Day 106: Shutdown, protests continue in Kashmir

Day 106: Shutdown, protests continue in Kashmir

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

News Desk

Srinagar, Oct 22: The shutdown and protests continued in Valley for the 106th consecutive day on Saturday while PDP minister’s cavalcade was stone in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district and police detained 55 during a crackdown in Kupwara. The shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley remained closed while public transport was off the roads. It was for the 106th consecutive day that life in Valley remained crippled due to the shutdown called by the separatists. The separatists have extended the strike till October 27. At least 92 people have been killed and over 13000 injured in forces firing in the over three month long unrest in the Valley triggered by killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. Meanwhile, about a dozen men and women came out on roads in Maisuma area in uptown Srinagar and demanded that medical aid be provided to jailed JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik, who has been detained in Central Jail Srinagar. The police and paramilitary personnel chased away the protesters by resorting to baton charge and firing tear smoke shells. The protestors pelted stones on the cops and the clashes continued for some time. The clashes between the forces and protesters also erupted in Heff Shirmal village of South Kashmir’s Shopian district. The clashes erupted after forces completed door to door searches. The people came out on roads to protest the highhandedness of the forces and chanted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. The force personnel fired dozens of tear smoke shells and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse the protestors, who pelted stones on them. At least 15 persons including a 12 years old boy were injured in forces tear-smoke and pellet firing in Palhalan Pattan area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The locals said after culmination of pro-freedom rally in the area, forces reached the spot and fired pellets and tear-smoke shells to disperse the protestors. They said 15 people suffered pellet injuries and they were taken to Sub-District Hospital Pattan. Six of the injured including a 12 year old boy were later referred to SMHS Hospital Srinagar for specialized treatment. The clashes between youth and force personnel were also reported from Mirgund area of Baramulla district. Senior PDP leader and Minister of Law and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Abdul Haq was stranded for half an hour after protesters attacked his cavalcade with stones in Bandipora district. Police sources said protesters hurled stones towards the cavalcade of minister at Saderkoot Bala in Bandipora while he was on way to Srinagar after convening an official meeting. They said police and paramilitary forces fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protesters. “With the help of army, the minister could finally move ahead,” sources said. People staged massive protest in border district Kupwara after Army, Police and CRPF personnel in a joint operation arrested 55 people during pre-dawn crackdown. The locals from Taras Natnusa area of Kupwara said that hundreds of Army, CRPF and policemen cordoned off the village at around 5 am. “It was a massive crackdown. The force personnel not only beat the locals but also damaged the residential houses,” they said adding forces damaged more than 120 residential houses during the operation. They said even apple boxes were damaged by the forces. “Dozens of apple boxes were stolen by the force personnel”. The locals said forces detained 55 people during the crackdown. SSP Kupwara Shamsher Singh confirmed that forces launched crackdown in the village this morning. “We picked up the wanted stone-pelters during the operation. I can’t give you the exact number of people detained during the operation,” he said. Meanwhile, unidentified masked men set on fire Government Higher Secondary School building in Bugam area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district. Police said building has gutted in the fire. “We have registered a case and take up investigation up,” said a police official. POLICE SPEAKS A police spokesman said situation remained normal and peaceful across the valley today. “There was good movement of traffic and people in Srinagar and other main towns of the valley,” he said adding in order to instill confidence among the commuters and vehicle owners adequate deployment of police and forces was made at vulnerable points in Srinagar city, in main towns as also on the road, lanes and bylanes connecting different places. The spokesman said driver of a Tempo Farooq Ahmad Khanday resident of Iqbal Colony-A Eidgah reported in Police Station Safakadal, Srinagar last evening that some miscreants hurled a petrol bomb on his vehicle bearing registration number JK01V/4980, which was parked outside his house. “This resulted in damage to the vehicle. A case FIR number 137/16 was registered and investigation was taken up,” he added. (CNS)