#Day22: From North to South, Kashmir Is Shut

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Riyaz ul Khaliq

SRINAGAR

Srinagar is shut on Saturday. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Srinagar is shut on Saturday. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

The defiance of Kashmiris continues on day 22 of civil uprising in the Himalayan region on Saturday.

People are staying back home as united resistance leadership has called for complete strike today. The J&K Government has put in place curfew across simmering Valley to thwart any “untoward incident”.

Huge deployment of forces has been made in Srinagar areas to thwart any protest. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Huge deployment of forces has been made in Srinagar areas to thwart any protest. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Mass protests were triggered when a popular militant Burhan Wani was killed by forces along with his two associates on July 08, 2016 evening in South Kashmir’s Kokernag area.

It has been 22nd day of curfew and restrictions today and people are coming out on roads to protest the killing of innocent civilians by forces since July 09. Thousands have been injured and over 50 persons rendered blind for life. At least 52 civilians have been killed by forces while two cops too were killed since July 09, 2016.

Curfew scenes from Sopore: (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Curfew scenes from Sopore: (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Reports of “excesses” by forces have come from across Kashmir and people have reacted violently.

Curfew continues in South Kashmir areas, however, there is movement of pedestrians.

Correspondent reports from Islamabad said that there is minimal movement of civilians and majority of them are using hospital road.

Local reports from Dooru Shahabad said that intense clashes are going on in the area.

Locals of South Kashmir’s Dooru area on Saturday alleged that forces barged in to their houses late Friday night crossing “all limits”.

The Sopore situation

The Sopore situation

Nadoora based 19 RR has installed its at least two Casspirs at Dooru-Nadoora bridge thus scuttling the movement of people.

Window panes da,aged in DooruThe bridge is a vital connection between Islamabad and Verinag in South Kashmir. Reports said that whosoever moves through the area passes through intense frisking by army.

“CRPF men barged into houses around 9 PM last night beating children, women and men,” locals said, “they destroyed properties and many vehicles were damaged beyond repair.”

Correspondent reports informed KL Newsroom that certain government quarters which remained untouched during violence in last fortnight were set ablaze today by protestors.

The quarters lie inside the premises of Munsif court Dooru which was destroyed in a devastating blaze some days ago.

A peaceful protest rally was taken out by hundreds of people from Hillar Shahabad to Toll Post Qazigund which returned without any hindrance or any untoward incident this forenoon.

'Mashaal' march in Pampore late Friday night on July 29, 2016.

‘Mashaal’ march in Pampore late Friday night on July 29, 2016.

The highway town of Pampore too wore deserted looks. People are staying home while cops are manning the streets. People took out a Mashaal march last late night in the area.

Summer capital of Srinagar is calm but tense. There is huge deployment of forces in Old Srinagar. Major business hub Lal Chowk is shut but there is private vehicular movement. Similar reports were received from uptown areas.

Vehicles too were not spared. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Vehicles too were not spared. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

North Kashmir’s Baramulla is calm and there is no report of any untoward incident. People are staying home amid tensions.

Some quarters which lie inside damaged Munsif Court Dooru were burnt down today. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Some quarters which lie inside damaged Munsif Court Dooru were burnt down today. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

A Journalist from Baramulla said that all the bridges have been blocked by forces and Old Town is “free from cops”.

“And almost all the clashes take place at the bridges,” he said, “Old town is a huge area where every Masjid is reverberating with songs of freedom… It’s a different atmosphere here… People feel safe because there is no cop.”

There were mid-night clashes in Baramulla during Friday/Saturday night. “Youths have made Azaadi graffiti all over Old town,” the journalist said.

The clashes in Dooru

The clashes in Dooru on July 30, 2016. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

There were intense protests in Rafiabad area as a pro-freedom political activist was shot dead last late night. Reports said that he was a member of Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani led Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH), however, the party said they are unable to reach Saidapora area because of the “witch hunt” launched by police against its activists. “Some of our men have reached the area and will report at head office by evening,” a TeH office bearer said.

Correspondent reports from Sopore said that curfew has been imposed in main town but there is movement of people. There were minor clashes at Kapra Colony, near sub-district Hospital Sopore today. Volatile Palhallan town is calm, however.

An elderly man arguing with forces in Dooru Islamabad on Saturday.

An elderly man arguing with forces in Dooru Islamabad on Saturday.

Authorities have imposed severe restrictions in Kupwara district. Reports said that CRPF men beat up many people on Friday in Lal Pora area of Lolab and early today hundreds of people marched Police post Kuligam in Lolab where youths are detained.

The 18 RR unit of army has blocked Kupwara-Warnow main road by 18 RR unit of army since Friday evening.

Bar Association Kupwara president, Advocate G M Shah while speaking to Kashmir Life said that he “has never seen such atrocities”. “There have been excesses on part of forces,” he alleged, “youths take out peaceful marches, which is a fundamental right of people, but it is forces which resort to stone pelting first.”

Kashmir situation, dateline Dooru Islamabad. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Kashmir situation, dateline Dooru Islamabad. (KL Image: Shah Hilal)

Adv Shah said that rods have been blocked and there is “no permission for peaceful protests”. “Forces are routinely lobbing tear gas canisters and throwing stones which incite our youth,” he added. “Properties have been damaged, window panes broken and cars damaged.”

Condemning the civilian killings, he assured full of support of Kupwara lawyers to “those whose kith and kin were killed.”

From Bandipora, local reports said that stone pelting is going on Ajar, Kaloosa, Papchan and Nadihal. “Many youths were injured last evening and three were hit by pellets who were rushed to Srinagar from Lawdoora area.

From central Kashmir’s Ganderbal and Budgam district, there is no report of any untoward movement. “It is calm here,” a resident of Kurhama from Ganderbal said. Kurhama witnessed “huge atrocities” by army yesterday.

(With Shah Hilal, Aakash Hassan in Islamabad and Mohammad Abu Bakr in Sopore.)

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