Despite firing, the protesters offered stiff resistance and retaliated with stones. As the clashes were on a huge contingent of police and CRPF arrived on the spot and resorted to baton charge and teargas shelling. In the subsequent pitched battle, seven troopers and two policemen including DSP Awantipora were injured.

Reports said the CRPF troopers went on rampage in Bijbehra and Reshi Bazar ransacking the residential houses and thrashing the inmates including women. At Reshi Bazar at least seven youth were injured due to thrashing by the troopers. One of them identified as Farooq Ahmad with head injuries was shifted to a hospital here. Reports of massive pro-freedom demonstrations and violent clashes were also recieved from Kulgam, Chawalgam, Quimu, Vailoo and many other townships.

Several youth were also detained in Chawalgam by police.Latter in the evening youth in hundreds came out on roads and clashed with CRPF men who were deployed in a strength at Khanabal.

North Tense

At least 22 persons were injured in north Kashmir’s Bandipore district when police and paramilitary CRPF men resorted to baton charge and aerial firing to disperse pro-freedom demonstrations.

GK reporters for Bandipore, Tariq Rasool and Azam Jan reported youth raising pro-freedom slogans defied curfew in ward no.s 3,4,6 and Nishat Mohalla and staged massive protests. However, police and CRPF men resorted to baton charge tear gas shelling and aerial firing to disperse the protesters. In the ensuing pitched battle which lasted for hours together, 22 persons were injured.

Doctors attending upon the injured said that most of them had sustained pellet injuries. Four critically injured persons were shifted to Srinagar for specialized treatment. Meanwhile, the doctors
and inured accused personnel of Special Operations Group (SOG) of police and CRPF men of barging into the District Hospital Bandipore and harassing the employees and injured.

Meanwhile, massive protests were heled on Srinagar-Gulmarg highway today.

Reports said angry youth climbed atop mobile towers and hoisted green flags. However, police and paramilitary CRPF troopers resorted to tear gas shelling and aerial firing to disperse the protesters. The locals said a youth was critically injured after he was beaten mercilessly allegedly by police and paramilitary CRPF troopers at Mamoosa village.

He was rushed to Srinagar for specialized treatment. Later protesters assembled outside Kunzer police station and pelted stones on it. However, policemen chased the protesters.

Protests in Srinagar

Reports said people engaged the troopers and cops in pitched battle in various parts of the city. Hundreds of protesters defied the curfew at Gaw Kadal and attacked the troopers with stones. However the troopers resorted to teargas shelling and opened several rounds of fire injured one Samir Ahmad Bhat son of Ghulam Mustafa.

Protests were also held in various uptown areas of the City. At Galwanpora-Hyderpora, the protesters took to streets and blocked the road. A posse of police reached the spot and used force to disperse the protesters injured Muhammad Rafiq Dar son of Abdul Samad of Narkara Budgam. He has been shifted to Bone and Joints Hospital here.

The restrictions were so tough in Old City that the troopers did not allow the people even to offer prayers.

The troopers had also sealed the tourist hub Boulevard and high security Gupkar housing the residence of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and other VIPs, with concertina wires and placed armored vehicles. Meanwhile, hundreds of people assembled at Beerwah Chowk in central Kashmir and staged a massive pro-freedom demonstration. However, they dispersed off peacefully later.

Contradictions

Though police in its statement claimed to have allowed the movement of ambulances and people associated with essential services, complaints of non-acknowledged of curfew passes were received thought the day.

Reports said police and troopers even did not allow the journalists working with various electronic channels to discharge their professional duties saying all the curfew passes have been cancelled.

Police version

Protesters set on fire a government school at Handwara in frontier district of Kupwara while the house of Minster for Education Peerzada Muhammad Syed was attacked and damaged by miscreants in Damhalkoshpora in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district.

In a statement here, a police spokesman said: “Some miscreants pelted stones on Police Post Pothkhah-Sopur, who were chased .The situation in the area was under control at Boatman Colony-Bemina, in Srinagar miscreants pelted stones on forces deployments which was retaliated and they were chased away. Eight policemen were injured when miscreants resorted to heavy stone pelting at Azad Gunj-Varmul.”

“One CRPF mobile bunker was attacked with a petrol bomb. It suffered minor damage. Stone pelting was also reported from Khanpora,Varmul . In a similar incident at Lethpora miscreants resorted to heavy pelting on forces deployment and were hell bent to attack Police Lines, Awantipora.

They also blocked the Srinagar-Jammu highway for some time. Police used batons and tear smoke shells to disperse them. A youth Mudassir Ahmad son of Muhammad Ashraf of Bagh-i-Nishat was injured. His condition is stable so far. Some policemen were also injured here,” he said.

“Heavy stone pelting on forces was also reported at Drangbal Pampore. At Damhal Khushipora when violent protesters resorted to heavy pelting on the residence of Minister for Education Peerzada Muhammad Syed. Police used tear smoke shells to disperse them.

A youth Salim Ahmad Malik son of Gulzar Ahmad got injured his condition is so far stable. Some policemen were also injured here,” the spokesman said. “At Sabzi Mundi Soura and Gawkadal Srinagar some miscreants resorted to heavy stone pelting on police and other security forces deployment, At Gaw-kadal a youth Sameer Ahmad Bhat son of Ghulam Mustafa of Gaw-kadal got injured. Near DC Office Shopian, Some miscreants started pelting stones on forces deployment which was tackled by the forces.”

“At Kralgund Handwara, miscreants burnt down Government Middle School along with its record. Miscreants resorted to heavy stone pelting at Bandipore town, which was tackled by the Police. During the process, one person Mohammad Ibrahim Bhat son of Ghulam Ahmad of Watpora Bandipore got injured. He has been shifted to SMHS Hospital Srinagar for the treatment.

At Galwanpora-Hyderpora, miscreants pelted stones on Police, which was tackled by the Police. In the process one Muhammad Rafiq Dar son of Abdul Samad of Narkara Budgam got injured. He has been shifted to Bone and Joints Hospital-Srinagar.”