Srinagar, Sep 5: A day after intense clashes, authorities Monday made heavy security deployment in Srinagar and other places of the Kashmir Valley to “maintain law and order” as shutdown called by the separatists continued on the 59th consecutive day.
Official sources said that deployments were made in sufficient strength to maintain law and order in the Valley. Officials claimed no part of Kashmir Valley was under curfew, however, locals from Kupwara said that stringent curfew like restriction were in place to foil a pro-freedom rally in and around Lalpora Lolab area of Kupwara district in North Kashmir. Eyewitnesses said that intense clashes erupted in the area after government forces tried to stop people from attending the rally. Locals alleged that mobile phone services, except the State-run BSNL, were suspended in the district.
“The incoming and outgoing call facility on all mobile phones except BSNL has been suspended,” a local from Kupwara told news agency CNS.
More than 80 people were injured after forces fired pellets into a rally in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. The action came as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government has given PAVA shells as an alternative to pellet guns. Witnesses and reports said that forces ransacked the venue, barged into the houses in Zonglipora village during an overnight raid where they vandalized the property and thrashed the inmates.
“When we tried to take out the rally, the forces fired pellets to foil it,” said a local.
He said that dozens of people were hit by pellets.
Hospital sources informed CNS that the injured were shifted to different Health Centres and hospitals including Kelam, Pahlou, Kulgam and Anantnag.
Witnesses said that agitated protesters caused damage to the house of a police man (SPO Javaid Shan) at Zonglipora after a rumour about the death of a youth spread in the area. He added that after attacking the house the protesters set it ablaze.
Reports said that in an attempt to foil a scheduled pro-freedom rally in Srinagar’s Palpora area, police and CRPF raided the venue and clashes erupted. Reports and local sources said that the local populace had planned a rally “in honour” of Danish Sultan who had died when he jumped in Jhelum while CRPF was chasing a group of four youths in Parimpora area a few days ago.
“Many people had assembled in Football ground New Colony when police and CRPF men in huge numbers came and started firing tear gas shells and pellets,” a local said, “they also resorted to aerial firing to scare people so that they abandon the rally.” Reports said that some people sustained injuries and were rushed to a Srinagar hospital. Hospital sources said that they received six pellet wounded persons from Palapora Eidgah.
Indian Paramilitary troopers also caused massive damage to the residential houses and Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) office building located at Rawatpora Baghat area of uptown Srinagar city.
The building owned by SMC according to the employees was attacked with stones from everywhere and all the windowpanes were smashed by the ‘unbridled’ Central Reserve Police Force personnel. Ward Officer Muhammad Altaf Dar told news agency CNS that after a stone-pelting incident in the area, CRPF personnel went on rampage and they not only ransacked residential houses but also caused massive damage to the SMC office. “It was hell like situation in the office. The employees ran for cover while CRPF men barged into the office, ransacked official documents and damaged furniture, electronic appliances, doors and windows. All the windowpanes of this 3 storey building were smashed by these men with stones, guns and sticks,” Dar said.
Dozens of people, including few women, were injured after the government forces foiled a pro-freedom rally in Bagh-e-Mehtab – Machoo area of Srinagar. Reports and witnesses said that forces damaged the windowpanes of several residential houses and vandalized the venue of a proposed rally earlier today. When people tried to march towards the venue, forces fired several teargas shells to disperse the protesters. “Several protesters were injured in the forces’ action. Some women fainted due to tear smoke,” said a local.
Clashes aslo erupted in Rainawari area of Srinagar while people offered Nimaz on a road at Choderbagh. Reports of clashes between protesters and government forces reached from Jogilankar, Dugmohalla locality of Rianawari area. Many people were wounded in these clashes.
Reports from Budgam said that Police foiled the Khanpora pro-freedom rally and barred senior separatist leader and President Anjuman Shari Shian president Aga Syed Hasan from participating it. Aga Hasan was scheduled to address the said rally that was sponsored by his party. Police sealed all the roads leadings towards Khanpora Budgam and stopped people from proceeding towards the venue. Reports said that authorities imposed strict restrictions in Khanpora and its adjacent areas.
At least 12 people including two cops were injured when people confronted a police party who according to local’s peaceful Gohiwa village of Pattan town and started distributing posters carrying names of alleged stone-pelters. “The area was peaceful when policemen entered into the village. They not only distributed notices but also threatened people of dire consequences in case ‘wanted’ stone-pelters didn’t report to police stations. This angered people who pelted stones on them while police retaliated with pellets and tear-smoke shells,” the locals said.
A peaceful pro-freedom rally was held at Eidgah Warpora area of Sopore Town amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. “Thousands of people from many villages of Zaingair attended the pro-freedom rally,” an eye witness said. The speakers urged upon the people to be peaceful while holding pro-freedom protests.
The situation in the Valley continues to be tense amid recurring street protests, triggered by the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. At least 74 people including two cops have been killed and nearly 12,000 injured in the weeks of the unrest, the deadliest since 2010 when some 120 people died in firing by police and paramilitary troopers.